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Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Citadel & Western Outworks, Dover

The Citadel was the heart of Dover's Western Heights fortress. Construction began at the end of the 18th / beginning of the 19th century, building on earlier earthworks. It was designed so that each ditch is flanked by gunrooms and is an angular shape reminiscent of the forts designed by Vauban. It was protected from the North by the Outer Bastion and counterscarp galleries. The Southern end is occupied by the casemated Officers' Quarters, which is designed in a mock Tudor style, and remains in good condition. Modern buildings now occupy the parade ground in the centre and few original structures remain on the surface. The original gatehouse and bridge are still used as the main entrance. It remained in army hands until the 1950s and has since been a Borstal, Youth Offenders Institute and more recently an Immigration Removal Centre. This has meant that it is free from vandalism, unlike the rest of the components of the Western Heights fortress, although a number of parts have been demolished to make room for new buildings.

The Western Outworks occupies the Western most part of the Heights' defences and is joined to the Citadel by a bridge. Barrack huts on the surface remain in good condition, both internally and externally and are within the DIRC perimeter. Outside of the perimeter, a row of Haxo casemates with Unmarried Soldiers' Quarters behind and two large sets of casemated barracks at ditch level are in a dilapidated state, and a large double caponnier has been buried with no current access.

There is no public access to the Citadel, but I worked there some years ago, and was fortunate enough to be able to access some of the main parts.

The Outer Bastion.

Update May 2011: I attended a visit with the Fortress Study Group to the Citadel tunnels, including some recently opened parts of the Outer Bastion and the Counterscarp galleries. The tunnels are mainly in excellent condition, with some original doors remaining in situ. Unfortunately, due to security restrictions, cameras weren't allowed.

Aerial view, kindly supplied by Geoffrey Hall

A plan of the nearby Citadel Battery and Western Outworks

The gatehouse

 The Gorge

Ditch around the Gorge

The Citadel's Outer, Centre and Inner Bastions

The Officers' Quarters

Soldiers' Quarters, on the ditch level

Barracks on the Western Outworks

Haxo Casemates

Inside one of the Haxo Casemates
Plan of the Haxo Casemates & two-tier South Casemates under

The four barrack rooms from the Glacis

One of the Casemates , the floor between has been removed

Looking to the rear of one of the four barrack rooms

Passage joining the casemates

Steps up to the top level

Drain linking the South Casemates to the North Casemates

Gun ports in the ditch on the North side

Staircase between the two levels on the North side

Concrete blocks deposited down the airshaft


Anonymous said...

I once was stationed at Dover on her majesty,s pleasure at the age of 21. did not like it one bit but it put me on the right track - nice to see photos - thanks for the memories

Old Nick said...

I,too, was a borstal boy in the Citadel in 1966. I was in Sandwich Casemate, got a RSA Silver Medal and 4 'o'levels, grew up thanks to the officers and staff there. I crossed the Gatehouse Bridge over the moat in 1967 and never looked back.. happy days.

Been back to see its deterioration, and the burnt our Officer's Mess... very sad. Lot of young boys became men there.

Take care

Old Nick

Anonymous said...

I too was a borstal boy 1979-1982 two wacks ,was on works dept spent a lot off time at officers club ,also underground fixing things ..

Anonymous said...

I was sent to the Borstal in 1962, after leaving i went to join the Army but they would not accept me, after a few times of trying and 6 months later i was accepted and served 22yrs, the time in the Borstal did me the world of good, should have them to-day.

Dick said...

I arrived at Dover in 1966, and was also in Sandwich. Two screws in particular helped me onto the straight and narrow, one was "Jock", (possibly named Mr Elder?), and one I can't remember, ginger beard, rugby player, really nice guy. I left in 1967 after serving just under six months and was never in trouble again. I had the beginnings of a trade when I left, "Heating and Ventilation", but didn't continue it.

"Old Nick" would remember the same lads there when I was there, including the escape, five of us got away, I went with Apicella (sp?)but broke my ankle on the drop into the moat, Appy half carried me to Folkestone, through the train tunnels, but I was so bad by that time we phoned them up to come and get us.

He would also remember Richie Allen pissing in the Xmas pud!

Anonymous said...

My name is Fred nobby clarke..I was at the farningham home for little boys in the 1950s we used to go for summer camp in the western heights.I remember the underground tunnels and the citadale LT was a ruin then being young I found it all very exciting and very scary ..down in the depths of the underground maze of tunnels. We used to chalk the walls and go for. What seemed like miles underground. And then follow our chalk marks back. It was very thrilling and all so made me scared. But you had that sense of adventure. And daring each other to go first. And explore what was around the corner.what great memories I have. Of my childhood. I am 73 now I served 22 yrs in the army. Had a great time. Posted to amazing parts of the world. .like. jamaica ..singapore.. borneo.. Aden.. berlin-- zambia.. canada.. west germany.. n ireland ..malaya.. now I am living in aldershot with lots of great memories and a wealth of exsperinces. I spent all my young days in children's homes. As a result of the war. My dad left home and mum could not cope through her illness but I was able to spend school holidays in london. With her and my brother danny. And sister Pam.. well there you go is what you make it.. and I have no regrets.. if you think you might know me or was at Dover and shared the same fun contact me or tell..01252314668 .. all the best to you all. Nobby Fred clarke.

Old Nick said...

Ah Dick, I remember your escapade with Lorenzo Apicella,and the bandy legged Mr.Elder.
Mr 'H' (Humphreys) had my card marked and let me stay another couple of months. Dep Governor Marchant was on holiday for the Board Review who had promised me a date if I passed my exams.

I remember Richie Allen. He was the 'daddy' in Sandwich. After the Christmas Pudding affair he ended up in the moat somehow, and promptly went to the punishment unit at Reading. I do recall that the pud was the finest I ever tasted though. He pissed in the porridge too.

Those were the days, eh, Dick ?

Take care of yourself

Old Nick

nomooremike said...

Hi Nick, those were the days indeed.

I remember watching the 1967 Israeli-Arab war live on the TV in Sandwich, next year will be 45 years.

Richie Allen was in the cells below admin and we all pissed in a bucket for him, unfortunately whoever delivered it got the wrong cell and someone else copped it, he shouldn't have come to the window when they called "Richie?".

I met him in a pub in Ealing about ten years later and he introduced me to his 'daddy', he was a dickhead, still being told what to do.

Places like this, with the old photos, really brings back the memories. I got to explore a bit of the old two storey casemates when I was doing Heating and Vent, it was the other side of the moat and the screw let me out to hunt for valves and fittings.

I'm in Australia now, right up in the tropics where it never gets cold, it eases the old 'war wounds' pains!

I'd love to hear from you Nick, drop me a line if you like, dick(at)rikkshosting dotcom

All the best, Dick.

relphy said...

i was in deal house in 1975 for my 19th taken off my target date for four weeks for aquiring 6 misdemeanors in a month.finally got a green tie with 6 weeks to go and got a spot of home caught hiding some booze by a screws kid on the way back(i was going to pick it up when i went to work on the outside gardens party).down the block and lost another 4 weeks.remember swapping the kitchen onions for tulips we were to plant in the screws gardens knowing we would be gone by the the time they flowered.joined the army when i got out and kept mostly out of trouble.heartbreak hotel served me ok

Anonymous said...

I too spent time in Deal house think it was in 78-79, not many happy memories but remember the beach walks as enjoyable, been mostly a good boy since so must have had the desired effect.

Anonymous said...

I was there in 1960- 1963, I too think it did me the world of good, I never went back to crime. I was in Romney, Mr thomas was the main screw and a boy called Smith was the daddy, he gave me his gear when he was discharged,

Geoff said...

Good to read the above comments and indeed to see the photos. Unfortunately Dover didn't do me much good, as during an escape I suffered a spinal injury and became paraplegic; however this in fact was to some extent a blessing as it made me a more considerate person. I was in Sandwich House early 1969. I remember with affection Bill Doherty ( lover of Russian classics...still have your copy of the 'Idiot' that you sent me in hospital Bill!), John Nokes, Evans 'the Bloon,' john Reynolds, Ged Morgan (did you succeed in gaining those O levels Ged? I remember Mr Gray the 'night patrol.' Mr Liesching our very kind governor, a very good man. Yes a lot of great lads.....where are you all now I wonder....hopefully alive and well. I went on to study law at Warwick University...strange how life can deviate!

Rick Watts said...

rick watts. I was at dover borstal 1970/71, sandwich house. screws were: Mr Humphries 'H', Mr Cork, Mr Nelson - good blokes, and 'susser' Powell - horrible bastard. I worked on Pool-in for a year then on works carpenters with Mr Williams. My two great friends there were Graham Constable and Paul Rowe: us three met in Ashford remand Centre. Others there were Roger 'budgie' Cunningham, Al Parker, Steve Cundy (daddy), Ginger Mackie and Paul' rosy' Stone: he was called rosy because he was issued with the only pink tea-mug in the nick - all others were blue.
Borstal never kept me out of trouble, since then I've been sentenced to 3yrs 5yrs, and my last one 12yrs

Marilyn said...

Hi Rich Watts....My brother Stephen McCarthy was also there 1970/1971...He managed to escape but unfortunately when they caught him some months later he was taken back and spent his time in the hospital wing...he was taken to hospital and sadly died....They sent representatives from there to his funeral...Such a shame he was only 19

Dick said...

Good to see so many people found this place. I'm 'Dick' from above comments, now retired and living in Jimbaran, Bali. It would be great to know what happened to all the mates we made inside, especially now our lives are winding down. I'd like to go back to Dover one last time, but those days are over for me, 26 hours on a plane now would kill me, the four and a half hours back to Australia is more than long enough. So good luck to all you who find us here, we share something special.

Unknown said...

I was there in 1961-1963 in Rye House. Looking back on my time there other than missing girls and beer etc I quite enjoyed it. I know it changed my life in a good way as it made me stand up for myself then and in later life. I remember one of the housemasters being a Mr Jones and we had a matron who's name escapes me.

We arrived there from Wormwood Scrubs in about January and there was deep snow on the ground, a couple of us tried to get away one night by dropping into the dry moat that surrounds the place, which was in deep snow, they left us there for several hours as there was no way out to teach us a lesson.

I had never been interested in sport or gymnastics before, but really got into weight and circuit training along with football, cross country running (once a certain level of trust had been reached) and trampolining and gymnastics.

I went on a Vocational Training course in painting and decorating which I continued with in later life in running my own business.

The Borstal scheme of grading you through your training really worked for me. I remember the joy of going from blue tie to red, then green then yellow and green. Yellow and green was the discharge grade which lasted six weeks then home leave and eventually home.

If I had my life over I don't think I would leave this period out as it shaped me throughout the rest of my life. YES I think Borstal training worked for a lot off lads and would probably work again if brought back.


Anonymous said...

Any memories of 1956/57?

Unknown said...

Hi I was in the same dormatory as steve he wasn't there long after he arrived didn't he have a giant mastorid on the side of his head that grew very big and went to hospital and sadly died he was a lovely fella my name is bob Allen I was in the same house as Steve with pat Williams also from Chatham now deceased and a guy called graham Buckingham

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

I was at Dover in 1968/69 in Romney House with Kev Pridham /Martin Morgan/Dave & Ken Phillips/ Dave Gill/ / plus others too many to mention (plus I probably have forgotten who they are) good time had by all . Went there on my second whack,having done Everthorpe,couldn't,t have learnt much ended up in 1971 doing a 3rd whack at Portland


Anonymous said...

I was in Deal house in 1973-74
I worked mainly on works parties.
Didn’t learn a trade while I was there.
Did 2 weeks down the block on 2 occasions. Had me peeling milk churn after milk churn of potatoes.
My hands were red raw��
Was glad to get out but it took me another 3 years and a couple of stints of Bird for me to see the error of my ways and settle down.

Unknown said...

I was never here, but i live in dover. I have enjoyed reading your stories. Were you all young offenders? You can b get in the moat still today

Unknown said...

I was there in 1997 when it was a yoi for three months. It was a proper filthy place then full of cockroaches and rats. Remember the place well.Even then you had to do bed packs everyday and on a sunday you had to lay out all your prison clothing in a certain order for inspection. No tv's or kettles in your cell back then.proper bit of bird

Ted Fry said...

I arrived at Dover Borstal in 67 and did 18mths in Walmer House after previously serving 6mths in Aylesbury DC.
I found Dover a lot easier than DC and the main issue I had was not only the 18mths banged away but also the 2mth allocation period at The Scrubbs with screws emptying your pisspots all over the bedding when you got unlocked in the morning.
The other issue was coming back home to Watford having missed nearly 2 yrs of my life.
Dover and Portland were meant to be the toughest of the closed borstals while all the open ones were more like Butlins and I still remember 'Susser Powell' who loved to give a bit of stick.

Ted Fry

Unknown said...

Was there 64 66 20mnts
Went over the moat spent Xmas Ln the block left a card to the gov happy Xmas signed the rebel
Was known as the rebel after
Was in sandwich but always preferred the single cells down the block
Wrote some songs went up to London with dg Brooks group came and put on a show
In the church
Stole a camera out of matrons office took photos of the lads film went out on a visit
Always in trouble treated it as a joke
Had my 21 first birthday there
They where glad to get rid of me
Gov al
Bert gold was a great fair man who would always treat youfair
After I had it away iput in to see him asked to work outside again I said you have my word I w ill not escape
But said I'm not saying I won't try again from inside he said yes
I asked for the day off to watch Churchills funeral on TV he asked why I said he's the finest English man ever lived
He gave everyone the day off

Trevor W. said...

Anyone from Hythe house 67-69?

JPT666 said...

I was there in 1976/77 with my late friend Mark Young, “The Daddy” of them all. We were in Romney House. The only Screw I can remember was “Spam Dooley”.
Peter Taylor

Anonymous said...

I was there 69 to 70 in walmer house
I only remember a few names Micky Betts phillip hussy, reggie welford, anyone remember them?

Baggy Travers said...

I was there in 65 and got out the day before England won the World Cup in ‘66 (my18th birthday).. Does anyone remember a big bald screw named Ken Lindstrum? Played centre half for Dover

Anonymous said...

Love this historical place.

Anonymous said...

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Unknown said...

I was there 74/75 allocated from the scrubs..initially was in gaynes hall borstal before escaping and sent to dover did a bricklaying course..been a bricklayer ever since ..became good friends with a black lad Freddie daley...whilst on the run from gaynes hall my friend Mickey dell drowned in a gravel pit.
I'm 61 now d.o.b 21,4,59

SuburbanSteve said...

I was there just after the dorms in the moat were closed and all the houses were in the main area.
Worked in the kitchen washing pots and worked my way up to #1 on the coppers.
I can't remember many names but susser Powell and dolly Duncan our house matron and JB one of the house screws who was ok, fond memories looking back but not so fond at the time as always in the block for one thing or another...

Brett said...

Love the data here, nice one admin!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I was in Rye House 1971. Via The Scrubs and Ashford Remand Centre (the pits).

Served 8 months plus the remand weeks. It wasn’t too bad. Once you got past basic grade blue tie and got on a course…carpentry and joinery…enjoyed that part.

Once you moved up to red tie, or senior training grade, things got better, you could see the end of it. By the time I’d had my home leave, it was almost time for the City and Guilds exam. Due to an admin mix up, I was brown tied and on Discharge grade before the exam date and I got released. Had to travel back down to Dover to take the theory, as the practical was done. Told it was the first and only time the governor has agreed to let anyone back in to take an exam!

Passed it, but it was weird sitting in a class with my mates, me in civvies, them in Borstal blues!

Rye house was easier than the ‘closed’ houses like Sandwich and Hyde. You were free to go outside and socialise with the other lads. Our ‘Daddy’ was a Scots guy called Jasper…top lad. On his last weekend, we played murder ball in the gym and he got into it with another daddy…I stepped in and got a right handed from the other guy to stop Jasper piling in and losing his release date. Idiot me, but it got me a big step up in status and a few gifts from our daddy before he left to go home.

Not exactly happy days, but bearable and some happy memories.

jack jones said...

I was in Sandwich house 1973, John cheeseman, The daddy, great bloke, Steve Redman, Colin Hodges, Stanley slaughter, Steve Mayo, Daly from east london, Paul cane, Danny roper my name Jack jones
and love to hear from any above or old pals 07758930876

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether anyone remembers the names of two screws - assistant governors - who liaised with students from Canterbury and supervised visits to the Borstal in 1969 - 71.

A first date in a prison is a bit weird when people ask how my husband and I met each other. Our 50th wedding anniversary is this year, 2022. We'd joined the Social Action society in our first week at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Wide-eyed teenage do-gooders.

There was a rather nasty assistant governor, small, with dark hair and a thin face. I think his name began with P. He was a bit of a poser who obviously revelled in his petty power and enjoyed showing us students the then-newfangled razor wire that topped the deep, lethal moat from the Napoleonic wars. The nicer one was tall, with floppy fairish hair. The boys mocked him behind his back, but with affection I think, mimicking him saying "Splendid, splendid!" He was respectful and serious when he talked about the inmates and seemed to sincerely want to help young prisoners to have better lives. He told us he was concerned that the whole system might unintentionally work against this. We later heard that he had left the prison service after a year or two whereas his colleague Mr Nasty had stayed and been promoted. I've often wondered what Mr Nice did afterwards.

A group of us visited Dover Borstal every few weeks - we were told they let us in to give a glimpse of the outside world, and a bit of practice with company of their own age, to the young men (the ones with green ties) who were being prepared to leave. We all thought another reason was that they hoped they might recruit us too as graduate entrants to the prison service as assistant governors when we finished our degrees. However, none of us, not even the Conservative Association members, considered a career in the prison service after seeing how contradictory and ineffective this Borstal looked, as a way of rehabilitating anybody or preventing crime.

Still, we liked meeting the Borstal boys and they appeared to have a good time chatting to us, even under the Mary Whitehouse stares from the Toc H ladies who ran the tea counter. At that point in history, anyone of our generation had more in common with each other than with most older people, so the conversation was easy. The chance to talk to us girls - any girls - must have provided a bit of variety too. We had one walk around the university grounds as well, and the plan was to delegate one or two of the female students to distract Mr Nasty, as we walked in pairs and threes, so that everybody could chat more freely without being overheard. Not that we had anything special to say, just that the constant hostile surveillance was a strain, even for one afternoon.

Terry W said...

Cant believe how many people on here have "pleasant" memories of that place,I was there 1966/67 ish,originally put in Sandwich house,but immediatly fell foul of the daddies and other hard nuts,mostly London mod types who didnt like you if you were from "out in the sticks"Immediatly tried to abscond,got caught before even getting in the moat.Got moved to the house in the officers quarters.over the block.Same thing happened again,big lad called Clarke took a dislike to me,believe he wrote a book later about his bullying daddy ways.Tried to abscond again,got caught in the moat this time,as the lad that went with me broke his arm jumping in After another spell in the block got transferred to Feltham.which was altogether alot more civilised than Dover.Absconded on home leave from there.and for some strange reason ,they never caught up with me.75 now so dont mind letting that info out of the

Anonymous said...

I was in Sandwich in 64/65.Done a mural for the admin block. Remember a P Wright D Rackham P O'Leary

walkthrough article said...

Retired Army Col. and S.C. didn't start talking until they got to the President's Box. Black professor Samuel Stroman, a war hero, emerges and confronts The Citadel's director of governmental relations, retired Lt. Col. Ben W. Legare Jr.
Legare bowed to his previous employer. After giving it back, Stroman hugged Susan Legare, Legare's wife. The S.C. State supporters started cheering on their own. A stadium-wide sigh was let out. When telling the tale, Legare gets a little choked up. These days, Stroman is not doing well. Legare pauses, averts his gaze, and clenches his teeth. In conclusion, he remarks, "Great man," and goes on.


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