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Monument details

HER Number:TR 02 SE 23
Type of record:Monument
Name:Lade fort, Dungeness No. 2 Battery

Summary

This was one of four batteries and a redoubt built on the Dungeness peninsula in the mid-1790s as part of measures taken during the French Revolutionary Wars to defend the adjacent landing beaches and a major offshore anchorage.


Grid Reference:TR 083 206
Map Sheet:TR02SE
Parish:LYDD, SHEPWAY, KENT

Monument Types

  • FORT (Post Medieval to Modern - 1790 AD to 2050 AD?)
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1004205: Lade Fort

Full description

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Lade fort is one of the small forts protecting Dungeness, Dungeness No.1 Battery, which were built, shortly before the Martello tower system, in 1798. A brick-revetted earthen bastion of varying height formed of a semi-circle and flanking quadrants with a projection in the south-east corner (see plan). At the back a V-shaped perimeter wall 10ft high with firing holes. Buttressed and rebuiltin two places. Inside a block of coastguard houses and an office have been built into one corner of the bastion. In good condition. Scheduled. (1,2) (Centred TR 083206, shown as Coastguard Station Cottages). (3)

As built, it consisted of an arc of 4 or 5 open emplacements for traversing guns to fire on the beach and anchorage, with the rear of the battery being protected by a V-shaped and loopholed walled enclosure. Within the latter there was accommodation for the small garrison, a guardhouse and artillery store. At either extremity of the gun emplacements was a small magazine.

It is a typical example of one of the new designs for small batteries built during the French Revolutionary Wars on the Kentish coast and in the Lower Thames. With the gradual retreat of the sea and the accumulation of shingle in front of the battery the site lost part of its command. However, in 1860 the battery was remodelled with slightly raised positions to compensate and these received one 7-in. breech-loader and four 68-pounder smoothbores, all on traversing platforms. The battery went out of use as a defence well before the end of the century but, anecdotally, was again occupied during the Second World War.

Also known as the Dungeness No. 2 Battery.

From the Register of Scheduled Monuments:

One of four small forts protecting Dungeness which were built shortly before the Martello tower system, c1800. A brick-revetted earthen bastion of varying height facing the sea formed of a semi-circle and two flanking quadrants with a projection on the SE corner. Platforms inside for 4 guns. All this in good condition. At the back a V shaped perimeter wall 10ft high with firing holes. Buttressed and rebuilt in 2 places. Modern garages etc built onto inside but coal sheds look original. Inside a block of coastguard houses and a coastguard office built onto one corner of the bastion. (4)

From the National Heritage List for England:

List entry Description
Summary of Monument
Lade Fort 121m SSE of The Ship.



Reasons for Designation
The term battery refers to any place where artillery is positioned to allow guns to cover a particular area such as a line of communication or the approaches to a defended location. Although often contained within artillery forts designed to withstand sieges, typically including resident garrisons, many batteries were lightly defended and only manned at fighting strength in times of emergency. Batteries not contained within forts or castles were either open, with some approaches left undefended, or enclosed, often with a loopholed wall, ditch and/or fence designed to repel small scale attacks. Battery design evolved over time with developments in artillery. Those of the 16th and 17th centuries were normally simple raised earthwork platforms faced with turf, facines (bundles of sticks), or wicker baskets filled with earth and known as gabions. More permanent batteries, normally those on the coast, were faced in stone. The guns and gunners were typically protected by a raised parapet with guns firing through embrasures, or breaks in the wall, or over the parapet. Gun positions protected by casemates (roofed gun chambers) were generally restricted to batteries within artillery forts and castles. The gun carriages were supported on timber or stone platforms known as barbettes, often ramped to limit gun recoil. In the 18th century, traversing guns using carriages mounted on pivots were increasingly employed. By the late 19th century, barbette positions became the usual practice and, as the century progressed, guns were mounted in increasingly sophisticated emplacements, normally built in concrete with integrated magazines. All batteries where enough survives to interpret the original form and function will be considered of national importance. Other examples, of early date or where rare components are preserved, may be considered nationally important even where overall survival is comparatively poor.

Despite some damage and alterations in the past, Lade Fort is a good example of a late 18th century coastal battery, which survives well. It is the only one known to survive of a series of eleven such coastal batteries built between Deal and Eastbourne. The walls are largely intact and the layout is well preserved, demonstrating well its purpose as an autonomous self-contained battery. The site will also contain archaeological evidence relating to the construction, use and history of the coastal battery.

History
See Details.

Details
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 March 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a late 18th century coastal battery, known as Lade Fort or Dungeness No.1 Battery, surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated near the seafront at Lydd-on-Sea, north of Dungeness.

The battery has a brick revetted earthen bastion, facing the sea, formed of a semi-circle and two flanking quadrants. There is a terreplein, slightly raised to give command of the sea, with four gun platforms. To the rear, facing Denge Marsh, is a V-shaped perimeter wall forming an enclosure. It is built of brick to 3m high with loop holes but has been buttressed and rebuilt in two places.

Lade Fort was built in 1798 and is the only one of a series of eleven such coastal batteries built between Deal and Eastbourne known to survive. The battery was a self-contained fort on a small scale. There were four batteries and a redoubt built on the Dungeness peninsula in the late 18th century. These were part of the measures taken during the French Revolutionary Wars to defend the adjacent landing beaches and a major offshore anchorage. As built, Lade Fort consisted of an arc of four or five open emplacements for traversing guns to fire on the beach and anchorage.

There was originally also a projection at the south-east corner of the battery. The enclosure to the rear included accommodation for the small garrison, a guardhouse and artillery store. At either extremity of the gun emplacements was a small magazine. The battery lost some of its command of field of fire after accumulation of shingle in front of the bastions. In 1860 it was remodelled with slightly raised positions to mount one 7-inch breech-loader gun and four 68-pounder smooth-bore guns on traversing platforms. In the late 19th century Lade Fort was converted to use as a coastguard station. The battery was again occupied during the Second World War and several reinforced concrete pill boxes were built within the close vicinity.(5)


<1> DOE(IAM) Record Form 1 12 71 (OS Card Reference). SKE41434.

<2> Handbook of Kent's Defences 1540-1945 (D Bennett) 35-37 (OS Card Reference). SKE43667.

<3> OS 1:1250 1972 (OS Card Reference). SKE48184.

<4> English Heritage, Register of Scheduled Monuments (Scheduling record). SKE16191.

<4> Ordnance Survey, 1905-10, Ordnance Survey 1:2500 3rd edition: 1901-1912, 1908/1:2500 (Map). SWX11833.

<5> Historic England, National Heritage List for England (Index). SKE29372.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: DOE(IAM) Record Form 1 12 71.
<2>OS Card Reference: Handbook of Kent's Defences 1540-1945 (D Bennett) 35-37.
<3>OS Card Reference: OS 1:1250 1972.
<4>Scheduling record: English Heritage. Register of Scheduled Monuments.
<4>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1905-10. Ordnance Survey 1:2500 3rd edition: 1901-1912. 1:2500. 1908/1:2500.
<5>Index: Historic England. National Heritage List for England.

Related records

MWX44046Parent of: Coastguard Station and look out on the site of Lade Fort, Lade (Monument)
TR 01 NE 7Parent of: Dungeness No. 1 Battery (Monument)