North Moat and Gun Rooms, Outer Bastion, Western Heights, Dover, Kent, UK

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

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John Latter on March 28, 2010

This is the outermost of the moats surrounding the Outer Bastion (see East Moat and West Moat) whose Outer Section is the monolithic block on the right-hand side of the photo.

At the far (western) end of this view of the North Moat are three gun rooms. The Outer Bastion has two other sets of similar gun rooms, both located on the Inner Section: one points eastwards down the connecting moat with the North Centre Bastion, and the other points westwards down the connecting moat with the Western Outworks.

This set of gun rooms have a unusual feature which is discussed in the Unique Gun Rooms of the Outer Bastion`s North Moat photo.

The western end of a pre-Napoleonic Earthwork is situated on top of the moat above the gun rooms, about 50 yards to the right.

There's a similar photo of the North Moat taken from above the gun rooms which shows a security camera and other features not visible in the above photo.

Standard Information for the Outer Bastion

Click to see all photos of the Outer Bastion.

The Outer Bastion is shaped like three chunks of the five-by-one segment Yorkie chocolate bar, complete with "hanging valleys" between each segment - see the East Moat, Outer Bastion photo.

For ease of reference, the three sections of the Outer Bastion have been termed: Outer Section (nearest the camera), Middle Section, and Inner Section (this last being an integral part of the Citadel). The two "hanging moats" (or cross ditches) are the Outer Traverse Moat (again, nearest the camera) and the Inner Traverse Moat.

Of the five major components* of the extensive Napoleonic and Victorian fortifications on the northern slopes of the Western Heights above the town of Dover, perhaps the least known about is the Outer Bastion - and that takes into account the fact that one component is no longer visible!

At least part of the reason for easily-accessible information is because, like the Citadel itself (the core of the defensive network), the Government has never relinquished control and inadvertently allowed "unofficial" access. Indeed, razor-wire and security cameras can be found all around the moats of the Outer Bastion.

Having stared wistfully at the Outer Bastion for over half a century, this inability to "have a look around" has resulted in a small entry to be made near the end of, "Things I Intend To Give God A Hard Time About", Volume VII.

Despite the apparent lack of surface structures, there are some interesting aspects to the Outer Bastion that will be commented upon under the relevant photos.

*Three of the other components - the Drop Redoubt, North Entrance, and North Centre Bastion - are owned by English Heritage, while the remaining fifth component, the Western Outworks, has been completely buried.

I've made these for YouTube: North Entrance (Video) and North Centre Bastion (Video).

English Heritage's Pastscape entry for the Western Heights states:

The Western Heights were first fortified circa 1779, with field works. In 1781 work was begun to replace them with permanent defences. The Grand Shaft (see TR 34 SW 210) was constructed between 1805 and 1807 and the Citadel and Drop Redoubt were built as separate forts. These were subsequently combined when lines (ie moats) were constructed to join them. Work ceased when the armistice was signed in 1814. The defences were completed following the report of the Royal Commission of 1860.

NB The Detached Bastion is part of the North Centre Bastion complex and known locally as "Dead Man's Island".

John Latter / Jorolat

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 2, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/11/15 11:41:32
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 18.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/6.300
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash