Western Heights

  • Western Heights

Location

Drop Redoubt Road,
Western Heights,
Dover, Kent
CT17 9DW

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Contact

mandywhall@doverwesternheights.org

Opening Times

Free to visit the outside and moat. Further information regarding ad-hoc tours conducted by the Western Heights Preservation Society can be found at www.doverwesternheights.org.

Facilities

Parking

About

 

Western Heights

The Western Heights of Dover are one of the most impressive fortifications in Britain. The most dramatic structures are the Drop Redoubt, a huge fortress surrounded by massive ditches built between 1804 and 1815 to protect Dover from French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars, and the Grand Shaft, a triple spiral staircase designed to get troops quickly from the barracks on the cliffs to meet the invading forces below. There are also traces of gun sites and shelters dating from WW2. Once filled with barracks, the site was occupied by the army until 1961.

Though the Grand Shaft and interior of the Drop Redoubt can only be visited with a guide or as part of an open day, the site provides a dramatic backdrop to investigations of the relationships between England and France and the history of warfare.

The area around the fortifications is managed as a chalk grassland nature reserve with circular walks and four free seasonal wildlife leaflets are available from the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership.

English Heritage Western Heights Dover

Activities

English

Poetry Activities

Poetry Activities

Poets use their senses to create their poems. Here are some activities that you can do on site to help you produce fantastic poetry based on your experiences.

Other texts you might want to look at:

– Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 4 scene 1 (from ‘Dost thou know Dover’) and scene 6 (to Lear’s entrance).
– Carol Ann Duffy, ‘White Cliffs’
– Daljit Nagra, ‘Look we have coming to Dover’
– See also http://www.poetryatlas.com/search/white+cliffs.html

History

Defending Dover!

Defending Dover!

The defence of Dover has been crucial, protecting it from invasion for hundreds of years – but how has this been achieved? At the Western Heights you can uncover the history of the fortifications put in place to defend the town from invasion, and see how well you can match your own knowledge and predictions against what really happened.

The Drop Redoubt (exterior) and the site of former barracks are open access. For a guided tour of the interior of the Drop Redoubt and visit to the Grand Shaft, contact Dover Western Heights Preservation Society
http://www.doverwesternheights.org
mandywhall@doverwesternheights.org

For in-school workshops on being a soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, see also:
http://schoolhistoryworkshops.co.uk/workshops.html

Art & Design

Art and Design Activities

Art and Design Activities

Your local area and other similar places have provided inspiration for generations of artists. Get out there to gather ideas that will inspire your own work?

What does your environment mean to you? What are your memories and dreams? Use a site visit to record your impressions and create a presentation that explains your past and your hopes for the future.

Dover artist William Burgess (1805 – 1861) painted scenes and stories of local life and also pioneered a revolutionary way of displaying them called a Cosmorama. What stories of Dover today would you like to tell through your art and how could you present them?

Geography

The Shipping Forecast – Be a Meteorologist for the Day

The Shipping Forecast – Be a Meteorologist for the Day

Weather reports from the Dover coastal weather logging station are broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4, playing a crucial role in warning mariners using the English Channel and South coast of dangerous sailing conditions. You may have heard Dover mentioned as part of the radio transmission sequence – Fair Isle, Viking, Cromarty, Forties?

Unbeknownst to most people, just down the road near Castle Hill Folkestone, is the remains of a rather more secretive and austere ‘weather’ observation station. During the Cold War an underground station was built to potentially house 3 dedicated ‘meteorologists’, should Nuclear War break out. Their job would have been to report a very different kind of weather – announcing any visible nuclear explosion sightings, alongside the wind direction and wind speed – helping to predict any following fall-out that would then blow across the Channel to Britain.

Cross Curricular

The Shipping Forecast – Be a Meteorologist for the Day

The Shipping Forecast – Be a Meteorologist for the Day

Weather reports from the Dover coastal weather logging station are broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4, playing a crucial role in warning mariners using the English Channel and South coast of dangerous sailing conditions. You may have heard Dover mentioned as part of the radio transmission sequence – Fair Isle, Viking, Cromarty, Forties?

Unbeknownst to most people, just down the road near Castle Hill Folkestone, is the remains of a rather more secretive and austere ‘weather’ observation station. During the Cold War an underground station was built to potentially house 3 dedicated ‘meteorologists’, should Nuclear War break out. Their job would have been to report a very different kind of weather – announcing any visible nuclear explosion sightings, alongside the wind direction and wind speed – helping to predict any following fall-out that would then blow across the Channel to Britain.

Differentiated and SEN Activities

Be a Soldier for the Day

Be a Soldier for the Day

This part of the Kent coast has always needed strong defences to keep out invading armies-get your ‘troops’together and plan a day defending ‘Hell Fire Corner’!