I’ve walked past this stone marker near Tregirls beach many time and never knew what it was, I decided to research WD and found that this symbol is a War Department Boundary Marker. They are for the War Department (or MOD as they are now known) for survey use and will have distances or dates from each point to the boundary of the land. Some are on stone pillars and others are on cast iron posts.
War Department Boundary Marker
A mile or so outside Padstow on the coastal path towards Hawkers cove there is evidence of military defences at Gun Point dating from 1858. These defences were for protection during the Napoleonic Wars as it had a good field of fire up the river to its mouth.
“A Victorian guidebook states that a Henrician gun was taken from the battery in 1868, when the battery was rebuilt for the Padstow Artillery Volunteers”.
There was barrack accommodation, in the form of a bungalow, for the guardians of the battery in 1886, which was occupied up to 1952. Since the gunners were volunteers, they would have lived at home in Padstow.
Towards the end of its military life the battery was relegated to practice battery status and with the silting up of the mouth of the River Camel it prevented the larger ships from reaching Padstow, the battery was disarmed and abandoned at the turn of the century.
Once a site has been selected for a gun position its potential remains and so in 1940 a war emergency battery for two 4-inch naval guns was built on the Victorian battery with all necessary attendant structures including a Battery Observation Post and Range Finder position with searchlights.
Along the coastal path towards Padstow are to be found the remains of the WWII generator house for nearby searchlights, an oil store, now overgrown and derelict. Close by the Victorian battery and to its rear are the foundations of the bungalow together with a water tank dated 1888. The WD boundary posts are dated 1868 and the existing magazine probably dates from this period.
Inside Generator house