Dartmouth; Paradise Point

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are masonry footings remains

NameDartmouth; Paradise Point
Alternative NamesParadise Fort; "the old castelle of Kingswear"; Ravensbury
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth

Paradise fort was garrisoned by the Royalists in the Civil War, and was still in existence in 1822, when Lysons described it as a large circular tower on a point of land between the town and the castle. Saunders says that a strong round tower, situated at Paradise Point on the northern side of Warfleet Creek, was demolished in 1855 to make way for a house called Ravensbury. He believed it might be identified with the 'lodging' by the entrance to Dartmouth which John Corp was licensed to crenellate in 1402. "for defence against the King's enemies". (For alternative siting of this, see SX 85 SE 10 and 17)

O'Neil suggest that Paradise fort may have been the "earth bastion, with six pieces" which was described in 1599 to the north of Dartmouth Castle (see also SX 85 SE 16) and that its site may be occupied by the house called 'The Wilderness' (SX 87935065) (for general description of Dartmouth defence, see SX 85 SE 51) (Lysons; O'Neil; Saunders).

The house constructed in 1885 on the site of Paradise Fort was called Paradise. Its name was changed later to Ravensbury. Of the former fort the only possible trace is walling in the cellar of Ravensbury. This consists of three facets of a former polygonal structure, possibly a tower. Each facet is c.1.5m in length. A print in possession of the owner shows the ruined fort as it was in 1830. Its remains still substantial at that date seemed to consist of a circular (or polygonal) tower (RCHME Field Investigation, 25-OCT-1991, WR Wilson-North). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

On the grounds of the date of existing remains and the relationship with Dartmouth Castle Gatehouse considers the licence to crenellate granted to John Corp in 1402 to have been for Gomerock. The "earth bastion, with six pieces," has not been securely identified but an alternative location is Gallant's Bower. The date of this tower is unclear but apparently pre Civil War and, therefore, possibly medieval. Dartmouth had a number of wealthy merchants and privateers who may well have had houses built in the prestigious 'military' style as towers and this could have been a house of that type. Dartmouth was a target, itself, for pirates and French privateers so a actual defensive nature for such houses in this area should not be dismissed although prestige and status would have been important considerations in design and styling of such houses.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX881504
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • (For full bibliography of Dartmouth defences see Dartmouth Artillery Castle)
  • Freeman, Ray, 1993, The Story of Warfleet (Dartmouth History Research Group) online copy
  • Freeman, Ray, 1990, Dartmouth and its Neighbours (Phillimore) p. 172-4
  • Lysons, D. and S., 1822, Magna Britannia Vol. 6 Devon p. cccxlv-cccxlviii online transcription


  • O'Neil, B.H.St.J., 1936, 'Dartmouth Castle and other defences of Dartmouth Haven' Archaeologia Vol. 85 p. 129-59

Guide Books

  • Davison, B.K., 2000, Dartmouth Castle Guidebook (London: English Heritage)
  • Saunders, A.D., 1986, Dartmouth Castle, Devon (London: English Heritage)
  • Saunders, A.D., 1983 2edn, Dartmouth Castle, Devon (HMSO)
  • Saunders, A.D., 1965, Dartmouth Castle, Devon (HMSO)


  • Batty, M., 2003, South Devon Coast Path Project: a study of the archaeology along the coast path in the South Hams from Staddon Heights to Sharkham Point (University of Exeter Thesis) p. 85