Fog battery at Battery Point, Lundy


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016038

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Fog battery at Battery Point, Lundy
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 17:55:55.


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

County: Devon

District: Torridge (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: SS 12851 44922


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

The fog battery on the west coast of Lundy is a rare survival with most of its components still visible. Together these give a clear impression of how the fog battery operated, as well as illustrating the relations between domestic accommodation and the work place in a marginal coastal environment in the late-19th century.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a fog warning battery with two guns and associated buildings. These include a dam for the water supply, a cliff path, two cottages, privies and a powder magazine. The battery was operated by members of the Trinity House service who lived in the cottages with their wives. During foggy weather the sound of the guns was intended to warn shipping of the presence of the island since the lighthouse (now known as The Old Lighthouse) was often obscured. The complex was built in 1863. The Old Lighthouse is the subject of a separate scheduling. The buildings are well constructed of dressed stone and include two cottages placed back to back, sharing a slate roof. These were the living quarters for the operators. They were built on a platform quarried from the cliff and set about 25m above sea level. The privies are opposite the cottages, discharging over the cliff. There are the remains of the toilet bowls in the concrete floor. The magazine was attached to the privies and had a separate brick vaulted roof which also survives. Further down the cliff to the west is the battery, consisting of a granite building with a corrugated iron roof. In the event of an explosion this roof would have been blown away without damaging the surrounding buildings or endangering the operators. Flanking this building are two 18-pound cannon on a sloping floor of brick. The wheels of the guns are set in grooved granite setts and the recoil of the discharge was therefore absorbed by the slope of the floor and controlled by the tracks. The guns are of iron and bear the royal cypher GR indicating that they belong to the reign of George I. They were therefore obsolete when the battery was constructed. They have been spiked to prevent any further use. The whole group of buildings is accessed by a well-constructed cliff path with a granite retaining wall which passes the dam for a water supply and a water cistern in the small yard of the cottages. The dam is well preserved and retains a cast iron plate to control the flow of water. Above the cottages to the east is a small building used as a piggery or a coal store which is not as well constructed and is consequently more ruinous. There is a well in the ground to the west of the cottages with a granite lid so heavy it cannot be easily lifted. The purpose of this is unknown.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 27649

Legacy System: RSM


Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)

End of official listing