Coastal defence platforms at the Mousehole and Trap, Lundy


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Coastal defence platforms at the Mousehole and Trap, Lundy
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 13819 46859

Reasons for Designation

Lundy is a small, steep sided island in the Bristol Channel, 16m north of Hartland Point, north Devon. Aligned north-south, it is 6km long by 1km wide and supports a predominately moorland vegetation. The 100m high cliffs and tabular form give it a striking appearance, visible in clear weather from parts of south west England and south Wales. Lundy's remoteness and (until the 19th century construction of the Beach Road) its inaccessibility, combined with a lack of shelter and cultivable soils, has meant that it has escaped more recent occupation or development. It therefore preserves a remarkable variety of archaeological sites from early prehistory (c.8000 BC) onwards, representing evidence for habitation, fortification, farming and industry. There are also archaeological remains in the waters surrounding the island - over 150 shipwrecks are already recorded. Most of the island's archaeology is well documented from detailed survey in the 1980s and 1990s.

Around Lundy's coast, and situated both in cliff top and shoreline positions, is a series of structures designed to defend the island. These varied in form and scale from the stronghold now known as Marisco Castle, to the smaller and more ephemeral gun platforms built to support musketeers. That these positions were principally for the purpose of preventing a landing is supported by their location above and around the more vulnerable bays and beaches, such as the Landing Bay and Jenny's Cove. Although the precise dating and function is unclear, it is likely that some will date to the time of the Civil War, while others may relate to coastal piracy which was prevalent in the Bristol Channel between the 15th and 18th centuries. These two defensive platforms are in good condition although the retaining walls of the larger platform are subject to erosion. They are associated with the battery at Brazen Ward 150m to the south, acting as a defence against landings in the bay to the south of the Mousehole and Trap.


The monument includes two small revetted platforms on the cliff below the Mousehole and Trap on Lundy's east side. These were probably battery platforms constructed at the same time as the Brazen Ward battery 150m to the south. The main platform measures 9m by 3.5m and has been formed by quarrying out a shelf from the cliff and revetting the base with a 2m high drystone granite wall and building low protective walls around the three outward facing sides to the east, north and south. These walls are now represented by a line of boulders. The second platform is smaller and stands 6m to the south. This measures 2m by 0.5m and has no protective wall. This is revetted on the south east side by a drystone granite wall three to four courses high. These platforms complement the battery at Brazen Ward to the south and they afford good visibility across the bay and out to sea. They are not substantial enough to be cannon platforms but were used for musketeers in time of attack.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

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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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