Battery and Royal Commission fortification called Grenville Battery


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
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Reasons for Designation

The term battery refers to any place where artillery is positioned to allow guns to cover a particular area such as a line of communication or the approaches to a defended location. Batteries not contained within forts or castles were either open, with some approaches left undefended or enclosed often with a loopholed wall, ditch and/or fence designed to repel small scale attacks. Battery design evolved over time with developments in artillery. The guns and gunners were typically protected by a raised parapet with guns firing through embrasures. The gun carriages were supported on timber or stone platforms known as barbettes. In the 18th century, traversing guns using carriages mounted on pivots were increasingly employed. By the late 19th century guns were mounted in increasingly sophisticated emplacements, often with integrated magazines. The Royal Commission fortifications are a group of related sites established in response to the 1859 Royal Commission report on the defence of the United Kingdom following an invasion scare caused by the strengthening of the French Navy. These fortifications represented the largest maritime defence programme since the initiative of Henry VIII in 1539-40. The programme built upon the defensive works already begun at Plymouth and elsewhere and recommended the improvement of existing fortifications as well as the construction of new ones. There were eventually some 70 forts and batteries in England which were due wholly or in part to the Royal Commission. These constitute a well-defined group with common design characteristics, armament and defensive provisions. Whether reused or not during the 20th century, they are the most visible core of Britain's coastal defence systems and are known colloquially as `Palmerston's follies'. The Battery and Royal Commission fortification called Grenville Battery was a much re-used and strategically important coastal defence which will retain a great deal of archaeological and architectural information regarding the developments in coastal defence through time.


The monument includes a battery and Royal Commission fortification, situated on the strategically-important Rame peninsula, overlooking Cawsand Bay. The battery survives as a roughly triangular stone and brick-built structure with an outer protective gorge and includes a gatehouse, barracks, stone paved ramparts, gun emplacements, magazines, musket gallery and ancillary buildings.

Originally built between 1760 and 1791 as part of the Maker Redoubt line and then named 'Maker No 4 (North Gloucester) Redoubt', it formed part of a group of temporary defensive structures connected with the War of American Independence and was intended to form part of a long defensive line of bastions to a larger fort which was never built. The battery had 15 gun embrasures. It was disarmed in 1815. Re-armed in 1849 and remodelled in 1887, when much of the earlier redoubt was retained with a reinforced sea-facing wall and bomb proof accommodation being added. In 1899 it was renamed 'Grenville Battery' and was intended to defend against battleship bombardment. The earlier ordnance was replaced and then moved to Maker Battery, and yet more replacement guns were installed in 1890 or 1892. In 1908 it was down-graded to a practise battery but was modified again in 1909 to carry three guns and subsequently post and telephone rooms were added. During the First World War it was armed with three guns then disarmed after 1927. The emplacements were re-used in the Second World War and at least one surviving building dates to this period. It was abandoned as a military establishment in 1948.

The battery is unusual in having a pitched and tiled roof and with the only defences to the landward side being provided by musketry loops and the ditch.

The battery is Listed Grade II (61723).

Other military redoubts in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-437659


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CO 831
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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