Page 16 - Plymouth Datasheets
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Victorian Forts                                             Plymouth                   7




                                               Raleigh Battery




               Commenced          28.03.1890                         Armament
               Completed          30.08.1894
               Cost                  £ 4,963                         1891
               Map Reference      SX 441513                          2 x 10inch B.L.
                                                                     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)

               History            Coast Defence until 1910           Caponiers          None

               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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