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The Grand Shaft

Address: Snargate Street, Dover, England
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Ranked #23 of 77 things to do in Dover
Type: Military museums, Museums
Attraction details
Type: Military museums, Museums

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19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
63 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2014

This wonderful feat of engineering consists of basically two staircases one inside the other going up to the Western Heights; the reason why there are two staircases is so the Officers and their Wives can use the Staircase without seeing or meeting the rough and smelly soldiers on the way up or down, can you imagine this happening today, but... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Dover, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

One of the most amazing feats of engineering. A triple helix staircase dropping down 120 feet through the chalk to the old wharf's Not to be missed.

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Sunland, California, U.S.A.
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

Peter, my taxi driver from Heathrow to Dover, mentioned that the building doesn't look very imposing from the outside; however, it is really darling inside, filled with antiques and beautifully restored by Alex and his Mom & Dad, Betty and Alistair. "THE CHURCHILL HOUSE is a Grade II listed Georgian period townhouse which was built in around the year 1834,... More 

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Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

Visited this after seeing it on The One Show. We were not disappointed. Such an amazing feat of engineering and what an idea - to get as many soldiers as possible down to the sea via 3 helical staircases. Amazing! Shame there wasn't a proper café at the bottom though - to prepare for the journey back up!

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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Took the kids to see the grand shaft and was surprised to find lots of reinactment going on with soldiers and others from Napoleonic, WW1 and WW2 times. Parked down at the harbour and went up the shaft to the fort.The Grand shaft is worth a visit on its own, truly unique and great fun racing the kids on different... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Only open a couple of weekends a year, but worth a visit for it's sheer ingenuity of construction. My older children loved it (some moaning on the way up!!) but much laughter trying to spot each other in the different staircases on the way down!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Dover, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

Brilliant place, only a few open days a year however. Great place to go but I can imagine only when staffed. It needs money invested in it. Be aware there are no facilities because of no council? help.

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Kent, United Kngdom
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
26 attraction reviews
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We visited this place and were just blown away. Imagine 3 contra running spiral staircases each running 120 degrees away from the other other and you have a triple staircase as used in Napoleonic times to transfer munitions from top to bottom of the cliff Truly amazing ingenuity. Well worth a visit

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Dover, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
40 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I'm sure you won't find a staircase like this - anywhere. It really amazes me how imaginative and resourceful people were 200 years ago. Check out WHPS for next opening - it's worthwhile!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Reading, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
236 reviews 236 reviews
59 attraction reviews
163 helpful votes 163 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

For such a well known local monument, it seems incredibly undervalued and under preserved. Other than two plaques outside there is little information about the history of the Grand Shaft. The surrounding area is covered with litter and graffiti and a breeding ground for many of Dover's drug addicts. The place is understaffed, every time I have made the long... More 

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?