HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV52991
Name:Gun emplacements in Battery Gardens, Brixham


Two gun emplacements forming part of the Emergency Coast Artillery Battery constructed in 1940 to protect Torbay. In between the emplacements are two gun crew war shelters. The emplacements are now used as park shelters.


Grid Reference:SX 921 569
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/93/3
  • Tide Project: 16/11/2023
  • Torbay HER: MTO52991

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COAST BATTERY GUN SITE (Built, World War II - 1940 AD to 1940 AD)

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1942, RAF/AC41, RAF/AC41 20 30-APR-1942 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352349.

No structures are visible in this location.

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2488, RAF/CPE/UK/2488 5227-5228 11-MAR-1948 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352767.

Two structures built into the hillslope are visible.

Royal Air Force, 1958, RAF/58/2549, NMR SX9256/26 RAF 30137/PSFO-P2-0069 27-AUG-1958 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351446.

The structures are visible.

Coleman, R., 1989, The Purpose and History of the Battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham, 4-6 (Monograph). SDV362008.

The main gun emplacements comprise two emplacements linked by a war shelter. The upper No. 2 gun floor is accessed via a tunnel from the upper ammunition store. It has the inscription '362 battery, 21/9/1940' at entrance. The gun floor retains loud speaker bracket. Another tunnel, now bricked up, leads to the shelter. A tunnel leads from the shelter to the lower, No. 1 gun floor which is identical to upper one. Another bricked-up tunnel leads from this towards the lower ammunition store.

Horner, B., 1994, Battery Gardens, Slide (Site Visit). SDV318352.

Site visit 14th April 1994. Two open-fronted gun emplacements now used as park shelters. In good condition.

Phil Newman, 2001, Battery Gardens, Brixham, Devon: An Archaeological Survey, 4-6, Fig 2, Pls 3-6 (Report - Survey). SDV362290.

Two 4.7" de-mounted naval guns formed the main armament of the battery, separated into 2 emplacements linked by a war shelter. The guns are terraced into the slope of the hill; the gun floors are level concrete with semi-circular front aprons facing Torbay defined by low brick walls. The flat roofs are of concrete and steel with canopied visors added as an anti-strafing measure.
Both gun emplacements are used as park shelters within the gardens, and are subject to vandalism and graffitti.

Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SX9256_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

Both structures are visible, although the easternmost appears to be affected by tree or scrub growth.

Newman, P. + Salvatore, J., 2003, An emergency coast artillery battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham, Torbay, 215-217, Fig. 4, Pl. 1 (Article in Serial). SDV318361.

The Emergency Coast Artillery Battery at Brixham is a rare survival of a complete Second World War battery which was built in 1940 as part of the defences of Torbay. The remains include two 4.7 gun emplacements. These are built into a step in the slope of the promontory close to the site of a 19th century gun shed. The emplacements each comprise a brick built gun house protected by earth with a flat steel and concrete roof with a level concrete platform with semi circular front aprons defined by a low brick wall. There is a narrow pathway leading out to the front from each.
The [eastern] No. 1 gun position has a large doorway, now blocked in the rear wall reached by a sunken, brick-lined pathway, now overgrown. The No. 2 gun position was accessible via a tunnel to the north-west corner of the structure.
Between the two emplacements is a war shelter of which only the north wall is now visible. This is constructed of concrete and has two blocked window openings. The interior was not accessible at the time of the survey.

Passmore, A. J., 2009, Archaeological Recording at Brixham Battery 2009 (Report - Assessment). SDV364302.

Archaeological recording of the No. 1 gun position of the Emergency Coast Artillery Battery at Battery Gardens was undertaken as a condition of planning consent for works to the gun position. The works include unblocking entrances to underground rooms at the rear of the gun floor and providing new displays in the war shelters. The recording was commissioned by the Brixham Battery Heritage Group.
The coastal battery was constructed in 1940 to provide defence for the anchorage and potential landing beaches in Torbay. It was also provided with several pieces of anti-aircraft artillery. It is a rare survival of a Second World War emergency battery, which is recognised in its status as a scheduled monument.
The gun house is built of brick. There are blocked recesses in the east and west walls, perhaps formerly used to store ammunition. At the rear of the gun house is an opening that gives access to a corridor leading to the south tunnel and the No. 1 gun crew war shelter. The entrance to the corridor and to the shelter were blocked in 1947 but have now been partially unblocked, with a new steel door providing entry to the corridor. The corridor is constructed in brick and the tunnel is concrete. The tunnel was probably used to store ammunition.
The No. 1 shelter was originally lit by a window, now blocked, in the north elevation where there is also a doorway, also now blocked. The scars of former fittings including a stove base and removed shelving can be seen. In the west elevation is an opening leading to the No. 2 shelter.
The No. 2 shelter was entered from the gun floor via a brick-lined passageway, now blocked. It is L-shaped due to an adjacent exterior coal store. It was lit by a window in the north elevation. Surviving fittings include two stove bases.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

The concrete base for the Second World War rocket projector at Brixham Emergency Coastal Battery is visible as a rectangular structure, circa 5.5 by 2.5 metres, on aerial photographs taken between 1948 and 2012. It appears to be sited in a platform which is indistinctly visible as an earthwork. An earthwork pit clearly visible to the east is likely to be associated, and may survive below tree cover.

Watts, S., 2023, Battery Gardens, Brixham (Ground Photograph). SDV365626.

General view of the war shelters and No. 1 gun emplacement.

Ordnance Survey, 2023, Mastermap 2023 (Cartographic). SDV365227.

Marked as shelters.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV318352Site Visit: Horner, B.. 1994. Battery Gardens. Slide. Slide.
SDV318361Article in Serial: Newman, P. + Salvatore, J.. 2003. An emergency coast artillery battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham, Torbay. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 61. 215-217, Fig. 4, Pl. 1.
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV351226Aerial Photograph: Channel Coast Observatory. 2001-2012. Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography. Channel Coast Observatory. Digital. Channel Coastal Observatory SX9256_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012.
SDV351446Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1958. RAF/58/2549. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR SX9256/26 RAF 30137/PSFO-P2-0069 27-AUG-1958.
SDV352349Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1942. RAF/AC41. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/AC41 20 30-APR-1942.
SDV352767Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2488. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/2488 5227-5228 11-MAR-1948.
SDV362008Monograph: Coleman, R.. 1989. The Purpose and History of the Battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham. The Purpose and History of the Battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham. Unknown. 4-6.
SDV362290Report - Survey: Phil Newman. 2001. Battery Gardens, Brixham, Devon: An Archaeological Survey. English Heritage. Unknown. 4-6, Fig 2, Pls 3-6.
SDV364302Report - Assessment: Passmore, A. J.. 2009. Archaeological Recording at Brixham Battery 2009. Exeter Archaeology. 09.115. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV365227Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2023. Mastermap 2023. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #141095 ]
SDV365626Ground Photograph: Watts, S.. 2023. Battery Gardens, Brixham. Digital.
Linked images:5

Associated Monuments

MDV39550Part of: Battery Gardens, Brixham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)
  • EDV7848 - Archaeological Survey by Phil Newman
  • EDV8950 - Archaeological recording at Brixham Battery (Ref: 09.115)

Date Last Edited:May 26 2024 5:30PM