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Latitude: 50.3635 / 50°21'48"N
Longitude: -4.158 / 4°9'28"W
OS Eastings: 246607
OS Northings: 53734
OS Grid: SX466537
Mapcode National: GBR R7R.HJ
Mapcode Global: FRA 2852.PWS
Entry Name: Royal Marine Barracks Building 210
Listing Date: 1 August 1997
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1117105
English Heritage Legacy ID: 473361
Location: Plymouth, PL1
County: City of Plymouth
Electoral Ward/Division: St Peter and the Waterfront
Built-Up Area: Plymouth
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
SX4653 DURNFORD STREET, Stonehouse
740-1/66/903 (East side)
01/08/97 Royal Marine Barracks: Building 210
Drill Battery. 1881-91, with extension to north (over
basement) added between 1891 and 1911 and mid C20 extension to
south. Stone basement with timber-framed superstructure clad
in corrugated iron; gabled corrugated iron roof over timber
planking. Rectangular plan with the pointed W end resembling
the bow-end of a ship; gun-training deck set over basement,
originally (before extension of 1891-1911) opening onto
terrace to north.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys in height, the lower of which is a
basement which in effect forms the ground floor towards its
west end. Access to the building is via a broad flight of
steps at the NW end of the former terrace, and by a pair of
double sliding doors at the E end; a further door gives access
to the basement at the W end. The building was lit by windows
in the south wall (now partly obscured by mid C20 addition)
and also by a series of north-facing skylights.
INTERIOR: the upper floor has been subdivided in C20, but was
originally open throughout. Floor consist of butt-edged
caulked planking. There is a load-bearing beam, secured by
tusk-tenons, along the north side; tackle may also have been
looped around the roof trusses, which are of king-post form
with iron strapping, bolting and tension rods. Beadings and
mouldings to former side-wall openings, with some pulley rings
and cleats for mantlets attached to iron stanchions along
north side of wall: it is probable that these stanchions were
inserted when the extension was built over the terrace to the
north. The interior walls are lined in vertical and horizontal
planking. There is an iron shell-hoit shute visible at the
west end of the basement, which is divided into three unequal
sections. It is mostly characterised by a series of parallel
stone walls at approx 5-foot centres which, with joisting and
plates of heavy scantling, were designed to support the
gundeck above. 3 brick barrel-vaulted storage chambers
underlie the terrace.
HISTORY: three other drill batteries existed at Plynouth
including the Long Room Drill Battery of 1858, which stood to
the NE. Plans in the Public Record Office show a similar plan
form to Building 210, with port holes (for rifled muzzle
loaders) in the side walls and pivoted gun mountings to the
front. The principal difference is the lack of clerestorey
lighting, which was needed in Building 210 for the Royal
Navy's new rifled breech loaders - and especially operation of
their increasingly sophisticated hydraulic pedestal mountings.
The floor has circular cuts which may have housed shutes
similar to that surviving at the west end.
This building is an historically important and unique
surviving example - in a national context - of a drill
battery. Gunnery training had been increasing in importance
from the 1830s, and this building also relates to the
transition signalled in this period by the building of the
first steel-hulled and steam-driven "dreadnoughts".
(Public Records Office: ADM/PLM/316; Report by Exeter
Archaeology: June 1996).
Listing NGR: SX4660753734
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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