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.