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Plymouth Dock Fortifications - The 'Devonport Lines'

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AlexMC

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Plymouth, Devon
Now incorporated into the city of Plymouth, Devonport (originally Plymouth Dock)houses a major naval dockyard which was surrounded by a continuous line of massive stone ramparts - construction started in 1756 - looking out over a gently sloping glacis to protect from land invasion by the French (1850 map):

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Modern artillery rendered the defences redundant; the upper defences were demolished but much of the lower levels were buried under rubble and topsoil, on top of which was built a sports facility, medical centre and housing. There are few people alive today who remember the existence of the lines and even fewer who realise that much of the fortifications still lay largely intact underground.

Apologies for the poor image quality; I only had access to a point and shoot and no external lighting and the flash really didn't suffice. No chance of getting back with better gear as the access point was resealed shortly after our visit.

There were a couple of above-ground remnants of the demolished fortifications:

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Entrance was via a recently spotted small hole in one of the blocked-up entrances, which was situated on a busy road. We donned high-viz jackets and hard hats to look a little more official.

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The entrance point sloped gently downhill and lead to a number of rooms, some of which had gun loops running down the wall:

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The gun loops in this section would have looked north-east, providing a blanket of fire across the glacis:

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What I found unusual was that through the gun loops you can see what looks like another room, filled with rubble. What is supporting the ground above this space?

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The solidly constructed fortifications had clearly been used as a WW2 bomb shelter, from the 40's-era electric light fittings and the odd scrap of vintage litter, for example this candle wrapper:

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I'm pretty sure that the small area we explored corresponded to the red area on the diagram:

Devonport%20Lines%20diagram.jpg


Stalactites had formed along masonry seams:

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More info:

Pastscape - Detailed Result: DEVONPORT
Plymouth Dock - A Garrison town
 

krela

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Alex thanks for taking the time to post, but I'm afraid Photobucket no longer works for posting photos on forums. You will need to use flickr or imgur and edit your post accordingly. :(
 
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