AT ime Traveller�s Guide to Dover Castle by lmUp4Z0f


									A Time Traveller’s Guide to Dover Castle! Written by the Doctor (also known as

We all know and love Dover castle one of our local national heritages! But do we
know anything about it? What would it have been like in ancient times? Now I’ve
said it you’d really like to know now wouldn’t you? But don’t worry this is what
this guide is all about! I will be taking you through the periods all the way from the
Roman period to that of the fairly recent Cold War.

Roman period:

The story of Dover castle all started many years ago… at the time of 43 AD this
was the time the Romans arrived in southern Britain! Not much happened until
many years later (270AD) when 9 forts were built along the south coast…
including one in Dover. We can tell that the Romans were in Dover by the fact that
they built a Pharos (ancient lighthouse) to keep a look out for enemy ships! During
this time England were not in control of the country with the Romans being very
much in charge during this time our enemies were very few.

Middle Ages:
Now in this period things get really exciting! It all begins when William the Conquer
reinforced fortifications for 8 days soon after the battle of Hastings’s (1066) this
had recently been done by the deceased Harold. There is no physical remains of
either structures but you can be sure that they were there by the changing in the
ground at Dover castle.

The castle started to take shape when the keep was built in the 1180’s for King
Henry II costing a price of £7000 which was very high in those day’s and was one
of the last and most expensive keeps built in England. Also built were the walls of
the keep's surrounding court (the inner bailey), as the stretch of outer curtain wall
towards the east. During this period Britain’s main enemy was France with Dover
being a high place of importance as it is the quickest route to and from France and
used to have the quickest route to the ‘key of England’ (London). The King’s
renovations came in handy after a surprise invasion for Prince Louis of France but
during this invasion a major flaw was discovered so it was soon sorted out and is
the reason as to why Dover Castle now has no main entrance.

Tudor Period:
Just before the Tudor period mass renovations had been made and the main role
of the castle was to protect England during this time as Henry VIII feared invasion.
He feared it so much he built the neighbouring Sandgate castle.

Napoleonic Era:

Massive rebuilding took place during the Napoleonic Wars. William Twiss, the
Commanding Engineer of the Southern District, as part of his brief to improve the
town's defences, completed the remodel of the outer defences to provide extra
gun positions on the eastern side, and constructing the Constable's Bastion for
additional protection on the west. By taking the roof off the keep and replacing it
with massive brick vaults he was able to mount heavy artillery on the top. Twiss
also constructed Canon's Gateway to link the defences of the castle with those of
the town.

With Dover becoming a garrison town, there was a need for barracks and
storerooms for the additional troops and their equipment. The solution adopted by
Twiss and the Royal Engineers was to create a complex of barracks tunnels about
15 metres below the cliff top and the first troops were accommodated in 1803. At
the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the tunnels housed more than 2,000 men and
to date are the only underground barracks ever built in Britain.

At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the tunnels were partly converted and used by
the Coast Blockade Service to combat smuggling. This was a short-term endeavor
though, and in 1826 the headquarters were moved closer to shore. The tunnels
then remained abandoned for more than a century.


During WWI nothing but a few bombs landed on Dover’s shores but at the chance
of a German invasion and being a perfect place for planning Dover castle was
crucial to the winning of WII. Winston Churchill and his army of government helpers
based themselves in Dover and tried to plan a way to win the dreadful war. The
idea of Operation Dynamo emerged in the Dynamo room and was named after it as
whilst in that room no-one could hear what the Prime Minister was saying. The
secret war time tunnels were used throughout this period. Britain’s main enemy
was definitely Germany.

Cold War:

The fear of a nuclear war between the two giants named America and Russia
cause the tunnels underneath the castle to be used again. Although a war never
really took place during this time the tunnels were adapted to serve as a regional
seat of government in the event of a nuclear war.

That’s the history of the Castle through the eyes of a time traveller I hope you
found it interesting and visit the Castle’s soon. Who knows maybe in the future
you will be in the tunnels for a government operation?
By Emily Cantwell
                      NAAFI restaurant
                                                              The great tower

Secret war time tunnels


                                                 Anglo Saxon church

Admiralty lookout                        Battlements walk

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