Ancient Monuments

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Blockhouse at the Garden Battery

A Scheduled Monument in Maker-with-Rame, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3582 / 50°21'29"N

Longitude: -4.1718 / 4°10'18"W

OS Eastings: 245610.608325

OS Northings: 53172.400295

OS Grid: SX456531

Mapcode National: GBR NV.VVML

Mapcode Global: FRA 2843.4JV

Entry Name: Blockhouse at the Garden Battery

Scheduled Date: 23 April 1948

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004497

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 315

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Maker-with-Rame

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Maker

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a blockhouse, situated on a prominent headland, overlooking Plymouth Sound and the Hamoaze within Mount Edgcumbe Park. The blockhouse survives as a single storey battlemented building with a roof platform measuring approximately 6m square with walls of up to 1m thick. The main doorway to the landward side has drawbar holes; the second doorway is later. There are three splayed gun ports. The roof platform and stair are not original.

An inscription on the east wall (probably c.1800) recorded Carew's remarks that the blockhouse was in existence by 1602, restored to use in 1717 and later repaired and remounted with larger guns in 1800. This inscription has now been repaired and replaced (1980). The blockhouse was used in action against Parliamentary shipping during the Civil War. It was stormed and briefly captured in May 1644. The earliest certain reference to it was in 1586, although it is believed to have been built by Henry VIII in the 1540's.

The blockhouse lies within the Registered Park and Garden (1030) and is Listed Grade II* (61866).

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-437545

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Blockhouses are defensive structures of widely varying design built specifically to house a small artillery garrison and to protect the gunners and ammunition from attack. Usually stone built, each structure was designed and built to protect a particular feature or area; typically they were located to command a river, harbour entrance or anchorage. The main components of blockhouses were a tower and bastions or gun platforms, although in some cases only the tower or the bastion was present. The earliest known blockhouse dates to 1398, but the majority were built in the first half of the 16th century by Henry VIII. Distributed along the east, south and south west coasts, there are 27 examples which are known to survive in various states of repair, mostly now destroyed or incorporated into later military constructions. Surviving examples will illustrate the development of military defensive structures and of tactics and strategy during this period of rapid change following the introduction of firearms. They will also preserve something of the life and experience of the common soldier who was required to live and work within them. Despite later re-use and modification in various phases of maritime defence, the blockhouse at the Garden Battery survives well and was pivotal in the defence of Plymouth and the Hamoaze. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, re-use and changing technological improvements in maritime defence through time as well as its overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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