Fort Burgoyne

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.

The Present and the Future

Fort Burgoyne Contact


The site contact for our Fort Burgoyne space is Chris Valdus Tel: 07825 901358

This space is managed in partnership with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership

Visitor Information

Opening Hours

Access to the Fort itself is currently by arrangement and during planned activities, such as volunteering sessions, training and events. The open space around the Fort is open to the public and provides views of the Fort as well as spectacular views of the English Channel and across Dover.

Toilets


(click here to find the nearest public toilets)

Things to do

Despite the Fort currently being closed to the general public the Land Trust, our managing partner the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and third party providers run a number of different volunteering sessions and events throughout the year. The wider Fort estate has open access for informal recreation and includes recreation ground, woodland and chalk grassland. The Land Trust has also brought its free, award winning Green Angels environmental training programme to Fort Burgoyne, giving people the opportunity to gain practical skills through hands on learning. We hope to extend past Environmental Education and Countryside Management courses to include Heritage Building techniques in future.

Other nearby attractions

Fort Burgoyne is situated nearby to the historic Dover Castle managed by English Heritage and the National Trust White Cliffs estate. Dover town itself is awash with historic buildings including Maison Dieu House while Dover Museum includes a Bronze Age boat in its collection.

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Location

Fort Burgoyne Road, Guston, Dover, Kent, CT15 5LP

Site size: 43 hectares

Events

There are currently no events relating to this space.

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History

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.

Fort Burgoyne 1897

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.

A view of Dover Castle in the distance from Fort Burgoyne

A view of Dover Castle in the distance from Fort Burgoyne provided by Dover Museum.

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.

Development

Since military departure in 2006 there has been a desire to see Fort Burgoyne and Connaught Barracks regenerated.

The Barracks, owned by Homes England, has an initial development of 64 unites taking place on the former Officers Mess site. Approximately 280 units are proposed on the main Barracks site together with a new highway junction on to the A258 supporting Dover Fastrack.

The Trust has undertaken a number of appraisals and surveys to understand the condition of the Fort and consider future use since it acquired the site in 2014.

The working vision for the Fort is:

‘Building on its heritage, the Land Trust will work with partners to conserve and seek to transform Fort Burgoyne into a financially sustainable, vibrant place for learning, events, business, the arts and local and visitor communities.’

The concept for the main Fort building is one of mixed business use potentially including:

  • Events
  • Group accomodation
  • Heritage Skills Training Centre
  • Offices/Workshops/Meeting rooms
  • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar
  • Heritage Centre/Museum

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.

Map of Fort Burgoyne

Utilising capital funds from the endowment provided by Homes England when the Fort was acquired by the Trust, a three year stabilisation project is entering its final phases. This has been addressing key structural issues on site including the condition of the bridge, wall instability and issues with water ingress.

From 1 May 2021, the Fort is licensed by Kent County Council for the purpose of Civil Ceremonies. The Land Trust has entered into an agreement with Diamond Circle Weddings to manage weddings and receptions at the Fort.

White Cliffs Countryside have been appointed as managing partner for Fort Burgoyne until 2031. The partnership is responsible for land management on the Fort estate together with delivering a programme of volunteering, community engagement events and education visits.

Land Trust Contact

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 07825 901358.

To enquire about holding an event on a Land Trust site, please click here.

Downloads

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)