27 August 2006

Dover Castle - August 25th 2006

As we were still on holiday we had a drive out to Dover, one stop for a look around the Castle, and another to have lunch and sit above the Eastern Approaches to read in the sun in the White Cliffs Park.
If you are members of English Heritage or The National Trust, both would be free, if not, the Castle is £9.50 each and to park on the top of the White Cliffs is £1.50 per vehicle.
Although I have lived near Dover for many years, it's not a place I frequent very often, mainly to leave from the ferry terminal! So this was my first visit to the Castle.
The roots go back to the Saxons for a fort and the church, and to the Romans for the "Pharos" (pic 3).

Most of the work was done in the 13th centrury by Maurice, the engineer that Henry II entrusted to build the castle on the site of earlier fortifications.
There was a tidy up in time for Henry VIII's in 1539, when the castle was seen to be old and rather out of fashion. It was of course 300 years old by then.
It was given another face lift a couple of centuries later when Charles II's fiancee came to stay after her arrival from abroad.

This is the Roman "pharos" built not as supposed to warn navigators at sea of the land, but as a guide, Paired with one on the western approach it showed where the harbour was for the galleys crossing from France.
Only 4 storeys remain an dit is in excess of 40 feet tall. In Roman time sit would have ben 8 storeys tall with a beacon on the roof.
Pic 4 shows the approach to the Castle inside the outer wall but approaching the inner fortifide wall. The flag is flying form the top of the Keep.

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