The British Empire and its effect on Plymouth

Mount Wise Signal Station, Plymouth

This photograph shows the signalling station on Mount Wise in the late 19th Century. This photo showing the Mount Wise Barracks in the bottom right. This started off as the Laboratory, built in 1804, where munitions were returned to the lab from ships as they ended their voyages, to be used in the making of new and refreshing gunpowder etc. It was closed in 1834, and converted to a barracks for the Royal Engineers. It is now a small housing estate. Just below centre is Mount Wise Redoubt and a semaphore signalling station. It was was erected in 1806 for conveying messaged to and from London, It's on the site of Mount Wise House, built sometime around 1610 to 1630 by the Lord of the Manor of Stoke, Sir Thomas Wise. It was very badly damaged in 1643 during the Civil War, was rebuilt by Sir Edward Wise then sold, along with the manor, to Sir William Morice in 1667. It however fell into disrepair and was demolished sometime between 1747 and 1756. Because of its prominent location overlooking the entrance to the Hamoaze a fort was built on the site in 1778 and called Mount Wise redoubt. This was in turn replaced by a telegraph station which has now been replaced by a 40m tall mast which commemorates the previous uses and which includes a viewing platform.

Empire in Your Backyard: Plymouth Article

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by Stephen Luscombe