Page 6 - Fort Burgoyne
P. 6

Fort Burgoyne                                                                                                  Dover Defences

           of the nature of a strategical fortress or intrenched camp in  The President of the Committee wound up by asking
           its primary object.’                                Captain C. E. Harvey R.E.  former Acting Commanding
           ‘that no other course was open but to complete the works  Royal Engineer at Dover :
           in progress, and  give them such additional strength as  ‘..a further sum will be required for completing the forts to
           may be considered necessary to render them secure.’  receive their armaments?’
         The works at Dover already in existence were           ‘And that further sum will depend upon the nature of the
         1. A citadel and a small fort called the Drop Redoubt on  armaments, and the arrangements which may be decided
          the Western heights above the town partly connected   upon hereafter?’
          by unfinished lines and an old fort called Archcliffe  ‘Yes, as to the ordnance, the magazines, the artillery stores,
          close to the shore below the citadel and also connected  and the laying of racers, &c’
          to it by a line.
         2. Dover Castle on the Eastern Heights with a small   The fort’s armament had not yet been decided, but it was
          battery at the foot of the cliff below it called Guildford  constructed for 35 guns on the terreplein, 24 in the
          Battery.                                             caponiers and gun rooms, and 9 on the Outworks (5 on
                                                               the East and 4 on the West). The fort by October 1868
         Sir John Fox Burgoyne (Inspector general of           was  almost complete, apart from the provision of guns
         Fortifications 1845-1868) was examined by the Royal   and racers. The East and West Wing Batteries (known as
         Commission as a witness and he stated that he thought  the outworks) were described as ‘very nearly
         the castle was the weakest point at Dover. The        completed’. The 1869 Committee reported:
         Commissioners called for:                              Castle Hill, Fort
         1. The addition of an outwork to the west of the Citadel.  181. This is the only new work at Dover, and wholly
                                                                charged to the Loan for Defences.
         2.The completion of the casemated officer’s quarters   It occupies a site about 400 feet above mean tide level, on
          and sundry smaller works in the citadel               the same ridge as the Castle, and 700 yards distant from it.
         3. The completion in an approved form of the lines     The ditches are 35 feet in width at bottom, blanked by one
          between the Citadel and Drop Redoubt.                 double and three single caponnieres, all of two tiers. The
         4. Re-modelling Drop Redoubt and constructing the      gorge ditch forms a re-entering angle with casemated
          lines to the eastward of it.                          flanks for guns and musketry. The scarps and counterscarps
         5. Constricting the South lines and South Entrance with  are in chalk, protected by a facing of concrete and flint
          barracks on the South Front.                          work, and well defiladed. There is a chemin des rondos, as
         6. Re-modelling the East Front of the Castle Heights and  well as a covered way. The average height of the crest of
          constructing casemates for 72 men.                    the parapet is 431 feet. 29 guns can be mounted on the
                                                                ramparts, of which six will be in Haxo casemates; at the
         7. A new work on the hill overlooking the Castle.
                                                                right of the gorge, two guns on the parade level will flank
                                                                the ditch, connecting the East Wing Battery with the main
         On January 20th, 1862 the Defence and                  work; 26 smaller pieces will be placed in the caponnieres
         Fortification Committees,                              and flanking batteries.
          ‘referring to their memorandum of 10th. November, 1860,
          approved of a general design for permanent batteries and  In rear of the flanks of the work, and about 300 yards
          connecting lines on either side of Castle Hill Fort to  distant. from it, are the East and West Wing Batteries, for
          complete the position to northeast of the Castle’     five and four guns respectively, with the requisite magazine
                                                                accommodation. These batteries are secured independently
         The  ‘New Work’ not  yet named, was referred to as     by ditches, and are connected by lines with the main work.
         Castle Hill Fort by the 1869 Committee ‘appointed to
         enquire into the construction, condition and cost of   There are bombproof casemates under the main ramparts
         fortifications’. This was the only new work at Dover and  of the fort for seven officers and 270 men, and the
                                                                aggregate capacity of the magazines is for 3,672 barrels of
         was to be paid for out of  ‘The Loan for Defences ’,  the  powder.
         method by which Parliament raised the huge sum of
         money needed to carry out the Royal Commission’s       This work  was commenced in June 1861, under a contract
         recommendations for the defences of the United         for the erection of the casemated barracks; it is now being
         Kingdom.                                               completed by military labour, and is well and skilfully
                                                                constructed, with  reference to permanency and stability.

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