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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

St. Martin's Battery, Dover

St Martin's Battery was constructed in the 1870s and mounted with three 10-inch RML guns. It is located overlooking Dover's Western Docks, in an area which would have been just inside the South Entrance of the Western Heights fortress. By the turn of the 20th Century, the guns at St Martin's Battery were obsolete, and had been replaced by more powerful guns in other batteries in the area. The old emplacements were modified and re-armed with 6-inch Breech Loading Guns at the beginning of WW2, and the site became known as 'Western Heights Battery'. A late 19th Century magazine, located directly behind the battery, was extended at this time to form a deep shelter. This was constructed in a similar way to shelters at other batteries in the area, being lined throughout in corrugated steel shuttering and iron girders, and followed a similar layout. A secondary entrance to the shelter is located in an area behind the site of the Grand Shaft Barracks.

The gun-emplacements are open as part of the Western Heights trail with interpretation boards installed, the underground shelter and magazines were grilled some years ago to prevent access.

Plan of the battery, late 19th Century
Looking towards the Battery from the car park
One of the gun positions
Looking into the gun position
WW2 magazines below the gun position

Entrances to 19th century magazines

Inside a 19th century magazine

Sealed entrance to rear magazine and shelter

Looking along the corridor

Shelter entrance
End of corridor, magazine entrance on left

Inside magazine

Looking down stairs to deep shelter

Looking along one of the passages

Spur linking the two parallel tunnels

Looking back
Curve in tunnel
Entrance into collapsed section

Inside junction of tunnels, where chalk has collapsed

Looking back
The secondary entrance from outside

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Interesting walk, but you need to be skinny to access this one, I almost got stuck lol

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