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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 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



18 comments:

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 ..life 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 ..at frederick.Clarke1@btopenworld.com. 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 birthday.got 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 leave.got 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.

Alan Culley 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.

Alan

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