Satellite View, Detached Bastion, North Centre Bastion, Western Heights, Dover, UK

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John Latter on April 4, 2007

Annotated plan view of the North Center Bastion and attached Caponnier embedded in the Western Heights. Part of Dover's Napoleonic defenses.

Main Tunnels

T1: Runs under the western side of the North Center Bastion from the Caponnier complex to the surface of the Western Heights. (Sample photo - the 'Ghost' one!)

T2: A short stretch of tunnel, partially above ground, and the only part where a torch isn't essential. (Sample photo)

T3: Gun-rooms, magazine stores, well-like structures, etc. Part of the tunnel has caved in. Blocked stairway to the Western Heights.

T4: Leads to a stairway that once emerged onto the Western Heights. The higher you go up the stairs, the more hot and unbreathable the pitch-black air becomes - yeuky.

T5: (Not shown) Runs down the northeastern side of the 'island (ie the opposite side to T1). Access is via steep steps on the island surface. Cave-in at the southern end - I didn't go down it this trip (April 1st, 2007) so I haven't any more up to date info.

Drawbridges

D1: Remains of an underground drawbridge connecting Tunnel 1 with the surface of the North Center Bastion via a steep flight of stairs (denoted by the green line which should be next to D1 on the map, rather than below it). (Sample photo)

D2: Remains of an underground drawbridge connecting Tunnel 2 with the surface of the North Center Bastion via a sloping tunnel.

D3: Remains of an underground drawbridge once isolating T1/2 from the other tunnel systems. The drawbridge structure has been completely removed and the underlying hole filled to within about 2 feet of the floor surface. (Sample photo)

Caponniers

C: A single double-storey caponnier complex similar to those of the Drop Redoubt. (sample photo - internal view)

Surface Structures

M: Main Magazine, bisected by an arch. (Sample photo)

(Alt: North Centre Bastion)

Serkan GÜRKAN on April 12, 2007

good work..

John Latter on April 12, 2007

Thank you SarpBKs :)

I've kept the map simple but I think next time I'll make a map as I go and then produce a larger map for a website showing where all the gun rooms, galleries, wells, and various other bits and bobs are.

I think a map helps give an overall picture to anyone who might be interested because it shows where one photo is in relation to another.

John Latter on April 14, 2007

Standard Info:

The North Center Bastion 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 Drop Redoubt, Grand Shaft, North Entrance - more will be added as time goes on).

Fairfield112 on April 18, 2007

Is this an abandoned fort, or is there a museum/guided tour around there?

John Latter on April 18, 2007

Fairfield112 said:

"Is this an abandoned fort, or is there a museum/guided tour around there?"

The North Centre Bastion is only part of the Western Heights fortifications and is officially closed to the public.

Another part, known as the Drop Redoubt, is open to the public (with guided tours etc.) for usually only one weekend a year which will be on the 9th and 10th of June this year.

The cross-hairs in the middle of the screen on this satellite view are centered on the North Centre Bastion.

Move your mouse cursor towards, or away from, the North Centre Bastion 'box' and the full extent of the Western Heights fortifications will light up in green. The Drop Redoubt is in the top-righthand corner of this green area.

The Drop Redoubt is a polygon with Caponniers on 4 of its 5 corners. It hasn't any underground tunnel systems except those associated with each Caponnier - no drawbridges either :(

I intend visiting the Drop Redoubt in June because I want some photos, and it certainly is an interesting place from an historical point of view.

The place has been so sanitized, however, in order to protect Joe Public from tripping over his or her own shoelaces, that it'll be as exciting as watching paint dry.

Hope this helps :)

John Latter on October 9, 2007

English Heritage Pastscape has the following entry for the North Centre Bastion:

NMR Number: TR 34 SW 514

URL: North Centre Bastion

North Centre Bastion was begun in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars, as part of the Western Heights fortress in Dover. It remained unfinished at the end of the war in 1815 but was completed to a revised design between 1859 and 1867; this resulted in two linked bastions known as North Centre Bastion and Detached Bastion.

epod0 on June 10, 2008

You Can Walk around the entire fort it is 'offlimits' but who's gonna be any the wiser? Me and my mates used to paintball in there. Lots of holes and broken floors so beware wouldn't want to get stuck there alone!!!!

kelly123456 on April 30, 2009

how far does tunnel 3 go?????

John Latter on November 12, 2010

The full English Heritage Pastscape entry for the North Centre Bastion and Detached Bastion reads (1):

TR 3110 4083 North Centre and Detached Bastions

North Centre Bastion was begun in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars, as part of the Western Heights fortress in Dover. It remained unfinished at the end of the war in 1815 but was completed to a revised design between 1859 and 1867; this resulted in two linked bastions known as North Centre Bastion and Detached Bastion (2).

Both were surveyed and researched by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England between 1998 and 2001 as part of the Dover Western Heights Survey Project (event UID 1316220 and monument UID 467989). See the archive report and plans for full details: Pattison P The Western Heights, Dover, Kent; Report no 5 North Centre and Detached Bastions.

An English Heritage site and Scheduled Monument; the Detached Baastion is also known as "Dead Man's Island".

Photos of the Detached Bastion are included under the North Centre Bastion tag.

(1) Pastscape: North Centre Bastion

(2) The bastions are linked by the South Caponier (see South Caponier interior; South Caponier exterior).

Also see St Martins Battery.

chychelle on March 9, 2012

does anyone know roughly the depth of the dry moats around the detached bastion?

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  • Uploaded on April 2, 2007
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    by John Latter

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