Caponier No. 3, Drop Redoubt, Western Heights, Dover, Kent, United Kingdom

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (4)

John Latter on April 3, 2007

I took this pic while standing in a moat (on top of Dover's Western Heights) in part of what seemed to be The World's Biggest Adventure Playground when I was a child.

To the right of the pic is the outer wall of the 'Drop Redoubt' which was built during the Napoleonic Wars. The Drop Redoubt is a huge polygonal structure that can only be seen from the air.

The image is of 'Caponnier No. 3' (each caponnier is on a 'corner' of the polygon) and inside is a maze of huge - and very dark - rooms, galleries, balconies, tunnels and other interesting stuff.

The pic is a zoomed shot and I'm actually standing just in front of Caponnier No. 2. If I turned around and walked around the corner then other moats can be followed (via twists and turns and under bridges etc) to a similar stucture to the Drop Redoubt known as the North Center Bastion.

The North Center Bastion has a far greater tunnel system containing underground drawbridges each operated by two counterweights sunk into the tunnel floor - it used to take four or five kids standing on the counterweights to make the drawbridges go up and down (and catapult whoever was standing on the bridge into space).

Moats from the North Center Bastion then lead off to two more similar structures (although the last one - and one of the more interesting - has been partially filled in).

Its a very extensive system and its quite surprising how many people who live in Dover don't even know its there!

BTW (if anyone's read this far!) the Drop Redoubt also contains the Bredenstone which is the remains of a Roman Pharos (lighthouse built in AD 79 I think). Dover Castle (which is Norman - about AD 1180) stands on the other side of the valley and contains a still-standing Pharos about 40 feet high).

When I was a child this was a kids-only area - very scary but brilliant fun :)

John Latter / Jorolat

NB This text also appears in the Panoramio Forum

John Latter on May 7, 2007

Standard Info:

See the Satellite view of the Drop Redoubt annotated with moat entrance locations, surface structures, etc..

The Drop Redoubt is only part of Dover's extensive Napoleonic defenses - click on Western Heights and then check the tag list for all the locations covered (eg North Centre Bastion, Grand Shaft, North Entrance - more will be added as time goes on).

Also see St Martin's Battery

Work began on Dover's Western Heights fortifications in the 1770s and was intensified, first in the early 1800s because of Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte), and again in the mid-Nineteenth Century because of Napoleon III (originally known as Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte).

John Latter on October 10, 2007

Click to see a photo of the Bredenstone.

John Latter on January 7, 2008

Recently uploaded interior views of Caponier No. 3:

Main Room (lower level)

Main Room (upper level)

Ammunition/Gunpowder Room

Ventilation Tunnel

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 16, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/03/15 17:14:29
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/160)
    • Focal Length: 17.40mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash