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Report - - The Gun Shed, Grand Shaft Barracks, Dover. November 2020 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Gun Shed, Grand Shaft Barracks, Dover. November 2020


Urban Ginger Hog

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Having looked around this location many times before it had come to my attention that it was truely going beyond the point of even remotely resembling its former glory. A quick walk round the perimeter and it was unfortunately evident what a poor state this building was now in, with shutters damaged and most of the roof missing. The owners clearly made an attempt to seal the entry point but this has been in vain. Once inside it was worse than I thought, and there was so much more damage than with previous visits. There were some elements lying around which still identified it as previously being a vehicle maintenance garage, but not much. I was able to find out a small bit on the locations history but old period photos were extremley difficult to find.

Here's a few pics dating from when it was operating as a garage to present day.

The garage whilst in its prime
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Bloody graffiti artists
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There were some smaller rooms, including 2 toilets but were in an even worse state and not worth taking a pic of. As displayed in the pics despite it's long history there is next to nothing to highlight, other than its location, that it was once part of the Grand Shaft Barracks.

History:
The former Gun Shed of the Grand Shaft Barracks was still in use up to some years back where it was used as a garage and is located on the top of the ridge. Its structural form and its absence from plans until 1861 hint at a construction date in the late 1850s; a record plan of 1897 identifies it as a Gun Shed, and once of 1892 specifically as the Ordnance Store Department Gun Shed. As such it was not part of the barracks but by 1904 it had been converted as a Cart Shed for the nearby Royal Engineers Store and finally, two plans of 1937 reveal the proposal to convert the building for the repair and storage of motor vehicles, as part of the barracks complex. It is a single-storey, twelve by three bay building of pier and panel construction with the piers in English bond and the panels in Flemish. It has a welsh-slate roof with red clay ridge tiles and cast-iron guttering. The western elevation originally had an open front, divided into twelve bays by ten timber posts with deep chamfers and stops. The central location of the building, at a junction of main roads, suggests that its purpose was to accommodate a mobile reserve of artillery for rapid deployment across the Western Heights, perhaps in connect with the tactics proposed for the new Armstrong rifled field-gun. In this context, the Gun Shed may have continued to house mobile artillery equipment until the turn of the century. However, by 1903, three new stores had been built for mobilisation equipment and a year later the Gun Shed was being used as a Cart Shed by the Royal Engineers. Plans dating to 1896 shows the additional buildings and improvements which were constructed under the 1860's scheme of works at the Grand Shaft Barracks site, including the footprint of the new Gun Store. Many of the buildings of Grand Shaft Barracks are recorded in details on a set of plans, mainly of the 1860s and 1870s, which were probably prepared to accompany the alterations and new building resulting from the recommendations of the Commission. The plan/elevation for the Gun Store shows the interior layout of the building and number of external features.

Till next time people, the history is out there, have at it!!!
 

Urban Ginger Hog

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I never new that garage was originally part of the Heights, learn something new everyday.
I think most folks don't either as it was utilised as a car garage for quite some time. It was only when I did a bit of digging into its past that I found out a bit more
 

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