Mu­se­ums & events

Dis­cover cas­tles, bat­tles & ex­hibits in Eng­land, in­clud­ing Kent’s great­est fortress, a bloody 17th-cen­tury bat­tle­field & a sail from HMS Vic­tory

History of War - - CONTENTS -

Dover Cas­tle, Bat­tle of Sedge­moor Visi­tor Cen­tre and HMS Vic­tory’s sail

DOVER CAS­TLE The for­mi­da­ble citadel of eng­land’s most fa­mous port has a his­tory That dates from claudius To churchill

Planted firmly above the fa­mous White Cliffs, Dover Cas­tle is one the United King­dom’s most iconic fortresses and has been the ‘key to Eng­land’ for cen­turies. It is ar­guably the most var­ied and sprawl­ing cas­tle in the coun­try, and its his­tory is un­par­al­leled.

There has been a mil­i­tary pres­ence at Dover since the Iron Age, and there is one of the best-pre­served Ro­man light­houses in Europe within the cas­tle’s grounds. The present cas­tle dates from the 1180s and was sub­jected to two me­dieval sieges, as well as host­ing sev­eral kings and queens. Un­usu­ally for a Bri­tish cas­tle, the fortress was ex­panded in the 18th and 19th cen­turies when a net­work of tun­nels was dug into the White Cliffs to be used as bar­racks.

Even more re­mark­ably, the tun­nels were ex­ten­sively used dur­ing WWII when they acted as a com­mand cen­tre to control naval op­er­a­tions in the English Chan­nel. It was from Dover that Vice Ad­mi­ral Bertram Ram­say or­gan­ised ‘Op­er­a­tion Dy­namo’ in 1940, which was the fa­mous evac­u­a­tion of Al­lied troops from Dunkirk.

With an im­por­tant his­tory that stretches from an­tiq­uity to liv­ing mem­ory, Dover is a must­see at­trac­tion for his­tory en­thu­si­asts, and the cas­tle makes for a mem­o­rable visit thanks to its high state of preser­va­tion. The site is rich in me­dieval build­ings and dis­plays, from the An­glo-saxon church of St Mary-in-cas­tro, wind­ing tun­nels that were built dur­ing and after the siege of 1216, and also the ma­jor­ity of the cas­tle’s for­ti­fi­ca­tions. The Great Tower is the fortress’s cen­tre­piece and con­tains a recre­ated royal cham­ber on the sec­ond floor, which is dec­o­rated to evoke a 12th-cen­tury palace.

The cas­tle’s World War II his­tory is also well rep­re­sented, par­tic­u­larly with its wartime tun­nels. ‘Op­er­a­tion Dy­namo: Res­cue from Dunkirk’ is a trea­sure trove where visi­tors can go on guided tours and ex­pe­ri­ence state-of-theart spe­cial ef­fects, dra­matic pro­jec­tions, film footage and tes­ti­monies that bring the pe­riod to life. The 1941 un­der­ground mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal is also open to the pub­lic, and above ground there is the pre­served fire com­mand post that was first con­structed dur­ing World War I.

Dover Cas­tle is open through­out the year and holds reg­u­lar events. Some of the up­com­ing mil­i­tary-themed events in­clude ‘WWII Christ­mas at Dover Cas­tle’, which runs from 1-17 De­cem­ber 2018 on week­ends, and ‘Se­crets and Spies at Dover Cas­tle’, which will be hap­pen­ing be­tween 18-22 Fe­bru­ary 2019.

Dover Cas­tle is one of the best-pre­served fortresses in Bri­tain, ly­ing above and be­low ground

The cas­tle con­tains a net­work of tun­nels that range from the Mid­dle Ages through to the Napoleonic Wars, and was used ex­ten­sively dur­ing WWII

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