Page 26 - Dover
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Victorian Forts                              FortLog                             Dover 8

               St. Martin’s Battery (Western heights Battery)

          Commenced            1871                                 Armament
          Completed            1874
          Cost                  £ Not known                         1886 Mounted 3 x 10-inch RMLs
          Map Reference        TR 314 407                           1893 3 x 10-inch RMLs
          Position             Western Heights, overlooking         1895 3 x 10inch
                               harbour                                        Proposed 2 x 10inch
          Type                 Coast Defence Battery                1898 3 x 10inch: Reductions 3 x 10inch
          Ditch                None                                 1906 No armament
          Guns                 3                                    WWII  3 x 6-inch BLs
          Barrack Accom. None
          Present use          Derelict

          History              Coast defence battery
                               Western Heights Battery
          Disposal             Dover District Council
          Condition            Fair
          Access               Open site
                               Coad & Lewis, The Later Fortifications of Dover;
          Sources              Precis of Correspondence Dover.

          History and Description

           The battery was built 1871 to 74 and was originally known as ‘Western Heights Battery’. In 1886 the
           Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers Works Committee recommended that the carriages should be
           adapted for high-angle fire, but this work had still not been carried out in 1893, nor had any
           provision for it been made. In their 1886 Report the Works Committee also suggested that No. 2 gun
           should be removed and a magazine built in its place. In the event a new magazine was built into the
           bank behind the battery instead. It bears the date 1890 on a stone above its entrance.

           In 1893 provision was made to remodel  St. Martins for its guns to be fitted to the new long range
           mountings. All the Dover RML batteries were rendered obsolete and unnecessary by the BL batteries
           built at the Citadel and Langdon Cliffs at the turn of the century.

           During WW2 a 6-inch Emergency Battery, with overhead anti-strafing cover was plonked on top of
           St. Martin’s Battery, which was re-named ‘Western Heights Battery’ again. The battery is now,
           therefore, an interesting mix of 19th century and WW2. A tunnel was cut from the ‘new’ magazine
           referred to above down to a deep shelter for the battery. The entrance to this is blocked by a welded
           The Battery has recently been tidied up by the White Cliffs Countryside Project, who have provided
           interpretation panels.

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