The History of the Berry Head Fortifications in Full

placeholder gifThe History of the Berry Head Fortifications in Full

Together with those of Maker Heights (now in Cornwall, but part of Devon then) the fortifications of Berry Head form the most impressive defences in the West Country to survive from the time of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Their purpose and function is possibly not apparent to the tens of thousands of visitors who come to the headland every year; in part because of the demolition at the end of the Napoleonic War of the temporary barrack blocks which had once filled the site, and of the disappearance of the sea ward-facing batteries which were their raison d'etre, but also because eighteenth-century fortifications are relatively unfamiliar to English people and their purpose not properly understood.

It may, for example, strike the visitor as odd that coast defence fortifications should face inland; yet in such a situation as Berry Head it would have been pointless erecting massive works on the sides facing the sea, as ships' guns of the time would have been unable to elevate their guns sufficiently to bear on the cliff top.

Some protection against musketry was all that was required from that angle. The real threat to coast defence guns lay in their being captured by a raiding force which had been landed further down the coast, possibly unknown to the defenders, and the rear of such works therefore had to be strongly fortified...

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Technical Information (Metadata)
Technical Information (Metadata)
Title Value
Item  
Identifier ref 370
Creator D Evans
Publisher Torbay Library Services
Rights Torbay Library Services
Source Torbay Library Services
Subject Maritime. Fortifications. Brixham
Type manuscript
Keywords construction soldiers plans costs politics