The fortification of the Western Heights in Dover Begun in the 18th Century, when the Spanish and French Armada sailed off our coast. A simple earthworks was constructed to compliment the fortification at Dover Castle. In response to Napoleons planned invasion in 1804, Lieutenant-Colonel William Twiss was order to modernise the existing defences of the Western Heights. Two Forts, Drop Redoubt and Citadel were constructed and both linked by a series of Dry Moats. The Grand Shaft, a triple helix staircase, was also constructed to allow the maximum number of troops to be deployed to the sea level in the fastest time. These fortifications were left in an unfinished state after a truce was established with France. The soon fell into abandonment. During the 1850’s, France emerged as a new threat and Napoleon III started to dominate Europe. In Order to balance the power of the region, Lord Palmerston rarely sided with the French and in 1859, the threat of Invasion loomed once again. After a Royal Commission, the Western Heights defences were redesigned as a state of the art barrack and gun complex that was protected by four miles of dry ditches. Since this redevelopment, and up until WWII, the military occupied the area. As part of the modernisation, a north and south front casemate were constructed to provide protection to the dry ditches, a now buried caponier sat in the middle.
Modified: 1st Apr 2017