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Report - Napoleonic Draining in Dover, January '11

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by DarkDog, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. DarkDog

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

    Jan 15, 2009
    Likes Received:
    My last report, 'What lies beneath?', mentions unexplored parts of Dover's Napoleonic defences, and the greatest of these is the Citadel.

    Built in the late years of the 18th century and expanded during the invasion scares of the 19th century, in 1952 it was turned into a prison, becoming a Borstal for Young Offenders in 1957. In April 2002 it was re-designated as an Immigration Removal Centre and is run by the Prison Service, holding appellant and failed asylum seekers in secure conditions for the Immigration Service.

    Set behind deep ditches, Razor Wire, Barbed Wire, CCTV and motion sensing alarms, much of the Citadel lies undocumented but plans do hint at Sally Ports and linking tunnels beneath the outer zones, and it was one of these that Herbivore and I decided to investigate further.

    Having first visited several years ago, our hope was to get GPS readings at several points in order to map the tunnel's route. It's fair to say that access is by a rather random route, the final part of which is like being born backwards :eek:.

    5316620506_362104e84d_z.jpg 5316020681_b8c0012a4e_z.jpg
    Note to self: Don't get distracted by the toys left lying around.

    5316619196_6985717924.jpg 5316617060_44e072ed39.jpg
    The early 1950s saw much of the surrounding military barracks being demolished to make way for such essentials as Coal Yards and Haulage Yards :banghead.

    5316025173_935358a8cd_z.jpg 5316611474_7af1d1ff89_z.jpg
    Making our way through the ruins, we ended up in the South Lines Casemates, ready to begin our journey under the fortress via the South Citadel Drain Tunnel.


    At some point after the gun rooms fell into disuse, a drain tunnel was built to carry waste from the Citadel, and in 1981 new pipes were laid to carry turdage out. The height averages out at about 4.5' and it's navigable for about 1200 yards - oh yes, and it's uphill quite severely. Because of the restricted width and headroom you can either adopt a wide legged shuffling gait or walk on top of the pipe almost bent double - either way it's an absolute pig of a back breaking journey.

    The first of three manholes.

    Turdage inspection pipe. Shortly after this the tunnel is bricked up substantially, only the rats being able to access beyond. Air quality isn't brilliant, space even less so, so after a few people shots we made our way out again.

    Thanks for taking the time to look.

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