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HER Number:MDV46
Name:Fog Signal Gun Battery, Lundy


Fog signal battery built in 1861 to supplement the old lighthouse which was often obscured by fog. Had two 18 pound cannons.


Grid Reference:SS 128 449
Map Sheet:SS14SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLundy
Ecclesiastical ParishLUNDY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 31820
  • National Trust SMR: 108429
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS14SW/25
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 91987
  • Old SAM Ref: 27649
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS14NW/SW50

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTERY (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SS14NW/SW50 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV7875.

Granite pillars shown of the 1889 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Chanter, J. R., 1877, Untitled Source, 119 (Monograph). SDV7861.

A signal-gun battery supplements the lighthouse in foggy weather when one of the two 18 pounders fires a round every ten minutes. Battery is connected to lighthouse by path marked with short granite pillars.

Lloyd, I. R. W., 1925, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV6917.

Langham, A. F., 1969, Preliminary Investigations into Building Mortars Used on Lundy, 23 (Article in Serial). SDV7889.

Timms, S., 1969, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV7873.

According to Timms this site is not scheduled.

Ministry of Public Building and Works, 1969, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV344751.

Fog signal gun battery on Battery Point, Lundy Island. Because the lighthousewas so often obscured by mist a fog signal station was constructed in the cliffs at Battery Point. The remains of the firing platform with a shed and 18 pound cannons either side can still be seen. It was linked by a stepped and walled path up to a house for the gunners. All now ruinous. Not worth scheduling (comment on AM7 form for AM742, Devon).

Langham, M., 1986, The Heaven Family of Lundy, 93-121 (Article in Serial). SDV730.

National Trust, 1989, Lundy, Devon. Vol. One, 76-7 (Report - Survey). SDV1275.

The two cannon were transferred from Beacon Hill and were positioned on a wide, concrete gun platform inside a gunhouse. After 1878 gun cotton rockets were used instead of the cannon. Abandoned in 1897 when north and south lights built. Platform now roofless but cannon still present. Platform is 5.2m N-S, by 6.4m E-W. It had a doorway, c1.45m wide, on E end and the walls survive to eaves height. Originally a barrel roof of corrugated iron. Single windows on N and S sides and a square, 90cm wide, gunport with wooden frame on W side. Floor was brick with granite runners for the carriages. Cannon are on iron carriages. 5 inch muzzle-loaders with "GR" cipher and crown crest. Building massively buttressed at its W end, on either side of the gun port. A possibly unique survival. Other details: 101102.

Department of Environment, 1991, Lundy, 12 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV7877.

Built for Trinity House circa 1861. Dressed granite, gable ended, single cell building on platform projecting from cliffs. Single storey. Gable end facing sea has splayed gunport and granite buttresses at the corners. All windows/doors have granite lintels and wooden frames on the interior. In 1881 it was considered that the lower lights of the old lighthouse should be moved here.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Fog Battery at Battery Point, Lundy (Schedule Document). SDV7878.

The monument includes a fog warning battery with 2 guns and associated buildings. These include a dam for the water supply, a cliff path, 2 cottages, privies and a powder magazine. The battery was operated by members of the Trinity House service who lived in the cottages. Furing foggy weather the sound of the guns was intended to warn shipping of the presence of the island since the lighthouse (now known as The Old Lighthouse) was often obscured. The complex was built in 1863. The buildings are well constructed of dressed stone and include two cottages placed back to back, sharing a slate roof. These were the living quarters for the operators. They wre built on a platform quarried from the cliff and set about 25 metres above sea level. The privies are opposite the cottages, discharging over the cliff. There are the remains of the toilet bowls in the concrete floor. The magazine was attached to the privies and had a separate brick vaulted roof which also survives.
Further down the cliff to the west is the battery consisting of a granite building with a corrugated iron roof. In the event of an explosion this roof would have been blown away without damaging the surrounding buildings or endangering the operators. Flanking this building re two 18-pound cannon on a sloping floor of brick. The wheels of the guns are set in grooved granite setts and the recoil of the discharge was therefore absorbed by the slope of the floor and controlled by the tracks. The guns are of iron and bear the Royal cypher "GR" indicating that they belong to the reign of George I. They were therefore obsolete when the battery was constructed. They have been spiked to prevent any further use. The whole group of buildings is accessed by a well constructed cliff path with a granite retaining wall which passes the dam for a water supply and a water cistern in the small yard of the cottages. The dam is well preserved and retains a cast iron plate to control the flow of water. Above the cottages to the east is a small building used as a piggery or a coal store which is not as well constructed and is consequently more ruinous. There is a well in the ground to the west of the cottages with a granite lid so heavy it cannot be easily lifted. The purpose of this is unknown.

National Trust, 1998, The National Trust Sites and Monuments Record. Compressed Site Reports. Lundy. SMR Sites Nos 108351-108500, 108429 (Report - non-specific). SDV344744.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1999, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV7880.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for works concerning the consolidation and repair of the footpath and wall leading down to the battery buildings. Other details: Letter.

National Trust, 2002, The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide (Monograph). SDV7235.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 31820 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV7890.

Signal gun battery built in 1863 for use as a fog signal when the lighthouse was obscured. The complex includes battery, privy, magazine and cottage. The cannons are from the reign of George I and therefor obsolete when the battery was constructed. Scheduled and listed. Other details: SS14SW22. Record last updated: N/A.

English Heritage, 2010, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV154869.

Fog signal battery. Circa 1861 for Trinity House. Dressed granite, gable-ended, now roofless. Small single cell rectangular building on platform projecting from cliffs.
Exterior: One storey. Gable end facing sea has square splayed gun- port and granite raking buttresses at the corners. Sides each have a small square window, splayed on the inside, and the side facing the cliff has a wide doorway. All openings have granite lintels.
Interior: All openings in walls have wooden frames. Floor is paved in brick and has granite tracks sloping down to gun-port for gun-carriages. The 2 George IV 18-pounder cannons are now situated outside flanking the battery on iron carriages.
Note: The Old Lighthouse (qv) is situated at 470 feet above sea level and was often obscured by fog. In an attempt to solve the problem a fog signal battery was built in circa 1861 on cliffs below. The installation included cottages for the gunners (Battery Cottages) and a Magazine and Privies. In 1878 Trinity House substituted guncotton rockets for the guns and in 1881 it was even considered that the lower lights of the Old Lighthouse should be moved to the Battery. Bells, hooters and whistles were also experimented with but The Old Lighthouse and Battery were eventually abandoned in 1897 when the North and South Lundy Lighthouses were built.
Date listed: 7th October 1991.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1275Report - Survey: National Trust. 1989. Lundy, Devon. Vol. One. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. 1. A4 Stapled + Digital. 76-7.
SDV154869List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2010. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #92679 ]
SDV344744Report - non-specific: National Trust. 1998. The National Trust Sites and Monuments Record. Compressed Site Reports. Lundy. SMR Sites Nos 108351-108500. The National Trust Sites and Monuments Record. A4 Stapled + Digital. 108429.
SDV344751Personal Comment: Ministry of Public Building and Works. 1969. Foolscap.
SDV6917Monograph: Lloyd, I. R. W.. 1925. History of Lundy. Unknown.
SDV7235Monograph: National Trust. 2002. The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide. The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide. A5 Paperback.
SDV730Article in Serial: Langham, M.. 1986. The Heaven Family of Lundy. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 118. Unknown. 93-121.
SDV7861Monograph: Chanter, J. R.. 1877. Lundy Island. Unknown. 119.
SDV7873Personal Comment: Timms, S.. 1969. Not Applicable.
SDV7875Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SS14NW/SW50. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV7877List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1991. Lundy. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 12.
SDV7878Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Fog Battery at Battery Point, Lundy. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV7880Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1999. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV7889Article in Serial: Langham, A. F.. 1969. Preliminary Investigations into Building Mortars Used on Lundy. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 20. Photocopy. 23.
SDV7890National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 31820. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV69114Parent of: Cannon at Fog Signal Battery, Lundy (Monument)
MDV69111Related to: Cistern at Battery Point, Lundy (Monument)
MDV45901Related to: Cottages at Battery Point Lundy (Building)
MDV69108Related to: Dam at Battery Point, Lundy (Monument)
MDV45900Related to: Magazine at Battery Point, Lundy (Building)
MDV31Related to: Old Lighthouse on Lundy (Building)
MDV45903Related to: Pathway down to Fog Signal Battery, Lundy (Building)
MDV45902Related to: Piggery or Coal Store at Battery Point, Lundy (Monument)
MDV69109Related to: Wall Alongside Path to Fog Battery, Lundy (Building)
MDV69110Related to: Well at Battery Point, Lundy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 4 2010 3:25PM