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Melcombe Block House

In the civil parish of Weymouth.
In the historic county of Dorset.
Modern Authority of Dorset.
1974 county of Dorset.
Medieval County of Dorset.

OS Map Grid Reference: SY68027909
Latitude 50.61063° Longitude -2.45333°

Melcombe Block House has been described as a probable Artillery Fort.

There are no visible remains.


A fort 45ft square & built of stone, known as the Block House, stood, as near as can be ascertained, opposite the passage leading from St. Mary's - Maiden Street, called Blockhouse Lane. Mentioned in AD1568 & 1617 (Hutchin).
The area is covered by a modern building and roadway. No trace of antiquity was found (F1 JR 12-AUG-54). (PastScape)

{fort} was erected at the then entrance of the town upon the spot now occupied by Charloote Row, it was a square fort built of stone, and called the Block House, there were embrasures for eight guns, although only five were mounted. 10th of Queen Elizabeth the office of gunner (Vibellator) was granted to Richard Smith for life. (Ellis)

Presumably mainly built by the town of Melcombe (The area north of the harbour was town of Melcombe, with Weymouth being a separate town south of the harbour, until 1571 when they were united as one borough), rather than a royal defence or would be more recorded in royal documents although the royal appointment of the gunner suggests some royal funding. Could be any late medieval date but more probably Elizabethan than earlier. Ellis mentions other 'forts' at the harbour mouth and Grosvenor Place but these are not dated by him and were probably C17.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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