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Title:A History of Fort Charles, Salcombe, Devon
Originator:Stoyle, M. J.
Summary:Possibly abandoned after invasion scare of 1540s, but apparently active again by late 1641. In 1643 Prince Maurice commissioned Fortescue to rebuild the fort, which was "utterly ruined and decayed". By July 1644 it was ready to resist attack. Surrendered to Parliament in 1646, but a 1647 order for demolition does not seem to have been immediately obeyed since, in 1654, the Marlborough Parish Register records the burial of 'a soldier of Fort Charles'. How much longer it continued in service is unknown, but the fact that so little remained in 19C, coupled with persistent local tradition that it had been destroyed by Parliamentarians, suggests that it was abandoned & slighted before the restoration. Around 1800, Hawkins described the ground plan "of an irregular form, circular on the south & west and convex in part towards the northwest, but at the end to the northeast, nearest Salcombe, is narrowed to a point where the circular sweep terminates, while a straight wall, extending half the length of the fort, faces the high lands on the back quarter called 'The Berry' he went on to note that "the part towards the sea has nothing left except the remains of one porthole, which is on a level with the water and commands the entrance of the harbour", and added that "the northwest section, which is principally in the direction of the land, is now standing entire, built of hewn stone, and appears to be about 40 feet high and 6 or 7 thick. Near the top there are 2 portholes and 7 musket holes, which, as the land in the rear has an abrupt elevation, seems to be all that could be of any service on that quarter". At the end of the 19C a writer remarked that "a half-round tower facing towards the land is the principal surviving fragment", while more recent observers have noted that "the foundations of a larger D-shaped bastion with 6 or 7 gun-ports facing seaward can be discerned".

Associated Monuments (1)

MDV7025Salcombe Castle or Fort Charles (Monument)