Posts Tagged ‘Brixham’

Berry Head Lighthouse

Posted: March 19, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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Berry Head Lighthouse is one of the shortest in Great Britain, being only 5m tall. However, its position on the head means it is also one of the highest at 58m above sea level.

It was built in 1906 and automated in 1921. It was converted to run on electricity in 1994. It has a range of 35km (22 miles) and flashes every 15 seconds.

Berry Head also has a Coastguard watchpoint which is built within the remains of the old powder store building of the 18th-century fort.

Berry Head Fort

Posted: March 18, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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By the end of the 18th Century, the threat of invasion from Napoleonic France was high and so the government took the decision to strengthen the defences of ports of the south coast of England.

The Entrance to Berry Head Fort

Berry Head which overlooks Brixham Harbour had been the site of an earlier battery, but work began in 1794 to upgrade and strengthen the defences.

The Guardhouse (1802) which now houses the Cafe and Vistors Centre

They are an impressive sight and the external walls remain intact except where subsequent quarrying has caused a collapse.

The final day of our trip to South Devon and Keith and I went to Berry Head Nature Reserve, which is on a headland just outside Brixham. Our first destination is the quarry, where for 200 years since the 1800s Limestone was quarried from the cliff. Today it provides a cliff face and a secluded place for birds.

There are Fulmar nesting on the cliffs and out in the bay a large number of Northern Gannets and Guillemots. This looks a fantastic place for resting migrant birds, but only a few early migrants have arrived so far and apart from the resident species there is little to record.

Rock Pipit

Our next destination is the bird hide which faces opposite the cliffs where the Guillemots nest. At this time, it is estimated that there are around 1000 birds on the cliff ledges.

View over the bay towards the Guillemot colony
Guillemots on cliff ledges

Our final stop on Berry Head is the point where we look for passing sea birds but only see more Guillemots and Gannets.

We then began to descend from the headland vis the coast road, which passes through some woodland where we add some common woodland species to our day list, before coming to Breakwater Beach just outside Brixham Harbour. Just as we pass the outdoor swimming pool, I notice a small bird on the rocks, which turns out to be a Purple Sandpiper. We soon find another and spend some time watching and photographing this wading bird which spends most of its time probing in the gaps between rocks looking for food.

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Walking back through the harbour to the town, we see a Ruddy Turnstone on the quayside.

That brings us to 107 species in 3 and a bit days birdwatching, the best we have achieved on any of our trips. Not only an excellent number of different species but some fantastic views as well. Fircrest tops the list for me as it is a species I have tried to find many times and failed so it was great to finally catch up with one.

Northern Fulmar [sp] (Fulmarus glacialis)
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
European Shag [sp] (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima)
Black-legged Kittiwake [sp] (Rissa tridactyla)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Murre [sp] (Uria aalge)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Views of Brixham (3)

Posted: April 20, 2017 in Devon, UK

The Harbourside

Sitting in a valley leading up from the Harbour, the Town of Brixham is colourful and attractive.





One thing I really liked was the small nautically themed gardens that can be seen in the harbour area.


Views of Brixham (2)

Posted: April 13, 2017 in Devon, UK

Looking North across the bay

Brixham in South Devon stands at the southern end of Torbay. It is a harbour catering for both the Fishing Industry and for leisure boats and the harbour contains an interesting collection of different boats

Replica of Golden Hind

Fishing Boats

Historic Ketch in harbour

Ketch under sail

Brixham Lifeboat

Looking North across the bay

Views of Brixham (1)

Posted: April 6, 2017 in Devon, UK

Brixham is one of the largest fishing ports on the South Coast with an extensive harbour which caters both for the commercial shipping and leisure craft.

Brixham sunset

Posted: March 27, 2017 in Devon, Landscape, UK

In case any regulars haven’t noticed yet – I love photographing sunsets. Here are some photos from my recent trip to Devon.


Golden Hinde

Posted: March 24, 2017 in Devon, History, Medieval History, Ships, UK
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This full sized replica of the Tudor Warship, Golden Hinde, has been berthed in Brixham Harbour for over 50 years.

It serves as a museum to the life and voyages of Sir Francis Drake. The Golden Hinde was his most famous ship in which he circumnavigated the world on a journey of over 36,000 miles.

Statues and Monuments: Man and Boy

Posted: March 22, 2017 in Devon, UK


Man and Boy a statue in bronze that stands on the quayside at Brixham Harbour. It was sculpted by local artist Elisabeth Hadley and was unveiled in November 2016. It has two dedications – the first to celebrate the heritage of the Brixham Fishing Industry and the second to remember all those from the town who have been lost at sea.


William was born Prince of Orange in the modern day Netherlands in 1650, his father having died just weeks before his birth. His mother was Princess Mary, the daughter of King Charles I of England. He became Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic in 1672 and was a staunch advocate of Dutch Freedom, opposing both the French and the English. He married another Princess Mary, this time the daughter of James, Duke of York (later to become King James II) in 1677. Ten years later William and Mary were invited by leading nobles to replace the unpopular King James II as joint rulers. William landed at Brixham in Devon on 5th November and together with a large army (made up of forces he had brought with him from the continent and defecting units from the Kings forces). It soon became evident that there was little or no support for King James and he decided to flee the country. James was apprehended by a group of fishermen and brought back but he escaped again and this time successfully made it to France, thus relieving William and Mary of the tricky problem of what to do with their deposed father/father-in-law. Parliment proclaimed William and Mary as monarchs and they ruled jointly until Mary’s death in 1694 after which William continued as sole monarch until his death in 1702.


This rather weather-worn statue is on the harbourside at Brixham in Devon as a memorial to the place where the new King first landed in England.