Report - - Raleigh Battery, Maker Heights, Cornwall, July 2018 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Raleigh Battery, Maker Heights, Cornwall, July 2018


28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
Constructed between March 1890 and August 1894, this costal defence barbette battery cost £4,963 to construct back in the day (about £600,000 in today's money). Originally intended to be a single 17-inch B.L. gun this counter bombardment battery was constructed between Hawkins battery and due-east of Maker Farm, on sloping land facing the sea, consisting of two 10-inch B.L. guns, one on an Elswick Ordnance Company Barbette mounting, the other on a Royal Carriage Department barbette mounting. They were located here to prevent ships lying at anchor off Cawsand Bay and to support Picklecombe Fort guarding approaches to Plymouth Sound.

The guns were side-by-side, separated by an underground magazines stores and linked by a tunnel that slopes down underneath a central earth traverse. There was one magazine to the north of the tunnel and two carriage stores (each with its own serving hatch) to the south. Each gun emplacement had an R.A. store, cartridge recess, a shell recess and a shelter for the gun crew, all built into the concrete gun apron. To the right of the right-hand gun emplacement was a water catchment area and tank. The caretaker’s office was on the opposite side which consisted of two bedrooms, a living room and a scullery. In between both of these were two Depression Range Finders (DRFs). Behind the left-hand battery was an oil store. There were no barracks and the battery was manned only at times of need.

Plan of Raleigh Battery:

Screenshot_20180724-222436_Drive by HughieDW, on Flickr

The guns remained in-situ until 1908 after which they were placed in reserve. They were dismantled two years later in 1910. The MOD finally abandoned the site completely in 1946.

2. The Explore
This was only a bit of a side recce as my main targets were Maker Battery and Grenville Battery. They both turned out to be fails and this one the best bit of the day. I’d seen the gun aprons on Google Maps so knew something remained of this two-gun battery and that is was relatively accessible. However, it completely surpassed expectations. Wished I’d had more time to spend there and get better pictures than I did. It’s a well-preserved battery and fortunately the idiots haven’t found it. I’ve done a lot of stuff in-and-around the Plymouth area and this place ranks right up there.

3. The Pictures
The right-hand battery with the Royal Carriage Department barbette mounting clearly visible:

img8297 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8295 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Close-up of the mounting:

img8296 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The left-hand gun emplacement (mounting not visible):

img8300 by HughieDW, on Flickr

One of the two Depression Range Finders (this is the one on the left):

img8302 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Down into the battery complex itself:

img8303 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Think this a shell recess and a shelter for the gun crew:

img8307 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This looks like some sort on motorised axle(?):

img8308 by HughieDW, on Flickr

West end of the tunnel connecting the two gun emplacements:

img8311 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…and looking out:

img8324 by HughieDW, on Flickr

An old enabled pan:

img8313 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Ground level in the left emplacement:

img8314 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8317 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The oil store is being reclaimed by nature:

img8338 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Inside the oil store:

img8315 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…with its reinforced roof:

img8316 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Into the tunnel looking east:

img8321 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The gate at the eastern end:

img8325 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Recess and brackets for the storage of side arms:

img8329 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The magazine passage with rooms off to the left and right, both with service hatches:

img8331 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Looking east from the middle of the tunnel:

img8332 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Filled Shell Store No. II to the north of the tunnel:

img8333 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Obligatory old tea-pot:

img8336 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Finally, the caretakers quarters:

img8341 by HughieDW, on Flickr
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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Very nice! That's probably the best condition I have seen of any of Plymouth old defenses.

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