Page 12 - Fort Burgoyne
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Fort Burgoyne                                                                                                  Dover Defences

         Fort Burgoyne construction                            east one at NGR 63268 14235. Its purpose was to deny
         The fort is polygonal in plan, broadly forming a      the high ground to the north of Dover castle to an
         pentagon in shape except for its west flank, which    attacking force who could have launched an artillery
         extends along the crest of the hill. Polygonal        attack on the Castle from it. The flat drill ground to the
         fortification was efficiently employed where a line of  north of the fort was used on many occasions during the
         forts could, by nature of their shape, be mutually    mid to late 1800s as the focus for ‘sham attacks’ and
         supporting with the fire from the flanks of one fort  military exercises. The area to the south of the fort
         of Guston. This road was diverted round the fort. with Preview
         covering the faces of the adjoining forts. This system of  between the two main roads from Dover, one to Guston
         fortification was  successfully used in the five Advanced  and one to Deal, was developed as an army camp which
         Line forts of Gosport. Fort Burgoyne, although        became Connaught Barracks. The parade stands at
         conforming to this polygonal design, was constructed in  approximately  122 metres above Ordnance Datum.
         isolation with no other forts to support it. It stood alone  Fort Burgoyne  is similar in many respects to the three
         and was therefore vulnerable to enfilade from its flanks.  inner forts of the Gosport Advanced Lines (Brockhurst,
         It primary purpose was to deny the high ground opposite  Grange and Rowner) in design. It is  an irregular
         Dover Castle to an attacking force thereby providing the  hexagon  in plan, about 280 metres from north to south,
         Castle with protection on its landward side. The      and 260 metres from east to west. It  consists of  a main
         countryside surrounding it was cleared of obstructions to  north facing rampart, mounting the main armament of
         give free range to its guns and the gorge (rear) of the fort  the fort on its terreplein, with two faces and a central
         was deliberately left weak to allow easy recapture if ever  double caponier flanking its ditch. The terrepleins of the
         the fort was overrun.                                 two flanks provided covering fire to the east and west
                                                               with an elongated extension to the west flank covering
         According to the plans of Fort Burgoyne the           the Dover to Guston Road which ran close by. A
         construction of the fort began on 18th June 1861 and it  demi-caponier was situated to flank the ditch at each of
         was completed on 31st December 1873 at an estimated   the shoulders of  the fort with another to flank the ditch
         cost of £88,053 and an actual cost of £86,361, close to  of the  elongated west rampart, giving one double
         the cost quoted by the 1869 Committee. According to   caponier and three demi-caponiers in total.
         the History of the Corps of Royal Engineers, the
         designer given the job of drawing up the plans of  Fort  Entrance and guardhouse
         Burgoyne was  Captain C. Du Cane, (later Sir Edmund   The single entrance to the fort was at the centre of the
         Du Cane) a Royal Engineer Officer, under the guidance  gorge and was flanked by two storied gun casemates
         of William Jervois. Du Cane also designed             mounting eight guns in total, referred to as caponiers in
         contemporary works on Dover’s Western heights.        the armament  lists and various reports but were really
         Jervois was an influential man in all aspects of  British  flanking gun casemates without the characteristics of
         Fortification design and was the Secretary to the 1860  caponiers. They were also poorly placed as any guns
         Royal Commission.  In 1856 he had been appointed      mounted in them fired directly at the brick piers of the
         Assistant Inspector-General of Fortifications. In 1862  main access bridge. The bridge across the ditch was a
         Lieutenant-Colonel Jervois  became Deputy Director of  fixed one supported on two pairs of  pillars. The inner
         Works (Fortifications). The first phase of works was  portion was a drawbridge lifted by chains and a winch.
         awarded to commercial contractors George Smith & Co,  Just inside the entrance was the guardhouse  consisting
         of  Commercial Road, Pimlico, for £29,508 and was     of two separate buildings, a guard room with prisoners
         completed in June 1863. In January 1874 and again in  day room on the left and a series of three prisoner cells
         1875 damage to the fort due to slippage was repaired  and latrines on the right. Behind these buildings on
         under the supervision of the Royal Engineers.         either side were the stairs to the gorge entrance flanking
                                                               casemates. The entrance road ran between the guard
         The fort is situated at Grid Reference NGR: 6324 1425  room buildings to the parade with a road leading off to
         just north of Dover Castle, between the A258 Dover to  the left (west) to a building at the foot of the left
         Deal road and the minor road from Dover to the village  flanking rampart,  appropriated as a coal store, straw
                                                               store and wash house. According to plans of the fort   a
         outworks, referred to in contemporary Reports as ‘wing  new roadway was constructed past this building in
         batteries, The west one  at NGR 63212 14252  and the  March 1882 to give access to the new Laboratory at the

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