PLYMOUTH FORTRESSES

as seen in official War Department maps and plans

another Steve Johnson Cyberheritage "content over style" heritage web page

Penlee Battery, a coastal work at left; at right, Woodland Fort to the north of Plymouth

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This is not a "Fort page" as such. I merely seek to provide you with what you may have found to be "hard to get" material. I hope you find it of use. Owing to lack of web space many maps are compressed which does lose detail, however this is beyond my control. Thanks are due to the friendly and helpful staff at the Local Studies section of Plymouth Central library.

AGATON FORT

FORT AUSTIN

EFFORD FORT and LAIRA FORT

EASTERN KING REDOUBT

ERNESETTLE BATTERY

FORDER BATTERY, EGGBUCKLAND KEEP and BOWDEN FORT

BOWDEN FORT and EGGBUCKLAND KEEP..the last keep built in the UK

BOWDEN FORT and EGGBUCKLAND KEEP...showing that huge defensive ditch

BOWDEN FORT, FORDER BATTERY and EGGBUCKLAND KEEP

GRENVILLE BATTERY

KNOWLES BATTERY

LAIRA BATTERY

MAKER BARRACKS

FORT PICKLECOMBE

RALEIGH BATTERY and HAWKINS BATTERY

RAME CHURCH BATTERY

SCRAESDON FORT and again

TREGANTLE DOWN BATTERY

BOVISAND FORT, WATCH HOUSE BATTERY and FROBISHER BATTERY

WESTERN KING BATTERY

WESTERN KING REDOUBT

WOODLAND FORT

for aerial photos of Scraesdon, Tregantle and Drakes Island, click here!..Napoleonic Fortifications

for 1971 ground photos of the buildings making Rame Church and Penlee Battery, click here! Penlee & Rame Batteries


Two maps here, almost identical, except one shows all the fortifications, while the other shows them as being ....err..um...spirited away....obviously concern over French onion sellers being Bonies` spies. This here is a really amateur effort of mine to show a little known aspect of Plymouths northern land defences. If you drive in an easterly direction along "the old A 38" known as Crownhill Road, once past Honicknowle or so, you will be conscious that on your left is a grassy bank/hedge. It is actually a man made defence work that provided cover (when the road level was lower) for troops and equipment to move from one fort to another while under fire....the fire passing over their heads. It had a second possible use and that would be as gun position for mobile artillery. The green line is a covered way/ditch that acted as a defensive work and as a possible means of communication. The yellow line shows this "bank"...it really kicks in and becomes obvious at the far right of the map....yes...where the map stops and I do not have the next bit! However this work is really very obvious so go and have a look. This map, as well as many War Department maps shows a mixture of data from many surveys.The ditch as shown by the green line really becomes a superb work of military engineering.

In this 1896 map the ditch can be seen for what a superb work it is. Note the bridges over it. Here and there today small bits of this ditch can be seen, most notably around the back parking area of Bircham View at Eggbuckland....a local school uses part of this ditch as a nature study and wildlife area.This section would run almost unbroken from Bowden Fort all the way to Efford Fort. Amazing. Once passing on from the Austin Fort area and working its way along to Efford, a veritable complex forms of covered ways, earthworks and ditches. For me it is truly one of Plymouth`s forgotten wonders. This effort by me shows the ditch running around the front of the fortifications and the bridges over it.

The ditch is now completely filled in, apart from as mentioned above. However its hidden existence underground seems to have determined the development of new properties, it has become their back gardens, and its rim, their back "lane."


not forts, but of interest

WORLD WAR II PUBLIC UNDERGROUND AIR RAID SHELTER AT VICTORIA ROAD SCHOOL hand drawn by Steve Johnson as seen by exploration after excavation.

A RATHER NIFTY LITTLE SKETCH OF A COASTAL DEFENCE GUN POSITION.......unknown artist

A VERY RARE MAP FROM 1812 OF THE ALTERNATIVE PLAN TO BUILD A BREAKWATER...OR TWO!! IN PLYMOUTH SOUND.

As things worked out these were not built, we have one in the centre of the sound instead, and it works well.The most notable idea in this map was to drive and blast a new waterway through Stonehouse to the Dockyard, turning Western King into an island. The thinking behind this was to seek to avoid the difficulties of turning a large sail driven vessel around the complex tidal and wind systems at the mouth of the Tamar. This was to be known as "NEW PASSAGE" and today this name lives on as a road "New Passage Hill" and as a memory of a public house (New Passage Inn)


A wee mystery? so ok....why is Agaton Fort called Agaton Fort...with the "fort" last, while Fort Austin is called Fort Austin...with the "fort" bit first??? This difference shows in contemporary maps.

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