The Explorers

Dover Arts Development have been appointed to work with Charles Holland Architects on the development of future uses for the West Wing Battery in Dover. The West Wing is part of the wider Fort Burgoyne complex, a remarkable military site originally built in the 1860s to defend Dover from invasion and in permanent military use until 2006. The Land Trust and Pioneering Places have recently commissioned a team to develop these sites for future public use and enjoyment as well as to stabilise and conserve the historic structures as they stand.

Over the next four months, DAD and CHA will conduct a series of engagement exercises for the West Wing that will reimagine the site and build community ownership of a space which has largely been out of bounds since its construction. Titled The Explorers, this community engagement programme will draw on the skills, knowledge and ideas of Dover people.

The Explorers

‘The Explorers’ is a programme of Sunday walks exploring Dover’s West Wing Battery at Fort Burgoyne. The programme will take the popular format of the Sunday Walk, a familiar way to explore new places and discover sites, and use it as the basis for speculations and community consultation on the future of the West Wing Battery.

There will be four walks during February and March 2019, each led by a local expert who will bring their particular knowledge to both the site and an exploration of its role within the wider context of Dover. Each walk will be designed and led by the expert, starting from a point of their choosing but always ending up at the West Wing itself. We aim for 15 – 20 people drawn from both our and the expert’s communities to accompany them on the walk. Each will carry a surveyor’s notepad to record observations and makes notes, do drawings and collect thoughts. These will be collected together and the information in them will form the basis of a big drawing that we will do at the end of the process. The drawing will inform future developments at the Fort including the artists brief for a new art work at the West Wing Battery.


Pioneering Places: East Kent 

  • Create exemplary places through connecting people, heritage and creativity
    • Create models that impact on future planning development structures
    • Pioneer, test and evaluate 4 distinct ways of developing great places, exploring and animating heritage to inspire artists and communities
    • Develop new models of community consultation; inspire active citizenship, create a meaningful legacy
    • Unite culture, heritage, public sector, education organisations and the wider community to understand and influence placemaking

Part of the national Great Place Scheme, Pioneering Places is an ambitious project that will make East Kent an even better place to live, work and visit by exploring heritage, developing civic pride and connecting artists and communities.

Four exemplary heritage and arts projects in Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Ramsgate, will be led by local cultural organisations to influence policy makers, and encourage diverse people to bring in change and become great place-makers.

Pioneering places: East Kent is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, with Historic England and Artswork, the South East Bridge.


Project Partners