In his Report of 1841, Sir John Jones was highly critical of the state of the Ragged Staff Gates stating:
The portion of the sea line proposed to be covered by the projected work is strikingly defective being low, ill flanked and partly without rampart or parapet. At this ill conditioned spot most foreigners and strangers disembark, and its extremely unmilitary appearance, as well as apparently defenceless state, strikes everyone with astonishment, and has given rise to much of the reproach cast on the neglected state of the defences. The sea front of the projected couvreport (on the line now occupied by Ragged Staff Gates) is a prolongation of the right face of the South bastion, and draws its defence from the same flank within the Town. The left face is in the ordinary position of a flank (now to be recognised as Ragged Staff Flank) and besides the object of forming a close defence to the southern sea wall it serves as a powerful flanking battery to scour over the Bay even beyond the Hew Mole. The pier forming the landing place called Ragged Staff Wharf, is highly objectionable but as it has been established nearly a century I am unwilling to propose its removal, but have endeavoured to lessen the facility it offers for surprising the place, by insulating the Pier and preserving the existing escarpe wall as a second defence within the entrance, so that all who pass through the Gate shall find themselves in a ditch surrounded by high walls with only one point of ascent, and that being merely a detached spiral ladder or stairs. I consider this couvreport, both for the sake of appearance and from its real value, to claim very early precedence in the labours of reform.