Monument record FEX 064 - Landguard Fort complex, post 1720 (PMed)

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Post 1720 fort, built immediately to the west of the origninal fort that it replaced, see details.


Grid reference Centred TM 284 318 (298m by 412m)
Map sheet TM23SE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Beseiged by Dutch in 1666 (Victoria County History of Suffolk, 1907, 194) though no known surviving physical evidence for this.
Report in "Evening Star", 3.8.48, mentions a consecrated chapel with graveyard was built within the confines of the fort and is first recorded in 1676 in Taylor's "History of Harwich" (S1).
In 1708 the original fort was deemed in a poor state and it was decided to demolish and replace it. In 1717 work began on a new battery of 20 cannon, the associated barracks were enlarged in 1730-31; at some time after 1736 a new 10 gun battery was constructed on the SW glacis of the fort (S15).
Rebuilt 1717-1720 as low polygon of red brick with angle bastions on a new site adjacent to the original fort, which at this time was demolished. Between 1744 and 1749 the fort and battery were rebuilt in the form which they largely retain. The fortifications were extended during the American War of Independence (1775-83) with two earthwork batteries constructed to the NW and SE of the fort, an earthen redoubt called the Raynham redoubt was built along with ramparts known as the King's and the Princes lines respectively (S15).
1780's plans were drawn up to create a larger defensive work with the fort as a small citadel at its core.
Although ramparts, ditches and batteries were constructed, plans to turn it into a fully defensible camp were never completed in full and the site reverted back to a sea battery.
In 1803 the Reynham redoubt and the other outer works were demolished as they were found to be in a poor state and badly designed.
In 1807 the fort's ramparts were strengthened to take 14 32-pounders, the existing armament consisting of 31 18-pounders, 2 12-pounders a 1 6-pounder.
In 1870 the fort was found to be outdated and vulnerable to long-range fire, this led to a major rebuild between 1871-6. The building within the fort and the SW side and bastion were demolished and replaced by a casemated fortified battery, the SE curtain wall was heightened and three casemated batteries constructed. The Raynham Fort remains in this form, but with Victorian archway and whole interior with its circular building and circular courtyard - 1875 (R1).
No significant changes occurred during the First World War although new searchlights were installed and the armament of the fort was increased. The Second World War saw significant alterations and building with the construction of many concrete structures, earlier barbette batteries were casemated to protect against air attack and new range finding and observation towers were constructed, a radar station was also located on the site.
November 1962: Scheduled (S2).
December 1971: Scheduled area revised (S2).
1981: Fort in an almost derelict state, with DANGER notices up prohibiting entry. Earthworks covered in weed with perimeter fence broken in many places (S2).
1991: Said to be falling and recently subject to vandalism (S3).
For evaluation and monitoring see (S6-S8) and FEX 161 (sf19270) & 162 (sf20502).
August 1995: Evaluation of 10 trenche to assess the archaeological implications of providing a new electricity supply to Landguard Fort. A possible ditch and a concrete capped brick structure were identified (S16).
February 1996: Monitoring of works associated with the provision of a new electricity supply, inside and outside the perimeter wall of fort. A brick wall of probable 20th century date running parallel with the north wall of the demolished Gin and Tackle Store (S16).
May 2001: Scheduled area revised (S2).
2001/2002: Monitoring of an extensive programme of consolidation work on the exterior defences extant at Landguard Fort, was undertaken. This work was to ensure that no significant evidence relating to the fort's history was irretrievably lost. The report details the specific areas of the fort consolidated, the work done and observations made during the monitoring (S9)(S10).
2001: A small excavation was carried out in order to investigate the 17th C defences of the fort; for details see S14/S15 (FEX 162)
2006: Monitoring of groundworks for electic cable ducts revealed no archaeological features or finds.
2009: Photographic and GPS survey of the remains of the (2nd WW?) Submarine Mining Establishment Pier at Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, prior to its burial during quayside realignment (S11).

Sources/Archives (22)

  • --- Unpublished document: KS/TL. 2004. Archaeological Monitoring Report: Landguard Fort. Installation of cable ducts, Felixstowe.
  • <R1> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner N & Radcliffe E. 1974. The Buildings of England: Suffolk. 212.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Brown B, IX, 135.
  • <M2> (No record type): SAM file:.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Department of the Environment. Scheduling information.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Suffolk Preservation Society. 1991. Suffolk Preservation Society Survey. Suff Pres Soc Survey, 1991.
  • <M3> (No record type): APs: RAF 1953, 58/1007, WS 0090, 0091, 0094, 0095.
  • <S4> (No record type): Leslie, J.. Leslie J, History of Landguart Fort, 1898.
  • <M4> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: extracts from (S4)(S5) (S6-S10).
  • <S5> (No record type): Hussey F, Suffolk Invasion, the Dutch attack on Landguard Fort 1667, 1983.
  • <S6> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service evaluation report. SAU, Sparkes K & Loader T, August 1995.
  • <S7> Unpublished document: Loader T. 1998. Rec report. Landguard Fort, Felixstowe.
  • <S8> Unpublished document: Sommers, M.. 2000. Archaeological Monitoring Report: Landguard Fort: Fence erection and cable monitoring, Felixstowe.
  • <S9> Unpublished document: Sommers, M.. 2003. Archaeological Monitoring Report: Landguard Fort, Consolidation Of External Defences., Felixstowe.
  • <S10> Unpublished document: Sommers, M.. 2001. Archaeological Monitoring Report: Landguard Fort, Exc. Of left battery., Felixstowe.
  • <S11> Unpublished document: Sommers, M.. 2009. Building Recording report. Felixstowe: Submarine Mining Establishment Pier, Landguard Fort (FEX 064), Ixworth.
  • <S12> Article in serial: Pattison, P.. 2008. The First Landguard Fort, 1625-1720.
  • <S13> Article in serial: Pattison, P.. 2006. Thomas Hyde Page and Landguard Fort, 1778-1803.
  • <S14> Article in serial: Meredith, J... 2008. Excavation at Landguard Fort: an investigation of the 17th century defences. Post-Medieval Archaeology, Vol. 42(2), pp.229-275.
  • <S15> Unpublished document: Millward J. 2007. An Assessment of the East Coast Martello Towers.
  • <S16> Unpublished document: Sparkes, K. & Loader, T.. 1996. Archaeological Monitoring Report: Works Associated with the provision of a new electricity supply, Landguard Fort, Felixtowe (FEX 064).
  • <S17> Unpublished document: Sparkes, K. & Loader, T.. 1995. Archaeological Evaluation Report: Landguard Fort, Felixtowe (FEX 064)..

Finds (8)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (12)

Record last edited

Nov 28 2022 1:48PM

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