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How And Why Has Dover Castle Changed Since The Roman Period?

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Dover Castle was built on this site because it overlooks the English Channel, defenders could see when attackers were coming over sea. Also most of Dover's fortune was in Dover Harbour, it was essential to keep this part of Dover defended as it was the target for invading Britain. A Brief History Early History (Iron Age and Roman): The earliest part of the castle was built during the Iron Age. The Romans then built a lighthouse, known as a pharos in the first century AD, then another one facing Western Heights. The Anglo-Saxons then built a fortified town, St Mary-in-Castro. The pharos and the church are still here today. The Medieval Period (1066 - 1485): William the Conqueror built the first medieval fortification in November 1066, but no evidence of this has been found. Nearly �6,000 was spent on the castle from 1179 - 1188. This is most of the medieval castle which survives today. Maurice the 'Ingeniator' (a medieval military engineer) built the keep, the walls and the towers of the inner bailey. He also started the outer bailey wall but didn't finish it. In 1204 King John gave money to complete the castle. ...read more.


The Fore Building: The fore building is a defensive entrance to the keep and has three towers. The towers didn't have a roof so that defenders could fire down at enemies, but where then roofed in the 15th century. The Well: The well is an original feature, it is built up to the second floor just incase there was a siege and the basement was mined. The well was cut 122m, 400ft, deep just to reach water. The well also supplied piped water to the lower levels of the keep. The Great Hall: In the great hall the King would hole a court, talk with his officials, issue instructions, hear petitions and maintain justice. As this room is the main setting for banquets and entertainments, the room would be richly decorated with wall hangings. When the King wasn't present the walls were bare, they only decorated it for when he arrived. The thickness of the outer walls around the bedrooms meant that there was enough space for guarderobes (toilets). Everyone ate, slept and lived in the main hall, only the King and monarchs had the privilege of privacy. There's two bedrooms coming off of the great hall, both these rooms were modernized in the 15th century. ...read more.


One was built above Casemate, known as Annexe and one below Casemate known as Dumpy. Annexe Level was mainly a Medical Dressing Station, which is where they dealt with injuries and wounds before the patients got transferred to proper hospitals. Its easy to spot the difference between the 18th Century tunnels and the 1940's ones because the Casemate tunnels are large, with high ceilings and lined with brick, but the Annexe tunnels are much smaller, and lined with steel shuttering. Dumpy tunnel was used for a central operations room without disturbing the Admiralty Headquarters on the Casemate Level. The tunnels took on a new role when the Cold War started; the navy had finally moved out in1958 and handed over the site to the Home Office. The intention was to use the castle in the advent of a nuclear attack. Large amounts of money were spent on modernizing Dumpy level by the Government. They brought new communications equipment, an air-filteration plant, improved generators and large stores of fuel and water. The concrete had a capping put on to help with the protection against nuclear contamination. Three Eastern tunnels on Casemate Level were abandoned, but the contents were removed. The Western group were turned into dormitories and mess rooms. Then in 1984 the Home Office abandoned the Dover tunnels, but again removing virtually removing all the equipment. ?? ?? ?? ?? Milly Ferguson ...read more.

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