A rivulet called the Hames, fordable at low tide, used to flow here after passing through a gap in a pebble bank. The site was called “Neuna Cove”. A bridge, important to defend the city, was built and toll was levied here.
In 1525 an English fortification protected a system of sluices that could be used to flood the area in case of attack. Vauban drew up the plans for the current fort after the Duke of Guise had taken it in 1558. It has thick brick walls and 3 sluices, is built on piling and can accommodate up to 28 officers and 480 soldiers. The fort became the centrepiece of the defences of Calais. It is one of the few remaining fortified sluices in France that were designed by Vauban. Restoration of the fort began several years ago and is still in progress.
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