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Hurlstone Point gun battery

In the civil parish of Selworthy.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Somerset.
1974 county of Somerset.
Medieval County of Somerset.

OS Map Grid Reference: SS89914886
Latitude 51.22828° Longitude -3.57804°

Hurlstone Point gun battery has been described as a probable Artillery Fort.

There are uncertain remains.

Description

A plan of the time of Henry VIII shows a gun battery in about this position, with another on the other side of the bay. It is shown as a tower with cannon projecting from embrasures. It is not known if the plan represents a completed scheme but on the ground there is a slight platform reinforced with boulders which might be unfinished. APs show two banked enclosures with a short length of curving bank from a possible third enclosure. Also a long and round mound. (Exmoor National Park HER record MSO11585)
Comments

This is a pictorial representation of the north coast of Somerset. It shows the coast from the mouth of the River Avon near East Bristol to west Porlock and can be dated to 1539. At the top of the drawing round towers represent proposed blockhouses in the neighbourhoods of Porlock and Western-super-Mare on the north coast of Somerset. The intention to mount guns on platforms at Minehead and to the north of the Parrat is also represented in this drawing. Inlets are indicated and towns are shown schematically, an emphasis on the nature of the coast is evident as the draughtsman has recorded outcrops of rocks.
The existence of this drawing and the proposals it contains can be imputed the threat of invasion which became probable in 1538 after a peace treaty was signed by Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor King of Spain. England and France were ancient enemy's and the Catholic Charles V, nephew of Catherine of Aragon, was angered by Henry VII's decision to divorce her.
In the event, the works proposed here were not carried out. The paper upon which this map is drawn bears a watermark of a double headed eagle bearing a shield. (British Library commentary on 'The coste of England uppon Severne')
Exmoor National Park HER record MMO881082 dismisses the 'platform' as a farmstead. However, this was a tactically important site overlooking a good landing beach on a general inaccessible coast, and a Tudor/Elizabethan battery, possibly fairly crude and made from wicker gabions rather than the planned stone tower, in roughly this location, is possible.
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This record last updated 23/02/2016 10:03:53

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