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THE CITADEL

 

The wars of 1779-83 saw the beginning of fortifications on this site but what remains today dates from the early and mid 19th century. The Citadel, a large fort, was still under construction in 1815 when peace was declared and all work on the Western Heights ceased. Deep defensive ditches lined with flint or brick surrounded this fort.

 

A renewed threat of war in Europe in the 1850s encouraged the government to complete and modernise the fortifications at great cost. What was described as 'a honeycomb in a hill' was built, capable of housing over 4,000 soldiers, whose role was to 'hide' in the forts and attack any invader from the rear once they had passed Dover.