A member of the public found the old projectile at Wembury Point, Plymouth. Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) engineers attended the scene and removed the item. It was later destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Royal Navy engineers will not transport live unexploded ordnance where possible. Instead, they will destroy small to medium sized items such as this nearby.

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Royal navy
A british royal navy 5. 25inch double gun mount.
Why was this artillery shell where it was?

Plymouth, home to HMNB Devonport, has a long naval history. Wembury Point was located within the down-range area of the Royal Navy Devonport Gunnery School Range. Therefore it is not surprising that UXO contamination of this sort has been encountered.

This range was a seaward firing range. In addition, the shell does not appear to have been throw the firing process. Therefore, it was likely discarded near a gun battery historically, subsequently becoming buried over time.

Unexploded ammunition finds, such as this, highlight the hazardous legacy of historic military activity.  The only way to ensure the greatest chance of identifying historic military activity is by commissioning a Brimstone Stage 1 Preliminary UXO Risk Assessment.