Site Records


SiteName: Lydden Spout Battery

Dover
Kent
TR283389

Sub Brit site visit August 1996 and February 2003

[Source: Nick Catford]

The overall coastal command for Dover was from an operations room in one of the casemates below Dover Castle, alongside the anti aircraft operations room. This worked in conjunction with the Command Fire Post which was co-located with the Port War Signals Station on the cliff top above the casemates.


One of the 6" naval guns
The coastal batteries at Dover were manned by three regiments of at least 3 batteries. 520 Coastal Regiment Royal Artillery manned the guns to the west of Dover (Capel, Lydden Spout, Hougham and Citadel batteries), 540 Regiment manned the guns to the east (Fan Bay, Wanstone Farm and South Foreland Batteries) and 519 manned the rest. The batteries to the east and west of Dover were each designated as a fortress and each fortress had an underground plotting room from where the guns could be controlled.

Each battery within that fortress also had its own underground plotting room that could just control the guns for that battery. At South Foreland the fortress and battery plotting rooms were at different locations, 400 yards apart but at Hougham the two plotting rooms were co-located within the same bunker.

Lydden Spout Battery was part of the western fortress, with its fortress plotting room to the south of Hougham Battery. The plotting room at Lydden Spout is somewhat smaller as it doesn't have the dual role to play although it did also act as the battery command post. After the guns were removed in the 1950's the site was used as a rifle range, and the butts are still visible today. The gun emplacements and magazines are on the coast path with free public access and the three magazines can be entered with care although the entrances are partially backfilled.

Entrance to one of the magazines

The two remaining surface buildings and the plotting room are on farm land alongside a public footpath running south from a lay-by on the A20.

Approximately 200 yards east of the battery, just south of the A20 there is a semi sunken Nissen hut type building that is mounded over with earth and grassed. There is a brick blast protected entrance in the middle of the north side and a short ladder down from the surface to an emergency escape hatch at the eastern end. The building is completely empty and it is unclear what purpose it served. It lies halfway between Lydden Spout sergeant's mess and the Hougham Battery Plotting Room but it is unclear if it had anything to do with either battery. A Battery Observation post stood on the cliff top to the south of the battery but there is no evidence of it today.

For a description and photographs of the underground plotting room click here
For a description and photographs of the deep shelter click here
For a description and photographs of the magazines click here

Dining room/cookhouse (left) and Sergeants' mess

Dining room/cookhouse

Dining room/cookhouse

Sergeants mess

Sergeants mess

No. 3 Gun pit

Rifle range

Buried Nissan hut

Buried Nissan hut

One of the 6" naval guns

 

 

Sources:

  • Bob Jenner
  • John Guy
  • Imperial War Museum (Old photographs)

For more pictures of Lydden Spout Battery see:

Dover Underground
White Cliffs Underground
Underground Kent

Click to return to Lydden Spout front page

[Source: Nick Catford]

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