Napoleonic Fortifications


"At the beginning of the 19th century, when Napoleon Bonaparte threatened to invade England, the Western Heights was further fortified, and its fortifications were completed fifty years later.  When these heights were completely enclosed, several roads of approach were made.  One main carriage road was made over the hill from Old Folkestone Road, carried by two bridges through the military works, and emerging on the northern side, from which the North Military Road leads down Military Road into York Street."  (J.B.J. 1907)

Parts of the Napoleonic fortifications on the Western Heights are still accessible, having been dug out and partially restored.



"Another short road from Archcliffe Fort led up to the Military Hospital, and from thence continued by a footpath to the North and South Road.  There were also two other approaches made - the Sixty-four Steps from Adrian Street up to a path leading to the Drop Redoubt, and the Grand Shaft, from Snargate Street ..."  (J.B.J. 1907)

"The Citadel (in 1803) occupied the western portion of the position, the eastern end being taken up by a small fort called the Drop Redoubt."  (J.B.J. 1907)

The Citadel Barracks were for many years a prison for young offenders; now a detention centre for illegal immigrants waiting to be deported.  The old officers' mess can still be seen on the top of the hills above Aycliffe.


The Officers' Mess can still be seen from the Pier

  For further information on the Napoleonic fortifications, read Dover's Hidden Fortress by John Perverley or visit Jeff Howe's Western Heights website.