England & Wales
LAUNCHED: 26 May 2008. LAST UPDATED: 30 June 2008
Accessed at least
since 26 May 2008.
Click here to read some commentary on the trip and to see some photos.
The Crownhillians are: Marty Greene, Duffy Monahon, Denis O'Connell, Joe O'Farrell, Conrad Paulus and Rob Stephenson. See our itineraries at the bottom.
Crownhill Fort, Plymouth, Devon.
In the 1860s it was decided to protect naval bases such as Plymouth from attack by land as well as by sea. A chain of forts was built, with Crownhill in the key position in the north of the city. It is now one of only two large works of this kind in the country to remain in good condition.
From a distance, the Fort blends with the hilltop, defended not by walls but by steep earth ramparts. These enfold the central parade ground, around which are handsome quarters for up to 300 men. For further protection, the buildings and many of the emplacements for 32 large guns have turf roofs, some restored by us. Outside the ramparts is a deep dry ditch, 30 feet wide at the bottom, which could be covered by protective fire from a chemin de ronde and six three-storey caponiers, reached from inside the fort by long tunnels.
Since acquiring the Fort in 1987, we have done major work to grounds, weaponry and buildings, many of which are now let to small businesses. In 1995 the Fort was opened to the public for the first time; and in 1998 it was once again armed with a Moncrieff Disappearing Gun, the only working example in the world.
Crownhill fascinates the enthusiast and the novice alike. It is also a remarkably pleasant place to be. The Officers' Quarters in which you stay face south, the kitchen with a large window and a commanding view of the comings and goings. Above all, you have the free run of this spectacular structure of stone and earth.
The Landmark Trust
Thank you for booking this Landmark and we hope that you enjoy your stay here. The income we receive from your booking pays for the repair and maintenance of the building, thus allowing us to preserve it for the enjoyment of those who follow you.
To arrange to get into the Landmark, it is very important that you call the Housekeeper AT LEAST TWO DAYS before you are due to arrive. She is Mrs Rosanne McGugan, 4 Childrey Gardens, Eggbuckland, Plymouth, telephone 01752 774918. Early evening is generally the best time to call.
Please do not arrive before 4pm on the first day of your booking. The Housekeeper will have prepared Crownhill Fort for you, and we hope and expect that you will leave it as clean and tidy as you can when you leave. On the l.ast day LEAVE THE BUILDING ENTIRELY BEFORE 10am, leaving it secure and returning the key to the Housekeeper. If you do not leave on time, this makes the Housekeeper's task extremely difficult. If you leave on an earlier day, please let her know.
Crownhill Fort (OS map reference SW487593, Postcode PL6 5BT), is about three miles north of the centre of Plymouth, to the west of the A386 Tavistock road and to the north of the B3413.
It would be a good idea to bring a torch.
To reach Crownhill Fort by road, take the A38 westward through northern Plymouth towards Saltash. Take the Tavistock exit (the A386) and go towards Tavistock for half a mile or so. As you go under a flyover you will see a brown-and-┬white tourist sign to Crownhill Fort. Follow these signs to the Fort.
When you reach the Fort, go through the gates (if they are shut, close and lock them behind you) and on up the ramp. At the top of the ramp you will reach a large open space (the Parade Ground). Turn immediately sharp left and park above and beside the ramp at the end of the range of buildings, facing back toward the fort entrance. The door to the Landmark is on the left side of the tunnel in front of you.
Parking: There is parking for several cars.
Public Transport: The nearest railway station is at Plymouth, which is served by trains from London Paddington. Buses run from Plymouth to Tavistock every 20 minutes (hourly on Sundays).
Crownhill Fort has a double bedroom, a twin bedroom, and a bedroom with four single beds, all on the ground floor. Please contact the Housekeeper if you will need the folding cot. This is suitable for children up to two years old; we provide a mattress but no bedding.
Crownhill Fort has oil-fired central heating.
There is also an open fire in the Sitting room, please only use coal as fuel. There is an electric cooker. The cost of fuel for heating and cooking is included in the price, but please use this sparingly to keep our costs (and prices) down. Fuel for the open fire is not included, but can be bought locally.
Dogs, birds or other animals, are not permitted at this Landmark. Please do not allow them into the building, as this might cause serious health problems for asthma sufferers who come after you.
There is enough crockery and cutlery for two extra people. However, the building must not be used to entertain others beyond that number, and the number sleeping in it should never exceed eight.
We provide sheets, pillowcases, towels, tea towels, and blankets. An equipment list is attached.
Our buildings were made to the standards of earlier ages, often without the intention that they should be lived in. Consequently, you may encounter features that reflect their particular characteristics, but which deserve due care and attention, particularly for the young, elderly, less mobile or visually impaired. Examples of these are steps worn with age or with narrow treads, uneven surfaces, low doors, ceilings and beams, unexpected drops and changes of level, and (by modern standards) low or absent lighting. In all cases we have sought to make a sensible compromise between due regard for safety and the careful retention of the character of each building, which makes it an interesting place to stay.
Even familiar things, for example; polished floors and stairs, hot water temperature, open fires and hot stoves, can differ from home and so surprise the unwary, particularly the very young. We ask you to appreciate and use the building in the same spirit of care, and recommend you read the Information and Advice folder on arrival, to familiarise yourself with the building and its surroundings.
The 'Information & Advice' folder in the Landmark gives essential information about the building and local amenities, including shops for provisions. The nearest Tourist Information Centre is in Plymouth, (01752) 264849.
Landmarks do not have postal deliveries, and mail sent to them may not reach you.
In an emergency you may call our Regional Manager Mrs Marilyn Donohue telephone 01884 32884 or Mobile 07876 445886. In exceptional circumstances urgent messages may be left with the Housekeeper, but please do not ask our staff to do this otherwise, since they may live several miles away.
Please be appreciative of neighbours and anyone else you meet, since they may have to coexist with Landmark visitors 365 days a year!
We hope you enjoy your stay.
The Fort is open for corporate use/seminars etc from Monday-Friday and occasionally for weddings on a Saturday.
There are a few commercial tenants in some of the buildings. Special events are held occasionally, mainly at weekends in the summer.
As usual in historic forts, there are steep drops which could not be fenced without destroying the whole character of the Fort, so children may need to be supervised.
Finally, it is very important for your and everyone's security that the main gates to the Fort are kept closed and locked all the time, except of course when the Fort is open to the public.
Click here to see our itineraries.
Some various places in and around Plymouth associated with our stay:
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Some Antarctic sites in southwest England and Wales:
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