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HER Number:MDV51693
Name:Military ditch at Staddon Heights, Wembury

Summary

The substantial dry ditch and cuttings protecting the 19th century military forts at Staddon Heights are visible as earthworks with structural elements on aerial photographs taken from the 1940s onwards and on visualisations of lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 492 510
Map Sheet:SX45SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWembury
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishPLYMSTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX45SE/443

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DEFENCE WORK (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV138369.

Des=plymouth fortress survey/ pye,a. / (1992)/ copy and plan in smr.

Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/UK/871, RAF/106G/UK/871 RV 6107-6109 30-SEP-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351258.

The ditch is visible, with the butressed wall clearly visible at SX4959951168.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 2127-2128 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

The ditch is visible as a substantial earthwork.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2105, RAF/CPE/UK/2105 RP 3138-3139 28-MAY-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351151.

The ditch, and segments of walling, are visible.

PLYMOUTH FORTRESS SURVEY, 1992, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV27236.

Ditch and scarp. Deep ditch protecting the staddon heights defences from infantry attack from the south-east. Extends from fort bovisand up the hill to watch house brake battery, then along to twelve acre brake battery and on to the south of brownhill battery, then turns north and runs as a scarp up to staddon fort. It is rock-cut except between watch house brake and twelve acre brake where it has been built as a ditch across a small combe. Its northern wall is formed by a freestanding battered and buttressed rubble stone wall, its southern by a dump of spoil forming a bank. Elsewhere it is revetted with masonry in places, e. G. Near fort bovisand, on the scarp to the east of watch house battery, in places along the scarp around brownhill battery. These are all marked on the os map. Enfiladed by gunfire from watch house brake battery, from twelve acre brake battery, and from the guns on the south flank of staddon fort. The section between watch house brake and bovisand is defended by a musket gallery in the scarp of the ditch below watch house brake battery. The southern end is defended by musketry galleries accessible from fort bovisand (plymouth fortress survey).

Pye, A. + Woodward, F., 1996, The Historic Defences of Plymouth, 193 (Monograph). SDV167752.

The condition, function and structural elements of the ditch are described.

Environment Agency, 1998-2017, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX4850,SX4950,SX4951 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017 (Cartographic). SDV361470.

The ditch is clearly visible as a substantial earthwork.

Historic England, 2014, NMR 29059, NMR 29059_029 13-JUN-2014 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363262.

Two loopholes are visible in the walling at the southernmost end of the ditch at approximately SX4883050670.

Historic England, 2014, NMR 29060, NMR 29060_030 13-JUN-2014 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363263.

A loophole is visible in walling at approximately SX4887050865.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

The substantial dry ditch and cuttings protecting the 19th century military forts at Staddon Heights are visible as earthworks with structural elements on aerial photographs taken from the 1940s onwards and on visualisations of lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017. East of Watch House Battery a wall, ditch and bank block access from the combe slopes. South of Staddon Fort the defence appears to cut into and enhance the natural slope, with segments of walling to augment it where valley slopes create weak points. Some of the detail, such as loopholes in the walling at the southern end and just south of Watch House Battery, is visible on oblique aerial photographs taken in 2014.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV138369Migrated Record:
SDV167752Monograph: Pye, A. + Woodward, F.. 1996. The Historic Defences of Plymouth. The Historic Defences of Plymouth. A4 Paperback. 193.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 2127-2128 10-DEC-1946.
SDV27236Migrated Record: PLYMOUTH FORTRESS SURVEY. 1992.
SDV351151Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2105. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/2105 RP 3138-3139 28-MAY-1947.
SDV351258Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/UK/871. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/871 RV 6107-6109 30-SEP-1945.
SDV361470Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2017. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SX4850,SX4950,SX4951 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017. [Mapped feature: #117119 unfinished, ]
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363262Aerial Photograph: Historic England. 2014. NMR 29059. Historic England Aerial Photograph. Digital. NMR 29059_029 13-JUN-2014.
SDV363263Aerial Photograph: Historic England. 2014. NMR 29060. Historic England Aerial Photograph. Digital. NMR 29060_030 13-JUN-2014.

Associated Monuments

MDV48751Parent of: Military Ditch at Bovisand Fort (Monument)
MDV48750Parent of: Military Ditch at Brownhill Battery (Monument)
MDV48748Parent of: MILITARY EARTHWORKS in the Parish of Wembury (Monument)
MDV17323Related to: Fort Bovisand, Wembury (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Oct 14 2019 6:32PM