Region: South East
Nestled beside Dover Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover and overlooking Britain's busiest ferry port, scheduled ancient monument Fort Burgoyne was acquired by the Land Trust in 2014, with the vision of making the site a key part of the community once more. Dating back to the 1860s, the Fort was built to protect Dover Castle and with its historical importance, imposing facade and abundant space, it is an amazing opportunity waiting to be unlocked.
Fort Burgoyne Road, Guston, Dover, Kent, CT15 5LP
Site size: 43 hectares
Access is currently by arrangement and during planned activities, such as volunteering sessions, training and events.
Despite the Fort currently being closed to the general public the Land Trust run a number of different volunteering sessions and events throughout the year. The Land Trust will shortly be bringing its free, award winning environmental training programme to Fort Burgoyne, giving people the opportunity to gain practical skills through hands on learning. Our Green Angels programme offers a range of short courses designed to help trainees develop new skills and provide inspiration for further training or employment opportunities and encourage better awareness of the natural world. Courses will cover topics such as: • Woodland management • Wildlife identification • Wildlife conservation • Fencing and Landscaping • Environmental Education
Fort Burgoyne is situated nearby to the historic Dover Castle, the largest castle in England.
The Fort was built in the 1860s, to protect Dover Castle, and was used to defend the South coast in numerous wars and was used for military use until as recently as 2006.
Originally called ‘Castle Hill Fort’, Fort Burgoyne was one of the Palmerston Forts, built across the Southern coast of Britain to defend its shores against invasion. The polygonal system, on which the building is built, was used to defend and watch from the highest strategic point in Dover. The Fort was renamed after a 19th Century General; John Fox-Burgoyne, who was Inspector-General of Fortifications and son of the John Burgoyne, who fought in the American Revolutionary War.
During the First World War, brick gun positions and pill boxes were built at the Fort and there was a neighbouring Royal Navy Air Service airfield. During the Second World the Fort formed part of the Dover Defence Scheme.
After the war, the Fort became a military depot for the Connaught Barracks.
Since military departure in 2006 there has been a desire to see Fort Burgoyne and Connaught Barracks regenerated.
The Barracks, owned by Homes England, is allocated for up to 500 houses in the Dover Local Plan and planning applications are being progressed to make this a reality.
The Trust has undertaken a number of appraisals and surveys to understand the condition of the Fort and consider future use.
In early 2019, utilising Trust funds and funding from Pioneering Places East Kent (supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, with Historic England and Artswork, the South East Bridge), a world class team was announced to take the project forward.
Part of the national Great Place Scheme, Pioneering Places is an ambitious project that will make East Kent an even better place to live, work and visit by exploring heritage, developing civic pride and connecting artists and communities.
Four exemplar heritage and culture projects in Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Ramsgate are being led by local cultural organisations to influence policy makers, and encourage diverse people to bring in change and become great place-makers.
At Fort Burgoyne, works will include the stabilization and conservation of this hidden Victorian masterpiece, allowing the Fort and its West Wing Battery to be regularly opened to the public for the first time in its history. Alongside this, an artist-led community engagement programme will look at how to raise the Fort’s profile and make it attractive to the local community, visitors and businesses.
The White Cliffs Countryside Partnership provide a Ranger for the Fort on a part-time basis. This post is leading on the development of events and volunteering activities together with helping explore extension of the Trusts Green Angels training programme to the Fort.
To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Fort Burgoyne Heritage Project Manager Chris Valdus or call 01925 852005.
To enquire about holding an event on a Land Trust site, please click here.
Download Fort Burgoyne Case Study Download Fort Burgoyne Newsletter February 2019 Download Fort Burgoyne Newsletter May 2019 Download Fort Burgoyne Newsletter November Download Fort Burgoyne Recreation Ground (1 mile/1.6 km)
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