Report number: 1/2011

Title Prince Edwards Bastion, Chatham, Kent: Earthwork Survey
Summary Prince Edward’s Bastion is a part of the Chatham Lines, the landward defences of Chatham naval dockyard, Kent, which dates from the mid-16th century. The lines themselves were first built in the mid-18th century and substantially redeveloped in the early 19th century. In February 2010, English Heritage’s Archaeological Survey and Investigation team (Cambridge) undertook a topographic survey of the bastion together with supporting documentary research. This work has shown that the rampart is perhaps the most seriously damaged part of the lines, though much of this damage is likely to be superficial. Some evidence survived hinting at 19th century recreational use of the bastion. To the north, Brompton Barrier, the main route through the lines, was removed and the road realigned in the late 1870s. To the south, Sally Port, a less important gate, was opened up between 1896 and 1909, and in the 1960s its gatehouse was demolished and the roadway straightened. From the later 18th century the interior of the bastion housed a range of buildings, including the Engineer’s Office, and functioned as a works yard for most of its life. Many of these buildings survived until the 1960s. The ditch was mainly filled between 1932-40 for unknown reasons and a tank defence ditch cut into this fill in about 1940; it was completely filled in the 1960s. The glacis was largely removed during the earlier 20th century, either during construction of a First World War underground shelter or the Garrison Sports Ground on the same site. Despite this history, significant archaeological deposits and features are likely to remain in several areas, as well as the buried ditch revetment walls.
Series Research Department Reports
Pages 54
  • Alexander, M