Page 14 - Fort Burgoyne
P. 14

Fort Burgoyne                                                                                                  Dover Defences

         south west corner of the fort. To the right (east) of the  supplemented by movable armament firing over the
         guardhouse another road led to the officers’ stables,  parapets beside them. One armament list calls for 7-inch
         which were also added in March 1882 at a cost of £196.  R.B.L. guns then 64pr R.M.L. guns to supersede them
                                                               on the terreplein on blocked up carriages firing over the
         Glacis and Covered way                                parapet. The 64prs were never supplied.
         A drawbridge from the sally port of the centre caponier
         gave access to the ditch and steps on the counterscarp  Sentry path
         stated that Fort Burgoyne was to mount 28 guns. By the Preview
         wall which led up to a gravelled covered way. Plans also  At the foot of the ramparts, above the escarp of the
         show bridges from the left and right caponiers but no  ditch, and extending all round the fort  is a gravelled
         evidence of a drawbridge. These allowed the movement  sentry path or ‘chemins des rondes’. Where it is above
         of troops around the base of the glacis during the early  the escarp of the faces and flanks it allows access to the
         parts of a siege. The glacis, which gently sloped into the  firing steps and parapets for defence of the ditch by
         surrounding fields,  protected the scarps walls and   providing fire over it to the covered way and glacis
         parapet from direct fire and obscured the fort from view  beyond. Another function of this path was to allow the
         in such a way that it would have been impossible for an  repair of the parapets which were liable to destruction
         attacking force to determine the shape and  size of the  under a heavy bombardment. At three points, opposite
         fort. Topping the glacis was a Morton’s patent boundary  the left and right shoulders and above the left flank
         fence, formed of no.8 galvanized iron wire with iron  caponier, a traverse interrupted the sentry path to
         uprights, adding one more obstacle  for attacking     provide defence against enfilade fire. A much larger
         troops. (Colonel Lewis, writing in 1898)              flanking gallery provided the same function above and
                                                               behind the main north caponier. Access to the chemins
         The ditch                                             des rondes was via tunnels from the parade at the left
         The fort is surrounded by a dry ditch approximately   and right shoulders, from the central tunnel and flanking
         35feet  wide at the bottom, deepened by a central     gallery and also at the gorge flanking battery.
         cunette. The walls of this ditch had given trouble during
         construction. There were large clay ‘potholes’  in the  Gun ramps
         chalk and  it was reported as having ‘want of         Two gun ramps each at the southern end of the flanks of
         compactness’. Connecting ditches ran to the fort’s east  the fort provided a means of hauling the main armament
         and west outworks, or wing batteries. This problem with  of the fort up to the terreplein of the ramparts. They
         the chalk seems to have continued long after the fort was  could also be used, in time of need, to enable movable
         considered to be complete. By 1898, according to a date  armament to be brought up to supplement the main
         mark on the revetment of the southeast ditch, the whole  armament. It was usual for gun ramps in land front forts
         of its ditch was revetted with concrete. The ditch to, and  to be situated so that they acted as traverses to the
         around, the Eastern Outwork is revetted: that of the  parade, diminishing the effect of large explosions on the
         Western Outwork is revetted only around the outwork   casemates beneath the ramparts. This was the case in all
         itself.                                               of the Gosport Forts. Where an enemy gun or mortar
                                                               could provide plunging fire descending from high angles
         The Terreplein                                        so that it could fall behind the main parapets, the gun
         When Fort Burgoyne was  designed the original smooth  ramps were placed so that they also acted as traverses,
         bore armament of 35 guns, allocated as the main       containing explosions to one area of the parade.
         armament of the fort, was to be mounted on the broad
         fighting platform following the line of the main      At the inner end of  each of the gun ramps were the main
         ramparts, called the terreplein.  The guns fired through  magazines. The casemate nearest the magazine chamber
         openings, known as embrasures, cut into the earth bank  beneath each of the gun ramps was used as a shifting
         (parapet) in front of the terreplein. Embrasures were not  room until they were no longer required, when they
         usually cut until the threat of attack was anticipated, to  were   re-appropriated as stores. Other casemates
         save on construction costs. The 1874 Jervois report   beneath the right ramp were used as a side arm store and
                                                               a royal Artillery store. Those at the left ramp were a
         time the fort was completed the Haxo casemates held six  stable and  Royal Engineers store.
         guns of the main defence weaponry which could be

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