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 This style of redoubt was shortly to be superseded at the start of the C19 by circular brick and masonry designs, intended principally as artillery platforms rather than protection for infantry; * Potential: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.
“Shorncliffe redoubt has the unique attribute of being the original home of the modern British Army. It is here around 1802 that Sir John Moore and others set up the training camp which trained the world famous 95th Foot and then introduced the light infantry methods of fighting to whole regiments for the first time. The scale of light infantry training was really a world first and Shorncliffe could therefore be seen as a World Heritage site. Its importance is immense and rather than destruction, should merit restoration of the remains, and some sort of heritage trail which would undoubtedly draw welcome visitors to the area.”
Gareth Glover Military Historian