Page 16 - Plymouth Defences
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Victorian Forts                                                 Plymouth                     7





                                            Raleigh Battery




          Commenced            28.03.1890                           Armament
          Completed            30.08.1894
          Cost                  £ 4,963                             1891
                                                                    2 x 10inch B.L.
          Map Reference        SX 441513                            1895-1910
          Position             East of Maker Heights                1 x 10-inch B.L. gun
                                                                    on Elswick Ordnance Company barbette mounting.
          Type                 Coast Defence barbette battery       1 x 10-inch B.L. gun
          Ditch                None                                 on Royal Carriage Department barbette mounting.
          Guns                 2
          Barrack Accom. None
          Present use          derelict (bee hives inside)

                                                                    Caponiers           None
          History              Coast Defence until 1910

          Disposal             1946                                 Counterscarp        None
          Condition            Overgrown and derelict               galleries
          Access               Open
                                                                    Haxo casemates None
                               1868 report : Precis of Correspondence relating to
          Sources              the Defences of Plymouth 1893. Historic Defences
                               of Plymouth by A. Pye and F. Woodward  Moncrieff Pits    None

          History and Description


           Originally proposed as a battery for one 17-inch B.L. gun in 1885, Raleigh Battery was constructed, between 1890 and 1894, to the
           south and east of Hawkins Battery and Maker Farm on sloping land facing the sea. Its primary purpose was as a counter-bombardment
           role,  to prevent ships from lying at anchor in the sea off Cawsand Bay and to assist Fort Picklecombe in commanding the approaches
           to the Sound.
           The battery consists of two barbette emplacements, side by side, but separated by the underground magazine stores. The emplacements
           face almost due south. A tunnel from the left emplacement slopes down through the magazine main passage, underneath a central earth
           traverse, to the right emplacement. At each end of this passage is a recess with brackets for the storage of side arms. To the south of
           this magazine passage are the two cartridge stores which are accessed via a shifting lobby. This also served as the lighting passage,
           with two lamp recesses serving each store. Each cartridge store has a serving hatch onto the magazine passage.  Two more lamp
           recesses were built into the wall of the magazine passage, those at the ends needing a grating set into the floor to allow the lamps to be
           inserted because of the slope of the passage upwards at each end towards the gun emplacements. To the north of the magazine passage
           is the shell store with a central doorway. This has a single lamp recess either side of the door. A lamp room was built into the seaward
           side of the concrete apron of the right access tunnel. An oil and paint store  is situated to the rear of the right emplacement. Each gun
           emplacement is provided with an R.A. store, a cartridge recess, a shell recess and a shelter for the crew built into the concrete apron of
           the emplacement. Behind each emplacement is a Depression Range Finding pillar.

           To the rear of the left gun emplacement, a water catchment area provided fresh water held in storage tanks. The whole of the battery
           was surrounded by a Morton's steel palisade fence, 9ft. 3ins high. In four places this was formed into bastion shaped projections,
           possibly for flank defence from within (nothing of this now survives, apart from portions of post). This fence was surrounded by a wall
           with a hedge outside. To the rear of the right gun emplacement is a caretaker's cottage consisting of two bedrooms, a living room and
           scullery with a coal yard and verandah. The battery had no barrack accommodation and was to be manned in time of need only. The
           two emplacements are for totally different mountings, one being the Royal Carriage Department mounting, the other for the Elswick
           Ordnance Company mounting. These appear to be the two test mountings for the 10-inch B.L. first fired at South Hook Fort but not
           adopted into the service and as such Raleigh battery is unique. The guns remained in place until 1908 when they were placed in
           reserve. They were dismounted by 1910 and the MOD abandoned the battery in 1946. The site is now derelict and overgrown but
           intact.




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