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Report - North entrance Dover 01/2011

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Oldskool, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Oldskool

    Oldskool Guest
    Guest

    Second outing with Wevsky,its a bit of underground and overground.
    I really enjoyed this explore, alot of history in detail from the drawbridge winder to the scored wall from years of rope rubbing against it....Even walking the dry moat was interesting anyhows ...

    The weakest link in fortress defence is often the entrances, so it is hardly surprising that much ingenuity goes into their design. The North Entrance to the Western Heights was the nearest to the town of Dover and most convenient for access, either for supplies or by an attacking force. Accordingly, its defences were substantial, comprising two bridges and a tunnel. The entrance dates from the Royal Commission period of the 1860s, and superseded the entrance dating from Napoleonic times - a single bridge over a ditch.

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    The two bridges crossed the twin ditches (or lines), which were separated by an earth bank – the tenaille. Neither bridge was fixed. The first of the two had a drop-down section hinged at the tenaille end, while the second had a section that could be raised. The roadway cut through the tenaille was ‘S’ shaped, so that artillery fire could not be brought to bear on the entrance to the tunnel from the approach road.

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    Massive rebuilding took place at the end of the eighteenth century during the Napoleonic Wars. William Twiss, the Commanding Engineer of the Southern District, as part of his brief to improve the town's defences, completed the remodelling of the outer defences of Dover Castle adding the huge Horseshoe, Hudson's, East Arrow and East Demi-Bastions to provide extra gun positions on the eastern side, and constructing the Constable's Bastion for additional protection on the west. Twiss further strengthened the Spur at the northern end of the castle, adding a redan, or raised gun platform. By taking the roof off the keep and replacing it with massive brick vaults he was able to mount heavy artillery on the top. Twiss also constructed Canon's Gateway to link the defences of the castle with those of the town.
    With Dover becoming a garrison town, there was a need for barracks and storerooms for the additional troops and their equipment. The solution adopted by Twiss and the Royal Engineers was to create a complex of barracks tunnels about 15 metres below the cliff top and the first troops were accommodated in 1803. At the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the tunnels housed more than 2,000 men and to date are the only underground barracks ever built in Britain.
    At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the tunnels were partly converted and used by the Coast Blockade Service to combat smuggling. This was a short term endeavour though and in 1826 the headquarters were moved closer to shore. The tunnels then remained abandoned for more than a century.

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    Thanks for looking Oldskool...........​
     

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