The Western Heights, Dover, Kent. Report No. 4: The Grand Shaft Barracks - 19th and 20th century Infantry Barracks: Survey Report

Author(s): Paul Pattison, Andrew Williams

Between February and June 1999, Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) and English Heritage undertook an archaeological investigation and analytical field survey of the buildings, ruined structures and earthworks associated with the former Grand Shaft Barracks, on the Western Heights, Dover in Kent. The buildings were placed on a series of massive terraces, cut from and built over the chalk bedrock, to provide level and solid platforms. These terraces are still a prominent feature and demolition of the buildings has not, for the most part, severely damaged the basic profile of the site. The original design of the barracks was simple: the major part of the accommodation was provided in three parallel ranges on terraces facing south-east, with the Parade Ground and the Grand Shaft below them, then the cliff edge. Drop Redoubt Road formed the northern flank while the terraces were linked by a broad flight of steps on their south-western side. On the steep south-western side of the combe, the ground was terraced at right angles to the accommodation ranges, and on these were placed ancillary buildings: cookhouses, stores, workshops and recreational facilities. Access to the whole site was via Drop Redoubt Road and by a track from Archcliffe Fort. A detached site occupied ground on the ridge top north-west of Centre Road. The Royal Engineers’ had offices and stores here, and there were also communal buildings including the garrison chapel, school and schoolmaster’s house. All have been demolished and replaced by modern buildings. (This was report 25/2001 in a previous series)

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