The Western Heights Preservation Society was set up in 2000 with the aim of conserving and preserving the built heritage across Dover’s Western Heights. We are a group of volunteers who work towards this aim through research, clearance work and raising awareness of the Heights. Removal of vegetation is an essential part of our work to protect the brickwork and to ensure that the public are able to continue to walk around parts of the Western Heights.
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.