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Report - Horseshoe Bastion - Dover. 17/4/09

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by DarkDog, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. DarkDog

    DarkDog Too old to give a f*ck...
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    Situated on the Eastern Flank of Dover Castle, Horseshoe Bastion was constructed between 1794 and 1805, along with Hudson's, East Arrow & East Demi Bastions. Tales of labyrinthine passages, 40ft shafts, hidden trap doors and an underground communication passage leading to the Castle's interior have made exploring this fortification somewhat of an obsession of mine; more so since EH wouldn't co-operate with granting official access. To the best of my knowledge this bastion hasn't been documented before, so I was keen to get the place 'opened up'.
    Because of it's exposed position, and a lack of any information in archives, my plan to get in here was based on nothing more than fleeting glimpses of an access point and required the right mix of dusk light & darkness. Patiently, I waited through the months for the clocks to go forward - a business trip to Manchester and an newly discovered ARP tunnel delayed the explore until last week. Here is the story of the evening:

    Taking advantage of the gear I was carrying, a visit was paid to the buried caponier underneath Fitzwilliam Gateway, another undocumented site.
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    On then, to tonight's target: Horseshoe Bastion, conditions weren't the best for navigating around the ramparts - heavy rain, mud & brambles made it an interesting experience. A calming coffee helped clear the mind, a deep breath was taken - and entry was successful.

    Inside the Bastion's first floor
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    Getting to the ground floor wasn't easy, once down, the first passage way was encountered
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    As anticipated, the brickwork was the same beautiful flowing workmanship as in East Demi, Hudson's & Avranches Lower Flank, whilst some elements were similar to the Spur Caponiers
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    The main Entrance block revealed fireplaces, murderous defences and an unusual single counterweight for the drawbridge
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    Another passage leads off to a blocked entrance
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    And now for the trip under the moat to the Castle - down a spiral staircase
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    Along a 300ft chalk cut passageway
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    To the climb up a second spiral staircase towards the surface
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    This is where the photos end - security like to park right outside the tunnel entrance! Steps were retraced, and an exit was made. Horseshoe was everything I had hoped it would be...and more.
     

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