Dover Castle

Posted in Europe | May 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Dover Castle is among the largest in the United Kingdom, and was of huge strategic importance in its time due to its location. It is situated exactly at the shortest crossing point to from England to Continental Europe.

The Castle has an immense historical significance, and featured in a notable role in the history of the nation. In fact, it retained its military role right until the twentieth century in the Second World War. The castle has its origins in the Iron Age. The ground of the castle has an Anglo Saxon Church and a Roman Lighthouse still located within the grounds.

William of Normandy was responsible for the castle/fortress which existed previous to the present one. In 1066, he strengthened the fortifications which were originally built by the Anglo Saxons. However, Henry II was responsible for the Dover castle we see today, at least the basic structure. In 1180’s he added a massive keep as well as a number of defenses centered on the castle. The castle was subject to enlargements and revamping over the centuries.

The Dover castle had a hospital functioning in an underground chamber at the time of the Second World War. There was also a command center that was used during the Dunkirk evacuation.

Perched upon the white cliffs of Dover, Dover Castle is a towering structure. The castle has a labyrinth of underground tunnels excavated from chalk at the time. The castle has always been a military fortress.

The castle was refurbished and extended in a major way in the Napoleonic War period, to defend from the French attacks. Old medieval tunnels were used after expanding them as secret tunnels during the world wars.  It is possible to visit these tunnels and visit the war hospital as well.

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