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©  Catherine Brown

IoE Number: 61671
Photographer: Catherine Brown
Date Photographed: N/A
Date listed: 26 January 1987
Date of last amendment: 26 January 1987
Grade II

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SX 35 SE ANTONY5/16Tregantle Fort

SX 35 SE ANTONY 5/16 Tregantle Fort II Fort. 1865. Snecked rockfaced limestone rubble with stone dressings. Irregular 6- sided plan, with gatehouse to south east, keep to east, barrack blocks along south and 3 caponiers facing west. The principal armament was smooth bore breech-loading 32-pounders. The gatehouse has round-arched entrance with rockfaced banded rustication with keystone and latern overthrow, lettering: TREGANTLE FORT, double panelled studded doors. Bull nose moulding stepped up over parapet over archway with 2 blind recessed shields. Gatehouse has quadripartite brick vaulting with door to right and left to vaulted chambers. Inner archway is plain, round-headed, in granite, with circular stone sentry-box to right with round-arched opening and squint lancet to each side. EVII letter box set in wall to left. To left of gatehouse, 7 bays with round arches in stonework, each arch over a segmental-headed gun casement with lancet to each side and horizontal opening over; bull nose moulding continued over, with brick parapet and 7 stacks heating barrack blocks. 2-storey ravelin to left end, with 2 gun casements to side at ground and first floor level, one to front. To right of gatehouse, the outer side of the keep has wall ramped up to right and left, with 8 similar round arches in stonework with similar openings, and at upper level, 5 segmental-headed gun casements. Walls to right built up with earthworks. Inside the fort, along the south east range, 6 bays of barrack blocks with round arches recessed, over door with 12-pane sash to each side. Along the southern range, the blocks are splayed, of 3 bays and 8 bays. 3-bay range has round arches, with 24-pane sashes at first floor and doors and 12-pane sashes at ground floor, some blocked. Main barrack range of 8 bays has round arches, each over 3 sashes, each over 3 sashes at first floor, with cill band course and upper band course, central rectangular opening over sashes; ground floor has central door with overlight and sash to each side in each bay. Parapet and coping with stack to each bay. 2 windows at each end without arches over, and door to each end. This range is splayed back to right end with one and 4 similar bays, than parapet steps down to lower 1½ storey range with 3 and 6 bays of round arhces, doors and sashes, leading up to south west caponier. The keep, to the east side, is semi-circular fronted facing inwards, of 2 storeys. The keep has round arches, each over triplet opening, large to centre with lancet to each side, with horizontal opening over. Bull nose moulding over and 12 bays above each with central casement with segmental head and keystone; 3rd bay from east has segmental-headed doorway with stepped head, granite voussoirs and keystone. Sockets remain for drawbridge over ditch, now fixed bridge. Railings along ditch parapet wall. Inside the fort, intersections of roads have piers on chamfered plinths, with flat top and carved raised crests of regiments. To north west, 2 circular gun emplacements with brick vaulted roofs, shackles to sides and metal circular gun pivot tracks. The parapet is stepped up over these. 3 raised caponiers to west. In 1859, A commisson was formed by Palmerston, "to consider the Defences of the United Kingdom", after the pressure of public opinion following the news that the French Navy were building iron-clad warships. The design of the forts was in the hands of the Royal engineers, in the person of Colonel, later Lt. General, Sir W.F. Drummond Jarvis RE. Tregantle Fort was one of the outer line of forts defending Plymouth. The estimated cost was £189999, but on completion in 1865, the final cost was found to be £189119. The fort was designed for 35 guns, (12 to bear upon the front), excluding the lighter guns for the defence of the ditch. Situated roughly 360 feet above sea level, with ditches on the east, north and west sides, reverted scarps and counterscarps flanked by the western caponiers, Tregantle commanded a very extensive view. The total number of guns at Tregantle was 87. In 1866, Coast Bridgate RA quartered a regular element at Tregantle. In 1882 it was manned by the Garrison Artillery Coast Bridge with only 6 other ranks. From 1900 to 1903, the Infantry Battalion were headquartered there and the unit consisted of 14 officers and 423 other ranks. From 1903, the ranges were used for musketry training. (Sources: Rawlings, K.J.: Defence Works Plymouth Area 1300-1983. 1984)

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