Devil's Tunnel Cave-in, North Centre Bastion, Western Heights, Dover, Kent UK

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Comments (7)

John Latter on April 2, 2007

(Also see: Satellite view of the North Center Bastion annotated with tunnel system locations, surface features, drawbridges, etc.)

A cave-in in Tunnel System 3 of the North Center Bastion, Western Heights, Dover.

The cave-in probably happened in the late 1960s or in the 1970s when the junction of the roof and lefthand wall collapsed.

Apparently stable - the smoothness and compactness of the earth due to visitors when the North Center Bastion was more accessible than it is now.

Image taken on the far side of the cave-in, looking back in the direction of the T1/T2/T3 junction.

(Alt: North Centre Bastion)

John Latter on April 19, 2007

The spoil filling the tunnel comes from a hole directly above Tunnel 3 created when the lefthand sidewall gave way.

Click to see an image of the hole and a small section of the exposed brickwork of the moat wall (to the right on this page's photo).

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).

Also see St Martin's Battery

John Latter on April 28, 2007

Saturday, 28th April 2007: At 8.19 am this morning (according to my watch) an earthquake happened! It was quite amazing even though it only lasted a few seconds (certainly made my eyes wobble).

Anyway, its going to be interesting to find out if the above photo (and the 'sister pic' linked to in the 2nd comment) still accurately portrays that part of Tunnel 3!

Here's a link to the BBC's news report "Earthquake shakes parts of Kent"

Wikipedia also carries the article, "Dover Straits earthquake of 1580"

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.

John Latter on October 23, 2009

Tunnel 3, known locally as the Devil's Tunnel, or Devil's Alley, is at the eastern end of a 100-yard long tunnel.

Click to see a view of the western end of Devil`s Tunnel to gain an idea of how much earth slipped into the tunnel during the cave-in.

There's also a photo showing the western entrance to The Devil`s Tunnel.

The North Centre Bastion is also known as "Dead Man's Island"

John Latter / Jorolat

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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).

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 2, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/04/01 10:43:57
    • Exposure: 0.017s (1/60)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • Flash fired

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