|Date||10-11 February 2013|
(A) TR 31450 40760; 51.11934°N, 1.30584°E
(B) TR 31562 41237; 51.12358°N, 1.30775°E
(C) TR 30718 40799; 51.11999°N, 1.29543°E
(D) TR 30451 40351; 51.11607°N, 1.29133°E
The Western Heights is a complex of fortifications built on the high ground in the west of Dover to protect the port from attack from either land or sea. The site was developed in several phases. Firstly, simple earthworks were constructed at the end of the 18th century. Then, amidst fears of a Napoleonic invasion, work on more substantial fortifications took place from 1804. And, again owing to concerns over national security, the defences were further bolstered during the 1860s.
There are two main forts in the complex: the Drop Redoubt and the Citadel. The latter, having previously functioned as a Young Offenders’ Institution, is in use today as a detention centre (the Dover Immigration Removal Centre). Military use of the site ceased in the 1950s, after which the local council embarked upon a plan to raze the rest of the complex. Most of the barracks had already been demolished before protests over the loss of the historical assets put a stop to the destruction. Most of the site is now owned by English Heritage and in the 1990s restoration work was carried out on the Drop Redoubt and the Grand Shaft. The latter is a 19th-century triple spiral staircase sunk into the cliff in order to facilitate troop movements between barracks and coastal defensive positions. Ongoing restoration work is being undertaken by the Western Heights Preservation Society.