Berry Head was a Napoleonic Fort built to defend Torbay from the French, and was once an iron age fort. There are still the ruins of two large Napoleonic fortifications; North Fort and South Fort which are now Scheduled Ancient Monuments. All this sits in the Berry Head National Nature Reserve.
The South Fort
Layout of the South Fort from the Berry Head Visitor Information Boards
The Guardhouse and the Powder Magazine buildings which are just as you step across the moat and drawbridge
Ramparts of the South Fort
Lichen and plants growing on the top of the rampart walls
The kitchen building and the lookout pole
The Powder Magazine which has 4 foot thick walls
The Fort was built to establish a coastal defensive gun battery on the headland at Berry Head.
The North Fort
The Napoleonic Fort Guardhouse 1802, Grade 2 listed building, now a lovely visitor centre and cafe
There was accommodation for up to 600 infantry militiamen and artillerymen forming the garrison. Overcrowded squalid conditions were reported with wives and children crowded into one room with a curtain for privacy. There was very limited open space and poor ventilation. No toilet/washing facilities were provided inside the barracks and a wooden tub placed in the centre of the room served as a urinal at night. Records from the time show higher than usual mortality among the soldiers’ children at Berry Head.
After a hundred and twenty-five years, the Second World War brought the Army back to the Forts. It served three main purposes:
a signal station
an anti-aircraft gun site
an aircraft reporting post
A Royal Observer Corps post (underground bunker) was installed and to be used to monitor and report radioactive fall-out following a nuclear attack.
The R.O.C. post was adapted from one of the surviving roofless stone buildings, being given a protective cover with observation slits.
Hopefully these photos will give you an idea of the scale of the Nature Reserve and the lovely areas where everyone comes to stretch their legs
Images from the top of Berry Head which is 200 feet up the cliff face
...and just in case you didn't believe me, here I am standing on the edge looking down at some walkers on the rocks below. It wasn't a windy day!
Beautiful view out across Torbay from the end of Berry Head
Some of my feathered friends having a rest as I walked back home along the coastal path, I wonder if any of them are my rescued chicks?
I have been away in London with work which has taken time out of my week, preparing and travelling, not to mention recovering....it's such a busy, noisy place!
Anyway I hope to catch up with everyones posts over the next few days
Have a good weekend