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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

The Western Heights - St Martin’s Battery

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St Martin's Battery s located overlooking Dover's Western Docks, in an  area which would have been just inside the South Entrance of the  Western Heights fortress.  It commands excellent views of the harbour  and town.  (St Martin is the patron saint of Dover). Originally known Western Height Battery, it was constructed between  1871 and 1874 and was mounted with three 10-inch rifled muzzle  loaded guns. In 1893 provision was made for the guns of St Martin’s  Battery to be fitted to new long range mountings.  By the turn of the  20th Century its muzzle loaded guns were rendered obsolete and  unnecessary by the new breach loaded batteries built at the Citadel  and Langdon Cliffs  The old emplacements were modified and re-armed with 6-inch breech  loading guns at the beginning of the Second World War, and the site  became known as 'Western Heights Battery' again. A late 19th Century  magazine, located directly behind the battery, was extended at this  time to form a deep shelter. This was constructed in a similar way to  shelters at other batteries in the area, being lined throughout in  corrugated steel shuttering and iron girders, and followed a similar  layout. A secondary entrance to the shelter is located in an area behind the site of the Grand Shaft Barracks. The remains of the battery have been tidied up by the White Cliffs  Countryside project and presents an interesting mix of 19th Century  and Second World War military construction.
View from St Martin's Battery over the Western Docks St Martin's Battery.  One of the Second World War 6 inch gun emplacements. St Martin's Battery from a 19th Century Map.