The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Battery at The Castle, Knowle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SS48883823
Latitude 51.12349° Longitude -4.16080°

Battery at The Castle, Knowle has been described as a Artillery Fort but is rejected as such.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Said to be an Elizabethan battery, but may have been built in mid 19th century. Consists of a raised platform cut from a rock outcrop at the south end of the earthworks. Terrace constructed in 1850 to house 2 cannons from wreck of HMS Weazle. (Mills, A. 1996) Supposed Elizabethan Battery.
1. Visited 30/09/1953. Local resident remembers Elizabethan type guns standing on this platform. It was a defensive site against the Spanish invasion.
2. Visited 06/10/1953. The site consists of a raised platform, 12 metres north to south and 8 metres east to west, cut from rock outcrop which ends abruptly in the uncut rock face on the north. It is surrounded on three sides by weak mortared walling, to the level of the platform which thus has a vertical drop of average 1.7 metres. The north side has no walling and is the only blind side for elsewhere the site commands a fine view. (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1954) Notes on Woollcombe Manuscript seen at Devon and Exeter Institute. Woollcombe visited site, half a mile from Braunton, above confluence of Taw and Torridge, on 24/08/1843. Found no sign of early camp only 'modern' fort with small cannon. Adjacent fields cultivated, possibly banks destroyed. (Unknown 1984). (Devon Historic Environment Record)

The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on prominent ridge overlooking the Caen Valley. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosure measuring up to 165m long by 120m wide internally, defined by a single rampart and buried outer ditch. Within the enclosure on the southern side is a terraced rectangular area defined by mortared masonry which was constructed in 1850 to house two cannons from the wreck of HMS Weasel. (Scheduling Report)

Its origin and purpose are unclear, however it was almost certainly not built as a gun platform. The land is owned by Buckland Barton (SS 43 NE 8) and the stance affords fine views of the house and farm buildings 0.75 km to the SW. It may therefore have been constructed as a viewing platform perhaps in the C19. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments–F2 MJF 23-OCT-89)

The Castle is a Iron Age hillfort. This can certainly be safely dismissed as an Elizabethan artillery work.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:04

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact