Plymouth Blockhouse, Devils Point

Has been described as a Certain Artillery Fort

There are major building remains

NamePlymouth Blockhouse, Devils Point
Alternative NamesPassage Point; Western Kings Point
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityPlymouth; City of
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishPlymouth

The remains of Devils Point Artillery Tower, a blockhouse probably built between 1537-9 as part of Henry VIII's coastal defences. It was built by the Edgcumbe family to protect their harbour and with its commanding views of the entrance to the river Tamar it became part of a series of coastal defences to defend the strategic town of Plymouth. It was used intermittently from its establishment and may have had a machine gun post positioned there in 1902 to protect the harbour boom.

The single-storey octagonal tower is built of rubble with granite dressings and had a vaulted roof which was originally surrounded by a parapet. It had a number of gun-ports on the seaward sides and an entrance on the landward. (PastScape)

Blockhouse. Probably 1509-1539. Rubble with granite dressings. Irregular (stretched) octagonal plan with doorway to landward side and gunports to seaward side (the longer sides). Chamfered granite doorway spanned by shallow 2-centred arch; pair of square gunports with rebates for shutters. INTERIOR: not inspected. Part of a series of coastal defences at Plymouth probably built in the reign of Henry VIII. (Listed Building Report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceSX459533
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  • Duffy, Michael, 1999, 'Coastal Defences and Garrisons 1480-1914' in Kain, R. and Ravenhill, W., Historical Atlas of South-West England (University of Exeter Press) p. 158-60
  • Salter, Mike, 1999, The Castles of Devon and Cornwall (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 76
  • Saunders, Andrew, 1997, Channel Defences (London; Batsford/English Heritage)
  • Pye, Andrew and Woodward, Freddy, 1996, The historic defences of Plymouth (Exeter: Exeter Archaeology Fortress Study Group South West) p. 113-4
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 118
  • Bracken, 1931, History of Plymouth (Plymouth) p. 68


  • Holler, Wenceslas, c. 1643, A Trve Mapp and Discription of the Towne of Plymouth online copy


  • Kenyon, J.R., 1977, 'Early Gunports' Fort Vol. 4 p. 84

Primary Sources