ST ANTHONY HEAD BATTERY

A late addition to the defences of the Carrick Roads and Fal estuary, St Anthony Head Battery was constructed in the late nineteenth century and provided coastal defence through both World Wars. Today many of the facilities remain intact and are viewable by visitors.

History

 

Located on the Roseland Peninsula overlooking the entrance to the Carrick Roads, St Anthony Head Battery was built to augment the seaward defences of the Fal estuary. Constructed between 1895 and 1897, it was designed to mount two 6-inch Mk VI Breach Loading guns which were supported by associated magazines and structures including a dry moat and defensive wall to protect the landward approach to the battery. Operating in conjunction with upgraded defences at Pendennis and St Mawes castles, with which communication was possible via semaphore, the facility was initially manned by 105 Company Royal Garrison Artillery. The defences were upgraded in 1903/4 with new weapons (two 6-inch Mk VII Breach Loading guns) and these remained in place throughout the First World War.

 

Disarmed during the inter-war years, the battery was once again fitted with two 6-inch guns in November 1939. In addition in 1940 two 3-pounder guns were installed to provide defence against motor torpedo boats along with light anti-aircraft weapons. Additional accommodation and facilities were installed to the rear and a Battery Observation Post, again to be used in conjunction with Pendennis, was built to support the upgraded facility. The reduced threat of attack following the allied invasion of May 1944 led to the Battery being reduced to care and maintenance before the end of the war. St Anthony Head was decommissioned in 1956 and was acquired by the National Trust in 1959.

 

Bibliography

 

Dorman, J.E (1993). The Later Defences of Falmouth, 1895-1956. London

Linzey, R (2000). Fortress Falmouth: A Conservation Plan for the Historic Defences of Falmouth Haven. English Heritage.

Thomas, R (2011). History and Description of the town and harbour of Falmouth. British Library (Reprint).

Wilson, D.G (2014). Maritime History of Falmouth: The Port, its Shipping and Pilotage Service. Halsgrove.

Victorian Forts (2011). St Anthony Battery. www.victorianforts.co.uk

What's There?

St Anthony Head is owned by the National Trust and is accessible at any reasonable time. The late-Victorian gun platform survives along with various support buildings and an observation post.

Fal Estuary. View from St Anthony Head towards Pendennis Castle and St Mawes.

Getting There

There is very little signage to St Anthony Head but upon arrival the road to the battery is clearly marked by a National Trust sign. There is a car park at top of road and footpaths around battery.

St Anthony Head

Military Road, TR2 5HA

50.1418N 5.0139W