Welcome to the Western Heights Preservation Society
Press Release from the Dover Western Heights Preservation Society: Break in at the Drop Redoubt
This week the Drop Redoubt Napoleonic fort at Dover was attacked by an organised gang. Following entry, they cut through three separate access points destroying padlocks and chains at each, and then proceeded to ransack the tool-store stealing all of the Society’s valuable items and lowering them out of the fort.
The break-in was discovered on Thursday evening after a photograph was posted online showing one of the main Victorian access doors wide open.
The Society has lost a portable generator, two toolboxes, two Burco water boilers used in the café, its PA system, three petrol grass strimmers, an electric buzz saw, numerous hand tools, padlocks, drinks and more. The intruders also caused irreparable damage to storage bins in the tool-store. The total value is estimated at £2,500.
“This is the worst attack we have ever had. It is devastating news for the Society – for all the volunteers who have put so much hard work into opening the fort for the public to enjoy, and for all the public who have come to our events and given us donations. In a single night over 12 months income has been wiped out. We still hope to provide events next year, but until we can take stock of what has happened nothing at this stage can be guaranteed.”
"Stealing from a charity - how low can you go?"
The Police are working with both English Heritage and WHPS to investigate the break-in. If anyone has any information relating to the theft, please call Kent Police quoting the reference ZY/37547/15, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
The Western Heights Preservation Society charity works alongside English Heritage in caring for and maintaining the Drop Redoubt. All works by the Society volunteers are funded by donations and sales. The Society’s next event is the free lecture night at 7pm at the Roundhouse Theatre at Dover Discovery Centre on the 15th January.
The Society can be contacted via its page on Facebook or via its website at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WesternHeights/
The Society's Aim
Our Open Days, presentations, guided tours and talks all help the Society to raise public awareness of the Western Heights in the local area and our ongoing research helps us to better understand the development of the Western Heights throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Western Heights together form the largest Napoleonic fortress in Britain and were an essential base for the British Army throughout the nineteenth century. They are an excellent example of British defence from the Napoleonic period right through to the Second World War.
WHPS has focused very strongly on the Drop Redoubt; so far this is the only structure we have been able to open to the public. The open days proved to be very popular , but there is so much more to the Western Heights than the Drop Redoubt. In future years we hope to open up the North Entrance for the public to see. It is close to the Redoubt, but had a very different structure and purpose. The Western Heights have been a target for vandals for some time, and North Entrance is no different. Graffiti and arson have only added to the neglect North Entrance has suffered over the decades and we have got a huge task on our hands to clean this part of the Heights up. The ditch is very overgrown and two of the water tanks situated in the North Entrance were filled with spoil from the construction of the road in the 1960’s, which cut directly through the ditch linking the Redoubt to North Entrance. There is a great deal to be seen in North Entrance, including gun rooms, rifle galleries, and many original features that give an excellent idea of what it would have been like to defend North Entrance in the nineteenth century.