Saturday 23rd March 2024 Talks and walk at Maker Heights

Written by |

This is a reminder about our rapidly approaching event set to take place at Maker Heights in Southeast Cornwall.

This day takes place in the beautiful and intensely interesting south-eastern corner of Cornwall. This is where Cornwall was once Devon (administratively at least), as late as 1844, and where defence of Plymouth and its naval bases has created a very
particular form of historic environment.

Great forts placed in strategic positions in rural, ornamental and urban landscape catch the eye and still send shivers down our spines.

Plymouth has long been a naval centre, and defences were increased significantly after the threat of invasion of central southern England by the Franco-Spanish Armada of 1779 (during the American War of Independence) and were extended and improved through the 19th and 20th centuries.

CAS will be operating in partnership with Rame Conservation Trust and the Cornwall National Landscape (AONB)’s Monumental Improvement project. Leaders will include CAS’s Iain Rowe, who works for the Monumental Improvement project, and Lyn Reid, Malcolm Cross and Andrew Martin.

The event starts with two talks in the morning at the Heritage Centre within the Maker Heights Barrack Block: SX 434 514 – W3W ///method.dust.chart

We suggest you arrive at the Barrack Parking (free) at around 10.20 to be at the Maker Heights Heritage Centre for welcomes and hot drinks at 10.30 so that talks can start at 10.45.

The first talk will be on the history of the Maker Heights complex, the second on the work done by the Monumental Improvement project on the Scheduled Monuments there. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

At 12.30 there will be a break for lunch. Three options: bring your own; eat in The Canteen; or please book a pasty and pay for it in advance either as you pass in the morning (they are beside the Salty Dog Café at Gallows Park before you descend into Millbrook) or via their website: CornishPod | Cornish pasties, puddings & pies from South East Cornwall. We can then pick them up for you at lunchtime – please
mention when booking that Iain Rowe will be picking them up.

The afternoon’s walk, commencing at 13.30 and ending around 16.00, will explore the history of the site from its inception as a strategic location for the defence of the Royal Naval Dockyard. There remain five redoubts on the Heights, most of which have been altered since their construction. The site also contained a hospital and a barrack block, the latter now used as work spaces, including the Heritage Centre and The Canteen. Later defensive additions from WWII and the Cold War will also be explored.