History in Structure

Eggbuckland Keep

A Grade II* Listed Building in Eggbuckland, City of Plymouth

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 50.4037 / 50°24'13"N

Longitude: -4.112 / 4°6'43"W

OS Eastings: 250008

OS Northings: 58108

OS Grid: SX500581

Mapcode National: GBR RH9.38

Mapcode Global: FRA 278Z.HVY

Plus Code: 9C2QCV3Q+F6

Entry Name: Eggbuckland Keep

Listing Date: 16 July 2004

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1390897

English Heritage Legacy ID: 492174

Also known as: Egg Buckland Keep

ID on this website: 101390897

Location: Eggbuckland, Plymouth, Devon, PL6

County: City of Plymouth

Electoral Ward/Division: Eggbuckland

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Plymouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Tagged with: Barracks

Find accommodation in


740-1/0/10083 Eggbuckland Keep

Defensible keep and one of a series of fortifications around Plymouth and Devonport. Late 1860s, completed by 1872. Built as a result of the 1859 Royal Commission on the Defences of the United Kingdom and constructed under the direction of Major W.F.D. Jervoise who supervised Captain Du Cane in the design. Slate rubble with limestone dressings. Earth-covered roof.
PLAN: A 5-sided 2-storey keep constructed within a deep depression and surrounded by a wide flat-bottomed rock-cut ditch provided with a counterscarp wall fronting the main entrance [a section of the SE corner of this wall was removed circa late C20]. Four caponiers [bomb-proof vaulted chambers] extend at right angles across the ditch to allow enfilading fire along its length. Originally a drawbridge on east elevation that provided access to a tunnel leading to Forder Battery.
Free Romanesque style.
EXTERIOR: The main 2:3:3:1:3:3:2 bay elevation has a central round arch entrance with blast door and stringcourse above raised over datestone [VR 1872] with blocked rifle-loops in parapet above and flanked by 3- and 2-light round-headed windows with hoodmoulds; those on right with square-headed windows below; limestone quoins, weathered plinth, stringcourse and parapet coping. On the east elevation a recess for drawbridge with roll-moulded round arch and original winching chains; opposite is a round arch portal to tunnel to Forder Battery. Four caponiers extend at right-angles across the ditch, single-storey with musketry loop-holes in rectangular recesses. Circa late C20 buildings on the keep and covered bridge on front are not included in the list.
INTERIOR: Brick vaulted throughout providing support for floors and roof. Lower floor of keep has barrack accommodation along outer side of central corridor and store rooms are on inner side. Lower floor has large ammunition store with brick-vaulted lighting passage with lamp recesses. Access to the four caponiers via rooms and passages on the lower floor. The upper floor is similar to the barracks and stores arrangement on the lower floor and has passage to the drawbridge. Spiral staircases on opposite sides of building for access to the floor levels and to the roof.
HISTORY: Eggbuckland Keep is part of a circle of fortifications around Plymouth built as a result of the 1859 Royal Commission that considered the military defences of Britain, especially with reference to a supposed attack by France. The Royal Commission's recommendations for Plymouth and Devonport were intended to protect the naval port from land attack in the event of an invasion as well as from an attack from the sea. Six new coast batteries and a ring of eighteen land forts and batteries linked by a system of military roads protected by earth banks and cuttings were constructed. The defences were completed in 1872 under the direction of Major W.F.D. Jervoise, who supervised Captain Du Cane in the designing of Eggbuckland Keep, which was the only fortified keep to be built on the north eastern section of the defences and the only keep, apart from Tregantle in Cornwall on the west side. It was intended as a defensible barracks housing 230 men with ammunition magazines. The 1859 Royal Commission brought about the construction of about seventy forts and batteries in England and represented the largest maritime defence programme since Henry VIII's fortifications in 1539-40.
Eggbuckland Keep is a virtually intact fortified barracks and magazine in the ring of the 1859 Royal Commission defences of Plymouth and Devonport.
SOURCES: [1] Pye and Woodward; The Historic Defences of Plymouth; 1996. [2] Buildings of England; p. 650.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.