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                                    Plymouth
1
Crownhill Fort 
Commenced
Completed
Cost                  £
Map Reference
Position
Type
Ditch
Guns
Barrack Accom.
Present use
History
Disposal
Condition
Access
Sources
1862 
1869 
76,409 
SX 487/592 
North Eastern Defences
Land front, polygonal 
Dry 
32 on  ramparts, 15 in caponiers
built for 300 men  
Landmark Trust, some areas rented
out as work units - open to visitors.
WW1 recruitment & transit depot,
later HQ Plymouth Garrison R.E.
1985/6 
Good, parts still under restoration
By arrangement with Landmark
Trust
Crownhill Fort
 D.Moore & P. Cobb
Constructed for 32 guns 
1893 
7 x 64pr. R.M.L. 
11 x 7-inch R.B.L. 
14 x 32pr. S.B.B.L.       
movable - 6 x 25pr. R.M.L.
Caponiers
Counterscarp
galleries
Haxo casemates
Moncrieff Pits
1 double 5 single 
None
1 double 4 single 
2
Crownhill Fort was constructed, as a result of the 1860 Royal Commission, to occupy the hill from
which it got its name. It was the key of the North Eastern Defences and was designed for an
armament of 32 guns on the ramparts, some in Haxo casemates, with 6 mortars in two mortar
batteries built into the north and north west ramparts. It has the usual polygonal trace of the 1860s
land forts with  a deep dry ditch cut into the native rock and caponiers at the salients.
The armament of the fort was revised and updated in in 1875-80 and in 1878-82 the south caponier
was used to formulate the approved drill for the 32pr. S.B.B.L. guns. In 1881 the fort was chosen by
the Lieut General of Artillery and Stores to be fully armed, with its peace armaments complete, as a
typical land fort, together with Southwick Fort at Portsmouth.
The fort was used during WW1 as a recruitment and transit depot for troops en-route to their Turkish
and African Fronts. Later during the inter-war years it was first a de-mobilisation depot, and after that
a base for the (then) new Corps of Royal Signals, a barrack for the 2nd. battalion the Royal
Devonshire Regiment, until WW2 when, after Dunkirk it was converted into a strong point in the
‘Plymouth Outer Ring Defences’. 
During the 1950s under ‘Operation Rotor’ it had a Gun Operations Room (G.O.R.), built for AA
Command, on the parade ground which incorporated part of the Officers barrack. Latterly it was the
H.Q. for Plymouth Garrison and the H.Q. of the Commando Support Squadron R.E. and despatched
647 troops and 1,897 tonnes of War material during the 1982 war. It was released 1985/6 and
acquired by the Landmark Trust, who are actively conserving and restoring it.
Armament
History and Description
www.victorianforts.co.uk
Victorian Forts

                                
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