Gunrow Down Signal Station

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by grebeman, May 17, 2013.

  1. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    This is an old Lloyds signal station at the west end of Gunrow Down and above Hilsea Point in south Devon. It was one of a chain of such stations that were particularly important in the days of sailing ships. Many such ships would have made voyages of several months duration so as they approached the UK they needed to receive orders from shipping agents as to where to sail to to discharge their cargo for the best price. Amongst various companies offering a communication service was Lloyds of London. The ship would stand in close to shore and identify itself to the signal station to see if they had any such messages for the ship which would then be able to act on the instructions received.

    I would have thought that the rough stone for the building was quarried from just below the site at which it was built (as indeed my own cottage was built from a quarry just yards away, now filled in), although perhaps the dressed ston and obviously the brickwork was shipped in (remember the difficulty of shipping heavy goods across land before the advent of lorries)


    Looking west, the conical island is the Greater Mewstone just east of the entrance to Plymouth Sound, beyond that Rame Head in Cornwall


    A fireplace in the corner to keep the signalman warm and cosy on a winters day

    All with DP1M

  2. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    What sort of mortar was used in the odd size and shape stones, that have stayed in such good condition?
  3. ReD

    ReD Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    Superb thanks very much

    can't believe this is going to waste

    I'd guess at lime mortar
  4. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Steve, lime mortar would certainly be in common usage at the time of the building of this structure, however as you have observed it's stood up to the ravages of time in this exposed location remarkably well, so perhaps it's rather superior in some way. My uncle had a house a couple of miles from here as the crow flies on a river estuary and that was lime mortar in good condition and at the time I knew it it was some 70-80 years old.

    I'll try and remember to ask my neighbour, a former builder born in 1921, if he can hazard a guess.

  5. Briar

    Briar Hall of Famer

    Oct 27, 2010
    Beautiful, the clouds are shaped like rocks in the sky to compliment the rocks below. Wonderfully seen and processed.