Ancient Monuments

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Shorncliffe Redoubt, Shorncliffe Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Sandgate, Kent

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Latitude: 51.0755 / 51°4'31"N

Longitude: 1.1295 / 1°7'46"E

OS Eastings: 619317.638874

OS Northings: 135347.17549

OS Grid: TR193353

Mapcode National: GBR V0N.JCL

Mapcode Global: FRA F678.ZSJ

Entry Name: Shorncliffe Redoubt, Shorncliffe Camp

Scheduled Date: 13 November 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1401815

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Sandgate

Built-Up Area: Folkestone

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


This monument consists of the remains of a redoubt, constructed in c1794. The redoubt covers a roughly rectangular area of ground measuring approximately 130 square meters. The northern half of the site consists of a relatively flat area following the levelling of part of the defensive earthworks. The southern half of the site contains a number of earthworks (surviving to a height of c.4m) relating to the redoubt structure.

Source: Historic England


Shorncliffe Redoubt is situated at the south-western extremity of Shorncliffe Camp on a headland sloping down to the south, east and west. It consists of earthern ramparts and a ditch, which survive on the western, southern and parts of the northern and eastern sides of the redoubt, square in plan with sides approximately 110m in length. Much of the north rampart (with the exception of the north-west corner) and the northern part of the east rampart have been levelled although the ditch survives as a buried feature. The remaining sections of rampart survive to a height of between 4m and 5m from the inside of the redoubt.

Investigations in 2006 revealed that the ramparts were constructed of carefully compacted deposits from the excavation of the ditch. Clear vertical edges to the bank were discerned, perhaps indicating that the bank was revetted or supported by earth-filled wicker gabions although no evidence of these was found. The best preserved sections of the rampart are in the west where evidence of the parapet and fire step survive although the south rampart is also very substantial with a near-vertical external profile. The south rampart is pierced by the southern entrance indicated on the 1824 plan. Excavation of the infilled northern ditch established that its original depth was approximately 5 metres. Where the ditch is extant, the edges have been subject to natural erosion so that it now survives as a hollow, approximately one metre deep, at the foot of the ramparts.

The interior of the redoubt contains the foundations of the various phases of buildings occupying the site. The 2006 evaluation found evidence of the 1850s Commandant’s house and stables, and the hard standings of C20 structures are apparent, although no indication of any buildings of Napoleonic date was found. A telecommunications mast and its ancillary buildings stands at the centre of the redoubt.

The scheduled area extends slightly beyond the known extent of the redoubt on the eastern side and south-western corner for the protection of the monument and for clarity of the boundary.

The C20 telecommunications mast, its ancillary buildings, hard standings, fencing and access road, as well as metalled track surfaces, are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Shorncliffe Redoubt, a large late-C18 earthwork field fortification, built as an anti-invasion measure during the early stages of the Napoleonic Wars, is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: a rare surviving, large-scale field fortification from the early years of the Napoleonic period. The redoubt is a reminder of the urgent measures taken in response to the threat of invasion from Revolutionary France. It is also the last surviving structure at Shorncliffe contemporary with the founding, by Sir John Moore in 1803, of the hugely influential camp for light infantry;
* Form: one of the last of such earthwork redoubts constructed. This style of redoubt was shortly to be superseded at the start of the C19 by circular brick and masonry designs, intended principally as artillery platforms rather than protection for infantry;
* Potential: archaeological potential for evidence of its construction, original appearance and internal buildings, also for military artefacts from the whole period of its occupation;
* Group value: part of a particularly strong group of designated Napoleonic coastal defence structures including the Royal Military Canal, Shorncliffe Battery and Martello Towers Nos. 7-9.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bryant, A, Jackets of Green, (1972)
Gates, D, The British Light Infantry Arm, c. 1790-1815 , (1987)
Saunders, A D, Fortress Britain, (1989)
Saunders, A , Channel Defences, (1997)
Sir John Moore (1761-1809), accessed from
William Twiss (1744/5-1827), accessed from
Videotext Communications Ltd, Shorncliffe, Time Team XIV DVD of television programme,
Wessex Archaeology Ltd, Shorncliffe Redoubt, Sir John Moore Barracks, Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent: Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of the Results, 2006,

Source: Historic England

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