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Exploded Napoleonic practice redoubt on Butter Hill

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Exploded Napoleonic practice redoubt on Butter Hill

List entry Number: 1017785


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Bracknell Forest

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Crowthorne

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 08-Dec-1997

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28175

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Easthamstead Plain, the heathland plateau between Bracknell and Crowthorne, in 1792 was the scene of large scale military manoeuvres which have left an unusual combination of physical traces, and which appear to be unique in England. The exercises were designed to allow the Army to test its new Handbook of Military Manoeuvres, whilst sending signals of strength to continental Europe in the aftermath of the French Revolution. They boosted morale in an Army still shocked by its defeat at the hands of revolutionaries in the American War of Independence, and demonstrated the Crown's ability to maintain order in the event of any Republican unrest in Britain. The manoeuvres lasted from 23 July to 8 August 1792. They adopted the strategy of building infantry or artillery redoubts as part of defensive lines behind which infantry squares and cavalry could be deployed. In essence, this was the strategy later used successfully by Wellington, notably at Waterloo. At Easthamstead Plain, the Army practised attacking a defensive line including eight specially constructed earthwork redoubts. The surviving redoubts are the only documented examples in England of a full battlefield defensive system of the Napoleonic period, equivalent in significance to the slightly later Royal Military Canal in Kent which was built to oppose the anticipated French invasion. They are therefore all considered to be of national importance and worthy of protection.

The exploded redoubt on Butter Hill is a unique example, within the British Isles, of the mining engineering techniques of the British army in the Napoleonic period. In association with the other monuments which comprise the visible remains of the 1792 exercises, it provides evidence of the intended method of warfare at a critical time in the defensive history of Britain.


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


The monument includes the remains of one of a series of practice redoubts built in 1792 in a 2km long line running north west-east along the edge of a plateau formerly known as Easthamstead Plain. This redoubt lies on the summit of Butter Hill and is unusual in that it was deliberately mined and exploded by engineers as a climax to exercises watched by the Royal party, in order to demonstrate assault and engineering skills. The redoubt originally took the form of a small fieldwork. The monument measures approximately 42m across and, although originally square, is now roughly circular. It is enclosed by an upcast bank about 2m wide and 1m high surrounding a crater 3m deep and 30m wide. Easthamstead Plain, which lies north of Sandhurst Military College, contains many other examples of military training dating from the past 200 years, some of which are the subject of separate schedulings.

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.

Selected Sources

PRN 00378.10.000, Berkshire County Council SMR, Enclosure, Redoubt, (1991)
Title: Ordnance Survey Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:10000 Series

National Grid Reference: SU 85881 64209


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1017785 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jul-2018 at 09:02:24.

End of official listing