Blockhouse at the Garden 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.


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1004497.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2021 at 14:55:40.


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)
National Grid Reference:

Reasons for Designation

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.


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


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

Legacy System number:
CO 315
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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].