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Dartmouth Bastion

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Gallant's Bower; Gallion's Bower; Galions Boure

In the civil parish of Dartmouth.
In the historic county of Devonshire.
Modern Authority of Devon.
1974 county of Devon.
Medieval County of Devon.

OS Map Grid Reference: SX88405021
Latitude 50.34112° Longitude -3.56965°

Dartmouth Bastion has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such, and also as a probable Artillery Fort.

There are no visible remains.


An unlocated earth bastion for six artillery pieces recorded in 1599 as part of the Dartmouth Harbour defences somewhere between Dartmouth Castle and the town, so possibly under Gallant's Bower a C17 artillery bastioned earthwork at SX883501, which was the site of a look-out station from before 1463.

Gallant's Bower was called 'Galions Boure' in 1463 when it was in use as a look-out although apparently not fortified. (PastScape ref. O'Neil 1935)

Gallant's Bower Civil War Fort visited in 1934 and on 17th July 1948. Fort crowned by the ruins of an earthwork thrown up in 1645, in preparation for an attack by parliamentary forces. A pentagonal earth fort with high curtain and angular bastions situated on the summit of the hill above Dartmouth Castle, to resist attack by land. The flanks of the bastions appear to be at an obtuse angle to the curtain. The entrance was probably in the northeast curtain but is now blocked by an overgrown wood. Another modern wall traverses the fort from north east to southwest. Otherwise it is in fine condition under bracken and a few trees. There is visual evidence of earlier fortification in the form of a motte and bailey as a river mouth defence work, flanking an extensive settlement enclosure which lay to the west and has been almost effaced by ploughing." (Department of Environment, 1950, Gallant's Bower Fort (Schedule Document). SDV173308)

The Civil War fortification has been well investigated without finding earlier work, however if the earlier work was of earth filled wicker gabions the remains would have been slight and easily destroyed by the later work.
The suggestion of a motte and baley at the site has not been taken up by any other castle studies expert, is not mentioned in the current scheduling report and appears to be fanciful.
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This record last updated 28/07/2017 07:55:12

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