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:MDV9593
Name:Redoubt at Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham


Redoubt comprising a three sided rampart with 18 gun embrasures cutting off the neck of the headland. There is a roughly central gateway with a long walled passage behind. In front is a dry moat. At the northern end is a sea-facing battery platform.


Grid Reference:SX 294 056
Map Sheet:SX20NE
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Ecclesiastical ParishTORBAY
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/4/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 245
  • Tide Project: 28/08/2020
  • Torbay HER: MTO9593

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RAMPART (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1795 AD (Between) to 1807 AD (Between))
  • REDOUBT (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1795 AD (Between) to 1807 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Shown as Old Redoubt.

Waterfield, R., 1932, Proceedings at the Seventy-First Annual Meeting, held at Paignton, 20th to 24th June, 1932, 42-43 (Article in Serial). SDV362423.

Part of the moat remains, and within the walls are the remains of the former buildings, including the magazine, guardhouse, etc. The forts were begun in 1803 on the site of huts occupied by troops stationed there to repel a possible French invasion. Three were planned, but only two built. Usually garrissoned by militia regiments with artillery details to man the armaments.

Ancient Monuments Inspectorate, 1950, Old redoubt at Fort No. 3 Berry Head, Brixham (Schedule Document). SDV317861.

Old redoubt at Fort No.3, Berry Head, Brixham. The redoubt is ditched on the landward side, consisting of a wall of fine limestone masonry, retaining an earthbank with a gate in the centre walls bent at an angle of 120 degrees, and continued in light masonry along the sides of the barrack area. There are casemates along the top of the bulwark.

Hicks, C. E., 1951, Early banking in Brixham, 205 (Article in Serial). SDV317867.

Built during the Napoleonic wars when Torbay was the general rendezvous for the English Channel fleet.

County Borough of Torbay, 1967, Berry Head (Monograph). SDV362520.

Description and photo.

Department of Environment, 1975, Borough of Torbay, 3 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV362418.

North-east redoubt with revetment and roll moulded string, embrassures above gateway. Originally polygonal but northern part has been quarried away.

Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology, 1977, Development File Nos 16 and 45 (Report - non-specific). SDV317869.

Excavations have been carried on at Berry Head by Brixham Museum since 1973. Work has concentrated on the Napoleonic-period structures and nothing of a pre 19th century date is known to have been found.
In January 1977 work was being undertaken within scheduled area without Department of Environment (DoE) notification. However, as a result of a site meeting attended by DoE inspectors on 27th September 1977, Brixham Museum were allowed to continue excavation in close consultation with DoE. Among underground features revealed prior to 1977 were stone shafts and passages. A watching brief by the Devon Committee for Rescur Archaeology in December 1977 during construction work of radio mast by PSA noted a similar tunnel at SX9464 5657.

Department of Environment, 1989, Berry Head Fort and battery and Hardy's Head Battery (Correspondence). SDV317876.

Scheduled monument consent granted for repair of stonework to gun emplacements.

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 8, 9, Figs 8, 17, Plates 8-11 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

The fortifications appear to be shown on the OS surveyor sketches of 1803-4, suggesting they were complete by this time, although the line may be that of the 'Roman' rampart shown on earlier maps.

Department of Environment, 1990, Berry Head Fort and battery and Hardy's Head Battery (Correspondence). SDV317877.

Schedule monument consent granted for reinforcing access to underground passage system.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 15-16, Figs 12, 13, Plates 13-18 (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

The defences were built 1795-1804. The wall of the redoubt cut off the neck of the headland and was flanked by musketry walls on either side. On the landward side is a stone revetted rampart, fronted in part by a shallow dry moat, with 18 gun embrasures and a platform for a sea-facing battery at its northern end. Flanking walls circa 0.5 metres thick, of roughly dressed limestone rubble ran down to the shore from each end. Most of the southern one survives.
The continuous enceinte is in three sections of which the central one contains the main gateway, consisting of an earthen rampart 21 metres broad at its base, with a revetment of roughly dressed limestone rubble. This is battered at circa 85 degrees and has quoins of finely dressed limestone blocks. Overall the outer wall is circa 5 metres high. Towards the north a break of build is visible, perhaps indicating that the northern platform was added as an afterthought.
Fronting the central section is a dry moat which is at its deepest (2.3 metres) in front of the gateway, which survives virtually complete, although without the original drawbridge or the (presumably timber) gate behind it, recesses and fittings for both of which are evident.

Watts, M. + S., 2020, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Ground Photograph). SDV363853.

Photos of buildings and structures within the former Napoleonic fort.

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

Feature depicted.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 1208194 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

Ramparts, revetments, north battery platform, north and south musketry walls of northern fort.
1795-1807. Probably designed by Lt-Col Alexander Mercer. Ramparts and musketry walls of roughly coursed squared Devonian limestone rubble; gate piers and gun embrasures of ashlar.
Ramparts cut off the neck of the northern promontary of Berry Head, protecting the seaward-looking artillery batteries from landward attack. The ramparts are 3-sided with 18 gun embrasures; roughly central gateway with long walled passage behind. Dry moat in front, deepest next to the gate. Adjoining the northern rampart is a battery platform, protected on its south-western side by a long musketry wall. A short stretch of musketry wall has survived on its north-eastern side, but most has been destroyed by quarrying. A substantial stretch of the southern musketry wall survives.
See listing description for full details.
Date first listed: 18th October 1949
Date of most recent amendment: 18th October 1993

Sources / Further Reading

SDV317861Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments Inspectorate. 1950. Old redoubt at Fort No. 3 Berry Head, Brixham. The Schedule of Monuments. Hardcopy.
SDV317867Article in Serial: Hicks, C. E.. 1951. Early banking in Brixham. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 83. Hardback Volume. 205.
SDV317869Report - non-specific: Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology. 1977. Development File Nos 16 and 45. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Development File. Worksheet.
SDV317876Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1989. Berry Head Fort and battery and Hardy's Head Battery. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV317877Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1990. Berry Head Fort and battery and Hardy's Head Battery. Schedule Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV362418List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1975. Borough of Torbay. Historic Houses Register. 3.
SDV362423Article in Serial: Waterfield, R.. 1932. Proceedings at the Seventy-First Annual Meeting, held at Paignton, 20th to 24th June, 1932. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 64. Hardback Volume. 42-43.
SDV362493Report - Survey: Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D.. 1990. Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. EMAFU 90.10. Hardcopy + Digital. 15-16, Figs 12, 13, Plates 13-18.
Linked documents:1
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. 8, 9, Figs 8, 17, Plates 8-11.
Linked documents:1
SDV362520Monograph: County Borough of Torbay. 1967. Berry Head. Berry Head. Paperback.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #126835 ]
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1208194.
SDV363853Ground Photograph: Watts, M. + S.. 2020. Berry Head Fort No. 3. Digital.
Linked images:14

Associated Monuments

MDV20080Part of: Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)
MDV9594Related to: Earthwork on Berry Head, Brixham (Monument)
MDV123992Related to: Southern musketry wall at Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7797 - Architectural Survey by DA Buildings Section 1988
  • EDV7832 - Documentary research on the Berry Head Fort
  • EDV7834 - Archaeological Assessment of the Berry Head Forts

Date Last Edited:Mar 29 2024 4:52PM