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HER Number:MDV71168
Name:Southern gun platform at Dartmouth Castle


One of two gun platforms built in the 16th century to supplement the defences of the gun tower.


Grid Reference:SX 886 503
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishST.PETROX

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old SAM County Ref: 24234(P)
  • Tide Project: 16/04/2020

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (Built, XVI - 1539 AD to 1544 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of National Heritage, 1996, Dartmouth Castle (Schedule Document). SDV320377.

The southern gun platform is capable of providing a base for three guns. The surviving openings or embrasures in the platform walls are 18th century remodellings. The 17th - 19th century guns mounted on reproduction gun carriages were recovered from Dartmouth Quay where they were being used as bollards.

Young, G. M., 2004, Dartmouth Castle: Phase 2 Condition Survey Works. Archaeological Watching Brief and Recording, 6 (Report - Survey). SDV320380.

Repairs and alterations were undertaken at Dartmouth Castle between May 2003 and March 2004. The work involved building recording of the Square and Round Towers of the 'Gun Tower' and the north and south 'Gun Platforms'. The modern surface of the Southern Gun Platform was removed revealing a large brick built reservoir capped by a limestone flag at the north end with a small water tank in the northwest corner. The reservoir appeared to underlie most of the area. Other features exposed included an area of cobbles and a large granite slab covering a drain. Six small pits were excavated to a depth of circa 0.3 metres which confirmed the present ground level was considerably higher than the original level and showed that the exposed area comprised late features, disturbances and make-up levels. The presence of reused cobbles may indicate an earlier floor surface. Other details: Figure 2.

Sharpe, A., 2016, Dartmouth Castle, Devon. Conservation Management Plan 2016, Gazetteer No. 14 (Report - Assessment). SDV361934.

One of a pair of small open air paved gun platforms that were built adjacent to the gun tower between 1539 and 1544. Both were designed for larger, more powerful cannon than had originally been installed in the gun tower. The three east facing embrasures in the parapet wall are 18th century in date but are probably modifications of the originals. A fourth embrasure was possible lost when a small toilet adjacent to the gun tower was added in the 19th century. The platform is sub-triangular in plan and it is possible that part of the southern end was truncated for the rebuilding of St Petrox Church in 1642.
As extensions to the original defences of the gun tower the platforms are an important part of the history of the development of the defences of the castle.
See gazetteer for full details.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

Area of gun platform shown.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV320377Schedule Document: Department of National Heritage. 1996. Dartmouth Castle. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV320380Report - Survey: Young, G. M.. 2004. Dartmouth Castle: Phase 2 Condition Survey Works. Archaeological Watching Brief and Recording. Exeter Archaeology Report. 04.38. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6.
SDV361934Report - Assessment: Sharpe, A.. 2016. Dartmouth Castle, Devon. Conservation Management Plan 2016. Cornwall Archaeological Unit. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. Gazetteer No. 14.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #124492 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV127684Part of: Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV8519Related to: Artillery fort at Dartmouth Castle (Building)
MDV71169Related to: Belvedere at Dartmouth Castle (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 16 2020 10:04AM