The Coastal Heritage - The Napoleonic Trail


You are just about to travelling down

Dover's Grand Shaft

into Napoleonic times.


Experience stepping back in time. -

Follow the footsteps of time, - into the footsteps of the Napoleonic Times.

Take a trip over the picture to descend down the Napoleonic triple spiral stairs into the footprints of time for the coastal heritage Napoleonic trail.

Click on the stairs to gain entry

Sorry, but this page is still being constructed, also the Coastal Heritage trail packs are not currently available, which will open up the hidden heritage of the Channel coast, - we hope to bring these to you soon.



4. Next step into the Western Heights defences of Napoleonic times..... In 1781 the Government decided on permanent defences on Dover’s Western Heights, The triple spiral staircase, the Grand Shaft, was completed in 1807, this gave rapid access between the harbour area and the defences on Dover’s Western Heights.

The Grand Shaft was specifically designed a traditional ‘Sallyport’ enabling a large number of fully equipped solders to spring a surprise attack on the enemy or to withdraw again whilst the entrance remained hidden.



12. Next step on to the Napoleonic Shorncliffe defences of Folkestone


First Screened on Sunday 11th February 2007.
On 1 February 1793, the French republic declared war on its implacable enemies in Britain and for the next decade the country braced itself for invasion. The British defences were woefully inadequate, and in 1794 Parliament bought a large piece of land at Shorncliffe, near Sandgate in Kent – an obvious point for invasion by a French army. From this part of the coast, the locals could see the fires burning in Napoleon's camp, just 20 miles away, when he assembled his 'Army of England' after seizing power in France in 1799. Colonel William Twiss, a military engineer given the task of fortifying this part of the coast, drew up plans for a grand redoubt at Shorncliffe. The site became the home of the Green Jackets, the rifle regiment formed in 1800, whose soldiers were trained to act as skirmishers during the Napoleonic wars; and the Light Infantry Brigades, who were trained by Sir John Moore.