The Western Heights of Dover is a series of forts, strong points and ditches which together form the largest Napoleonic fortress in Britain, first developed in 1804 to protect the country and the port of Dover from invasion. They were an essential base for the British Army throughout the nineteenth century and a vast training ground during WW1; it is now a local nature reserve maintained by the Western Heights Preservation Society (WHPS). The prominent Drop Redoubt (owned by English Heritage) is one of the two forts on the Western Heights – linked to the other, the Citadel, by a series of dry moats – and is so far the only structure that the WHPS has been able to open to the public. The WHPS works to both maintain and raise public awareness of the Dover Western Heights, carrying out ongoing research to help better understand their development throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Further information and details of open days can be found at: http://www.doverwesternheights.org/ (The Grand Shaft is open to the public on the third Sunday of every month, April – September 10.00 – 17.00)