The graffiti at Brean Down Fort was first recorded during the consolidation works in 2002 to ensure a record was kept in case of any future deterioration. The original report is kept at Taunton Museum, and a copy also exists at the Somerset Historic Environment Record offices in Taunton.
This report follows a request by the volunteer wardens at Brean Down Fort, and is based upon the original study with additional graffiti that was not included in the original report. A photographic record of the legible handwritten graffiti, and some legible scratched graffiti is included.
Section 2 shows 1995 plans and Victorian plans of the fort; both showing the locations of the graffiti.
The tables in Section 3 show the graffiti that was recorded at the time in 2002. Permission for reproducing this data was kindly received from the Somerset Historic Environment Record at Taunton Castle. Appended to this list is the additional legible graffiti found during this research. Each record has been assigned a unique reference number which is then shown on the corresponding photograph. Some of the original graffiti was not found during this research; some may have deteriorated such that it is now gone or illegible. These unfound items have been marked with an ‘*’. Only the handwritten graffiti has been recorded.
Section 4 shows this data sorted by last name, where a name or initial has been recorded. Where a year is included in the graffiti, Section 5 shows this sorted by year and month. Pie charts showing a summary of this information is on page 4.
Section 6 shows photographs of the graffiti found during this research – these are grouped into locations and identified with their unique number for cross-reference to the tables in Sections 3, 4 & 5.
Section 7 is for references and acknowledgements.
The photographs were taken using a digital camera and built-in flash, and have not been enhanced in any way. Cameras used: Canon PowerShot A590IS, and Nikon Coolpix P5000.
This document exists in two formats: a) as a pdf version, and b) as a web-based version.
A copy of the PDF version can be downloaded here, and is 32Mb in size. The picture quality is a lot higher in the PDF version than the web based version, as the web photos were optimised to allow the pages to be displayed relatively quickly on slower internet connections.
The web based version can be found at this URL: http://www.breandownfort.co.uk/graffiti using ‘fort’ as the password to gain access.
Conclusions and Observations
This report details the graffiti found only in three locations which is where the majority of the historic graffiti can be found; there is more graffiti in other locations which could be added to this report at a later date.
In places, especially the Lantern Tunnel (P1), the graffiti is deteriorating quite badly, mostly due to the effects of water and presumably calcium carbonate deposits that have formed and are lifting off the original white surface where the graffiti has been written. Some of the legible graffiti from the 2002 report has now deteriorated and is either no longer readable, or cannot be found.
The first pie-chart on the following page shows the total amount of dated graffiti by decade which indicates most of the graffiti was written between 1910 and the end of the 1940s. The second pie-chart shows the total amount of graffiti by geographical location showing that the fort was as popular