Archcliffe Fort stands on a headland overlooking Dover harbour, known as Archcliffe Point. In 1370 a watchtower, surrounded by a chalk bank and ditch was built on the site of the present Archcliffe Fort. This fortification remained substantially unchanged until 1539 when Henry Vlll ordered that a substantial bulwark be constructed. Later when the Spanish Armada threatened the south coast, this fort had to be strengthened.
During the 17th and 18th centuries repairs and improvements were made, including the building of two new guard houses, raising the parapet and the construction of new barracks. During the Napoleonic Wars additional money was spent on the fort, but it became less important after the Western Heights defenses were fully in place. In the 1920s the southern half of the fort was demolished to make way for a railway line. It was decommissioned in 1956 and part of it was removed to widen the A20.
Today, Archcliffe Fort is used by the Emmaus Community, a group working to help homeless people by providing accommodation and work for them. Archcliffe Fort Shop sells a range of quality second hand goods and household items which help support the work of Emmaus Dover.