Fort ScraesdonEdit profile
Scraesdon Fort, near the village of Antony, is one of several of the forts in South East Cornwall which formed part of the ring of forts surrounding Plymouth to protect Plymouth Sound and, in particular, Plymouth docks from enemy naval attack. They were built as a result of a decision in Lord Palmerston's premiership to deter the French from attacking naval bases in the south of England.
Scraesdon Fort was designed in 1859 at a cost of £137,000. It is constructed in the Land Front, polygonal, near octagonal format. It has a dry ditch, and was designed to have twenty seven 7-inch breech loading guns on the ramparts, although only eight were ever mounted.
The upper level is 254ft above mean sea level (AMSL) and the lower level is 173 feet AMSL.
The fort was used by the MOD as a training barracks, but it is currently empty, derelict and overgrown. It was used to train Royal Navy Artificer Apprentices from HMS Fisgard and HMS Raleigh; it is occasionally used now by Royal Marine Commandos recruits as part of their final exercise, as well as being used by local Territorial Army units. In August each year, Air Cadets (ATC) from Bristol and Glos. Wing travel down and spend a weekend of fieldtraining. 2392 (Thornbury) Squadron organise the event. Between September and November the fort is used as a weekend training centre for army and ATC cadets from Cornwall and Devon. The fort is also used for airsoft events on an ad hoc basis.
A military railway connected the fort with the River Lynher at Wacker Quay, near St. Germans. It also provided a link to the main fort on the Rame peninsula at Fort Tregantle. The railway ran underneath the metal bridge (as seen in the picture on the right) and down a gradient, then went underneath the current A374 road, and alongside Wacker Quay. The locomotive shed is still extant on the quayside, and other remnants of the railway can also be seen here. There was also an extensive marshalling area next to the east wall in the lower picture. The railway was used from 1893 to 1903.