Dover Castle (England)

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One of the country's largest castles, strategically located at the narrowest part of the English Channel, Dover Castle has always played an important role in its history since its founding. Already in the Iron Age was settled here, a lighthouse from Roman times and an Anglo-Saxon church can be admired on the site. Until the 20th century, the development of the fortifications of Dover Castle reaches.

William the Conqueror fortified the existing Anglo-Saxon fort in 1066, both Henry II and Henry VIII expanded the facility, and Vice Admiral Ramsay overseen the evacuation at Dunkirk from the tunnels in the cliffs below the castle.

The Norman castle was built by Henry II in 1180. Around the core of his fortified keep he built a double ring of concentric, tower-reinforced walls. The Avranches Tower was custom built to control the eastern defenses. Every first Friday of the month you can join a guided tour.

The siege of 1216-17, when Dover Castle was held for King John against the rebellious barons with their French Allied Prince Louis, is shown in a multimedia exhibition.

In May 1216 Prince Louis landed in Thanet with his French army to support the barons. In the autumn of the year, only the castles Windsor and Dover were in royal hands in the south. The siege camp was built north of the castle. The plant was bombarded with stones while the miners drilled tunnels under the fortifications. When the walls collapsed, the French invaded the castle, but were beaten back. An armistice was declared.

King John died in October and his son Henry III was proclaimed king. In May 1217, Prince Louis broke the truce and re-besieged Dover Castle. Three days later, the French were defeated at the Battle of Lincoln, ending the war

After the siege had shown the vulnerability of the northern defenses, Henry III had the walls strengthened massively.

Henry VIII visited Dover Castle after he felt threatened by the continental empires in 1538 following the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, his excommunication by the Pope and the treaty between France and Spain.

Henry VIII was politically isolated in Europe and a Catholic invasion seemed likely. He commissioned a number of castles on the coast and inspected Dover in 1539. There is an exhibition in the castle that recreates his accommodations.

During the civil war in 1642, the castle was held by the royalists, the city held to the parliamentarians. In August, a group of city dwellers were able to capture the castle almost without a shot being fired.

1745 new army housing was built in the castle. The defenses were adapted to the requirements of the weapon development.

After the Napoleonic wars, troop levels in Dover Castle were reduced.

In both world wars, the castle played an important role. It was equipped with anti-aircraft guns and in World War II with radar systems.

In May 1940, the evacuation of 338,000 Allied soldiers from the battlefields at Dunkirk was conducted from here. The subterranean barracks were expanded, new tunnels laid out, as well as a hospital.

After the war, the army remained in Dover Castle until 1958. Today, the facility is under the administration of English Heritage.

Images of the castle

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South West England

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Useful infos

Latitude: 51.128771
Longitude: 1.323391
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Map of Dover Castle