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 main Fort Burgoyne building is currently closed to the public except for events.

What you can see

Fort Burgoyne is currently closed to the public except for events.

  The wider Fort Burgoyne estate is accessible at the times stated below and provide for an interesting informal recreation experience.

Coombe Hole Local Wildlife Site

The 25 hectare rolling slopes of Coombe Hole local wildlife site provide spectacular views across Dover whilst walking through grassland managed for nature. Popular for walking and dog walking this space connects into the more formal Dover District Council owned Connaught Park with paths which lead into Dover town centre from here.

The West Wing

In 2023 the West Wing Battery of the Fort was opened to the public following major investment in the conservation of structures on site and works to support access. This space, which has restricted opening times, or, The West Wing Battery is open 10am - 4pm, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, and contains gatehouse, gun shed, tool shed and gun platform dating from the construction of Fort Burgoyne.     The views to the South, East and North from the Gun Platform are spectacular and the entire space is brought to life by the sound installation ‘I Would Rather Walk With You’ by Emily Peasgood. This piece, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council as part of Pioneering Places East Kent project, blends archival soldier audio material with bespoke choral recording and material produced by the community to take the audience on a journey which recognises the military past of the space through to it developing into an important community space. The what3words location of the entrance gates to the space is - ///spices.super.noted  

Recreation Ground

7 hectares of recreation ground and woodland extend around the North and East of the Fort providing glimpses into the ditch of the Fort together with spectacular views into the Kent Downs AONB and English Channel beyond.

Accessing the Fort Estate

National Cycle Network route 2 passes along Dover Road which splits Coombe Hole from the recreation ground area of the estate. The North Downs Way passes close to one of the entrances onto Coombe Hole via St James’s Cemetery with other areas of the estate connected by surfaced paths from Dover town centre. Bus stops on routes 80A, 80B, 81 & 93 are situated on Dover Road. There is no formal parking available for the estate however, there is limited parking in a layby on Dover Road. We ask that visitors respect the local community by always parking safely and responsibly. For further information about accessibility to the site, please email

The Present and the Future


Fort Burgoyne Contact

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

This space is managed in partnership with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership

Visitor Information

Opening Hours

Fort Burgoyne: closed to the public except for events. The West Wing Battery: open 10am – 4pm, Wednesday -Sunday. The Estate: the recreation ground area and Coombe Hole local wildlife site - open public access.


(click here to find the nearest public toilets)

Things to do

While Fort Burgoyne is closed to the public except for events, the site offers a wide range of activities including informal walking, dog walking, sport (5 aside goals on recreation ground), weekly volunteer task day on Friday, Green Angels training programmes, Events L programme (guided walks, children’s events and third party organised activity) and education visits for schools.

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

Site size: 43 hectares


There are currently no events relating to this space.

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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.


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 units 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 a Village of mixed business use potentially including:

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

This village of mixed use in a regenerated Fort will sit at the heart of a Country Park accessible by both local community and visitors to the Town.

In order to begin to unlock the Fort, the Trust has delivered a project to provide workshop / office space for commercial occupation across 3 casemates with total floorspace of 2,000sq ft. These casemates benefit from access to shared toilet and communal kitchen space within a 4th casemate.

Alongside investigating potential future uses of the Fort, the Trust has delivered over £2million of structural stabilisation works utilising funds from the endowment provided by Homes England when the site was acquired. Whilst the bulk of this was spent on issues including failed ditch walls and bridge strengthening, investment has been made to uncover, stabilise and provide infrastructure needed to open the West Wing Battery. While this space is now accessible by the general public at stated times, Explorer Walk activity led by Dover Arts Development and Charles Holland Architects as part of the Pioneering Places East Kent project gave rise to a Big Drawing highlighting some of the potential future uses of the West Wing Battery. Having invested in enabling access to the space the Land Trust is now keen to work with the local community and community groups to see where the transformation of this space goes next subject to securing further grant aid to support this

White Cliffs Countryside Partnership 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.


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)