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Remains of Frederick's Battery on Plymouth Hoe

A Grade II Listed Building in Plymouth, City of Plymouth

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Latitude: 50.3631 / 50°21'47"N

Longitude: -4.1364 / 4°8'11"W

OS Eastings: 248144

OS Northings: 53644

OS Grid: SX481536

Mapcode National: GBR RC9.C5

Mapcode Global: FRA 2872.LCJ

Plus Code: 9C2Q9V77+6C

Entry Name: Remains of Frederick's Battery on Plymouth Hoe

Listing Date: 25 January 1954

Last Amended: 10 January 2020

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1386214

English Heritage Legacy ID: 473598

Location: St. Peter and the Waterfront, Plymouth, PL1

County: City of Plymouth

Electoral Ward/Division: St Peter and the Waterfront

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Plymouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Tagged with: Artillery battery

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Remains of Frederick’s Battery, built 1754 and partially demolished in 1888.


Frederick’s Battery comprises the remains of a battery built in 1754. Located within the lower fort of the Royal Citadel, the tower was largely demolished in 1888. It is constructed from limestone rubble, with dressed Dartmoor granite quoins. It has a rectangular plan, projecting to the west and with a retaining wall returning back to the cliff at the east end. The southern walls are battered and the projecting western section contains a C20 flagstaff. The base of the battery is concealed beneath the late-C19 *Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club.

* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club is not of special architectural or historic interest, however any works which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require LBC and this is a matter for the LPA to determine.


In the late-C16, in response to a threat of sea-attack by the Spanish on Plymouth, an artillery fort was built on the eastern part of Plymouth Hoe, protecting the entrance to Cattewater and the harbour in Sutton Pool. In the mid-C17, the fort was incorporated into and became the Citadel (a Scheduled Monument), a six-bastioned walled fortification constructed in response to another threat of war, this time from the Dutch.

In the early 1750s preparations began to strengthen the Citadel, again as it was clear that war between the allies and France was inevitable. Work began in 1753 by General Ligonier on the building of upper and lower Ligonier’s Batteries constructed on top of a rock outcrop on the shoreline in the lower fort part of the Citadel. In 1754 Frederick’s Battery was built to the east of the Ligonier’s Batteries, also placed on a rock outcrop with its defensive angle facing west. The battery was mounted with five guns.

Frederick’s Battery is first clearly shown on the 1856 Ordnance Survey (OS) Town Plan of Plymouth where it is named as Frederick’s Battery. At this time the structure projected south from the lower fort, with lower Ligonier’s Battery to the west and Cumberland Battery to the north. Steps led down to the battery and also to a magazine on its north side. On the seaward (south) side the structure projected to the west. Frederick’s Battery was depicted in a C19 engraving which also shows the Ligonier’s batteries.

In 1884 it was reported in the Western Figaro that the Citadel should be demolished and the land given back to the people of Plymouth as an extension to the Hoe. A report in 1885 resulted in only the demolition of the outworks beyond the Citadel in 1888, including Frederick’s Battery down to its base. In the same year, consequently, the lower fort had been sold to Plymouth City Council, and Madeira Road was built along the south side of the Citadel and around Fisher’s Nose. In 1897 the *Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club was built on top of the rock base and remains of the battery, although the western projecting structure remained. By the early 1960s a concrete slab jetty with a slipway had been constructed to the south and west of the remains of the battery, and later in the decade the *Yacht Club was extended on its west side.

Reasons for Listing

Frederick’s Battery, dating from 1754, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest

* being constructed of local Devon limestone and granite, and despite some demolition, retains its expressive defensive form;

Historic interest

* as an intrinsic part of the historic development of Plymouth’s coastal defences;

Group value

* with other listed defences along Plymouth Hoe, and the Royal Citadel to the north, a scheduled monument.

External Links

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