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Report - Dymchurch Redoubt, Kent. 7.4.09

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by DarkDog, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. DarkDog

    DarkDog Too old to give a f*ck...
    Regular User

    Jan 15, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Got to see this site with the MOD's permission, however with it still being a 'live' site the private forum is the only place this report can go really. Shame, as it's a really interesting site with plenty of features still remaining.
    Built between 1805 and 1808 on the site of the former Brook Barn, Dymchurch Redoubt was one of three redoubts built at the time, the others being at Eastbourne and Harwich. In conjunction with the Martello Towers, it formed an important part of the defences along the coastline.
    The Redoubt consists of a ring of casemates with an inner courtyard and was surrounded by a wide dry circular ditch built of brick. Access to the fort was originally provided by a drawbridge, these days there is just a fixed structure, probably added during the heavy modifications that took place in WW2.
    The original armament was eleven 24 pounder cannon mounted on wooden carriages which ran on four wheels along a wooden inclined traversing platform - these guns would have had a range of approximately one mile. By the 1870's the upgraded weaponry defending the Redoubt consisted of two 68 pounder RMLs and ten 32 pounders, the 68 pounders having an effective range of 2.5 miles. By WW2 two 6" BLs were mounted on the roof in brick and concrete gun houses as protection from enemy aircraft, machine guns with 20mm and 40mm AA weapons being added by 1942 - the original seaward facing gun positions were widened to incorporate the new machine gun posts while two other positions were destroyed completely. The Observation Tower was also added at this time.
    In the 1970's the Redoubt was used as an urban training facility for soldiers destined for Northern Ireland with panels being fixed to the interior walls of the courtyard depicting street scenes. The only surviving traces of this facility are the six firing posts at terreplain level, the panels being removed in 1996.
    The Ministry of Defence still use the site for training troops in close-quarters fighting - a purpose built 'Killing Hut' and various casemates are the new playgrounds which benefit from low velocity training ammunition and military grade paint marking technology, as well as various electronic enhancements.

    The Inner Courtyard & Observation Tower
    3422379118_2dd725a543.jpg 3422453144_e736cd35c4.jpg

    Directions are always handy

    A colourful central corridor runs between the Casemates
    3421581851_af63f94ebd.jpg 3421584509_7bf6d8db27.jpg

    For those with a peeling paint fetish...

    Some Casemates are empty, others have been adapted for various scenarios
    3422396640_af962415b7.jpg 3421631343_172ea1ebf8.jpg

    Various original fittings remain, including a number of fireplaces...
    3422400632_1a7d7a323b.jpg 3421602495_effa89c681.jpg

    ...as well as coat hooks
    3422404786_ea65c1935c.jpg 3421614195_6e78722cb0.jpg

    Probably the nicest of the Casemates
    3421608995_2ccf7f20a1.jpg 3422443808_64899cecae.jpg

    The showers

    Some interesting stairwells
    3421616639_6c0e37cd8f.jpg 3422434192_816a4ac95f.jpg

    Original door architecture
    3422426402_491791b8dd.jpg 3421624135_7d7b9ff8c3.jpg

    To the Muffs!

    WW2 Observation Point

    Don't lose your keys!

    Tunnel connecting the WW2 gun positions

    The MOD 'Rupert' who acted as chaperone was a top chap - good to see something out of the ordinary, even if some of it was off limits to photography.

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