Beer Head 10 Gun Battery

About this route

The beginning of the 19th century was a tense time in Britain, with a fear of invasion caused by political upheaval in France, the Napoleonic Wars and the American Civil War.  The result was an increasing number of fortifications along the coastline.  One such site is that of a Napoleonic-era ten-gun battery at Beer Head in East Devon.

Unfortunately, the battery is suffering due to the gradual collapse of the cliff.  It was relatively insubstantial and comprised a simple hut for shelter but no defensive breastwork or redoubt.

The guns never saw active service and, whilst unmanned at night, are said to have plunged into the sea along with part of the hut during a cliff collapse.

It is thought that the battery was established after 1816, as it is not mentioned in a book of that year written to describe navigation through the English Channel.

 

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Getting Around

By bus: Beer is served by buses from various local towns, including the 885 service from Axminster, the 899 service from Sidmouth/Seaton, and the 52 service from Exeter City Centre. Branscombe is served by the 899 service from Seaton. Timetables are available at Travel Devon.

By road: The nearest parking to Beer Head can be found at the Cliff Top Long Stay Car Park, off Common Hill, Beer. Alternatively park at Branscombe in the Beach Car Park

On foot: A short distance off of the South West Coast Path at Beer Head. Accessed from the east via Beer, or from the west via Branscombe.

Facilities
The nearby picturesque villages of Beer and Branscombe provide many of the facilities expected to ensure your visit is an enjoyable experience.
Terrain
Accessibility

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Photo along the South Devon coast showing fields, coastal cliffs and sea with the Daymark in the distance
205miles/
329kms

South West Coast Path

Over the centuries fishermen, coastguards and smugglers have helped to create this historic path – now Britain’s longest National Trail