Crownhill Fort is one of ten Forts and Batteries built in the 1860s to defend Plymouth’s naval base from a French attack.
Unlike many of its contemporaries Crownhill Fort was used by the military until 1985, as a training venue in the latter part of the 19th century and as a recruitment and mobilisation depot in the First World War. In the 1980s Crownhill Fort was occupied by 59 Commando Squadron Royal Engineers who provided logistical support to the Falklands Campaign. Once this conflict came to an end Crownhill Fort was declared surplus to requirements and over a century of military usage came to an end in 1986. At this point the Fort faced an uncertain future and risked falling in to disrepair or suffering unsympathetic alteration.
The Landmark Trust acquired Crownhill Fort in 1987 and have undertaken major work to restore the site to its late Victorian layout. An apartment in the former Officers Quarters is available to let for holidays and many of the former military buildings are let to a community of small businesses thus providing a source of income to cover the cost of repairs and maintenance.
Crownhill Fort is open to the public on the last Friday of each month, where cannons are fired and walkthrough tours of the tunnels are available to the public.