The Shorncliffe Trust

About Us

The Shorncliffe Trust is a registered charity, originally called The Shorncliffe Redoubt Preservation Society, set up by Christopher Shaw in 2006, changing to The Shorncliffe Trust in 2013.

Every donation that comes to the Trust, is used to promote our aims. We are a ‘work in motion’, striving to find innovative ways of raising funds and awareness, whilst promoting education. With your donation we can begin to secure the future of the heritage now.

As a registered charity our aims include the preservation and conservation and development and improvement of features of historic interest at Shorncliffe with public amenities and the preservation of a site of historic interest. And to educate the public in the history of the military and the social impact of military history by the provision and maintenance of a museum.

marching-from-shorncliffe
Martello Tower

Why we began this mission

The site at Shorncliffe encompasses over 200 years of military, social and cultural history. The Trust intends to tell the story of Shorncliffe (and the men and women who trained and lived there) from its earliest days defending Britain against invasion, to its role in the birth of the modern army through the role of Sir John Moore, it’s extension through the Victorian period to the Edwardian and the First and Second World war and beyond to the modern day role of The Brigade of Ghurkha’s.

Developments

In 2013 the Ministry of Defence moved forward their plans to sell off part of Shorncliffe Camp and training grounds. Their preferred purchaser is Taylor Wimpey who have commenced in their plan to build up to 1200 homes across the site, as well as demolish the original military buildings that are not listed by English Heritage or the Redoubt which is an ancient scheduled monument. Therefore the Trust has stepped up its campaign to take over the management and redevelopment of the site. A Board of Trustees was set up and patrons recruited to the cause. The time has now come for the current owners, developers and stakeholders to make a decision on the future and legacy of the heritage and park land and by securing the Shorncliffe Redoubt, the Trust could begin the task of regenerating the site into a world class heritage and education centre.

Next steps

The Trust wants to utilise existing military buildings to convert them into an education centre, museum, heritage reference library, café, craft centre and open the park land to be accessible to visitors. Its goal is to protect the archaeology on the site which includes the 200 year old Napoleonic redoubt, Victorian pistol & rifle range, WW1 trenches used for training and WW2 defences such as spigot mortar post, pillboxes and underground bunkers.

‘The land south of Shorncliffe Camp is rich in archaeological remains relating to the military use of the site over some two centuries. The archaeological potential of these remains is high and the overall significance of the site is high. Some archaeological remains are currently under threat and require attention. The wider site could be threatened by a change of use for the site. Anyone seeking to acquire an interest in the site should be made aware of its archaeological value.’


Martin Brown – Archaeologist

Shorncliffe

The Shorncliffe Trust is currently working towards creating the UK’s first Heritage Park & Education Centre dedicated to the history and legacy of the modern British Army.

Shorncliffe has been on the frontline of this country for over 200 years and has a unique history that is tied into world history events from the Napoleonic wars through to World War II. It is rare to find one military site in the world that has influenced and changed so much about the way today’s soldiers fight and operate on battlefields in the 21st century.

The centre at Shorncliffe will examine its military history and the impact (both social and cultural) the army camp made over the centuries both locally and internationally.

Shorncliffe has welcomed different nationalities from around the world and, in this corner of Kent, hosted royalty and leaders from a variety of nations.

Our Goal

To achieve their goal, the Shorncliffe Trust is working on plans to regenerate the old training grounds and set up a dedicated Heritage Park and Education Centre on redundant ex-MOD land, incorporating neglected heritage assets and bring them to life for the local community, and attracting visitors from around Britain and overseas.

The Shorncliffe Trust aims to raise £3 million through donations, grant applications, as well as through specific high profile events. Shorncliffe needs to raise an initial fund to secure the leasing of the land, set-up expenses and short-term operational costs.

We are approaching patrons and supporters of British Military history and heritage to become donors to the charity. We are currently working with commercial stakeholders such as tourism and travel companies who are promoting and creating income for the Trust.

The Future

Without your help there might not be a future. Support us in any way you can to save this important site – Make History, Save History.