Located in Dover, near Dover Castle, Fort Burgoyne is a historic monument that has a rich history in the defence of the Kent coastline and the UK. The Fort was built between 1861 and 1873 to protect Dover Castle from being approached from higher ground. It was in active use during World War One and Two and then became a military depot, occupied by the military but becoming increasingly derelict until 2006. Upon acquisition of the Fort and the surrounding area in 2014, The Land Trust recognised there was an opportunity to unlock something special to the public. However, the area required significant repair to safeguard its future.

View towards the West Wing. Photo courtesy of Chris Valdus

A three-year conservation programme, valued at £2m, is now entering its final stages. This programme has addressed key issues with the condition of the Fort whilst improving public access and making it more readily available for community use.

Works undertaken during this programme have included;

  • Stabilisation and strengthening of the main bridge
  • Conservation and repair of a segment of the 600m long 10m high revetted ditch wall
  • Re-imaging and repair of the West Wing Battery, in two phases

Whilst the works have been undertaken, the Trust has been able to offer a range of events throughout the last few years, including weddings. The Trust has also brought its environmental training programme, ‘Green Angels’, to the site and offers local people the chance to learn practical skills via hands on learning. There is a desire to offer further educational opportunities in the future including courses in heritage building and management.

At the moment, the main Fort is closed to the public. There is a desire to have the West Wing open to the public as a mini fort experience by Summer 2022 with a recently appointed Event Co-ordinator working to increase education and event activity across the site.

A view into the newly stabilised West Wing

The project has been endorsed by the receipt of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England under the Great Places programme. Fort Burgoyne was the Dover site in Pioneering Places East Kent, a project aimed at making East Kent a great place to live, work and visit by ‘exploring heritage, developing civic pride and connecting artists and communities’. The PPEK funded work at Fort Burgoyne included exploration of the potential future use of the West Wing following stabilisation and access works, and a Year of Engagement to highlight the potential future uses.

The Project Manager at the Land Trust commented ‘b&m have provided friendly, professional and efficient service throughout the three years of this programme ensuring accuracy throughout tendering phase to minimise cost risk during works, regular finance reports and advice on potential cost variances. Their support has been crucial to delivering a wide ranging programme of works on budget despite the complexities and unknowns heritage projects always uncover once onsite.

We’re proud to be part of a highly professional team delivering at Fort Burgoyne. We have worked extremely closely with Lee Evans Partnership and CTP Consulting Engineers throughout the phases of the project and look forward to seeing this Scheduled Ancient Monument open to the community.