As I said in the last post, here comes more about Dover Castle. This is one of the largest properties of English Heritage and its a special property. The entire area is massive! Beginning from the world war tunnels at the entrance, to the officers mess & barracks further ahead to the Roman Castle on an elevated ground surrounded by a moat around it, to the Great Tower of Henry II and another car park beyond it and the whole thing atop a hill with some structures built on the cliffs! Its just sprawling, vast and huge!!!
As soon as you enter there are 2 tunnels here which were built in end of 18th C and served as command centres and hospitals during the world wars. Both are accessible only by guided tours. The hospital tunnel lasts for about 20 mins while the main tunnel is an hour long tour incl Operation Dynamo (on how English troops were rescued from Dunkirk). Unfortunately I couldn't see either of the tunnels with the time constraints! The whole castle needs a day to see properly and the White Cliffs needs another whole day to see! I had 1 day to see both!
Like many other castles, there are several canons in display all over esp many along the border! Further in there is a tunnel to cliff casemates which has a small museum today. Further ahead is the Officers Barracks built in 1858 which served also as the Mess during World Wars. This is the largest structure within the castle. Today it is locked and inaccessible.
Along the border of the castle is the Battlements Walk which is an elevated passage almost takes an hour to go around, but totally worth it! Walking along this passage and going down wherever there's some architecture to see is the best way to cover all the places and a view of the surroundings. A view from the Barracks has 2 radio towers and that's the destination for White Cliffs. Also the view has the incoming and outgoing ships of Dover Port.
Further ahead is the oldest structure of the entire place - Roman Pharos, built circa 43 CE. The top of it was reconstructed in 1415-37. Next to this is the Anglo Saxon church of St.Mary-in-Castro.
This was built circa 1000 CE which fell into ruins and was rebuilt in 1826. The stained glass work inside the church was spectacular and so was the mosaic work!
Inside is also display of the ancient Roman pottery (reminding me of Pondicherry Arikamedu excavations in its Museum)! Beside is the Avaranches Tower, which is kinda a maze that leads to the Tower along the border.
Further ahead is the main structure - Henry II's Great Tower which can be entered through the Palace Gate with the wooden door that operates vertically with iron chain pulley! Around the Tower are Arthur's Hall, and Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment Museum, which are interactive presentations of the history of Henry II, 3D model of the Tower and a museum about the life of soldiers!
The Great Tower, built in 1181-88 by Henry II, has 4 floors. The ground floor was used for cooking and today a recreation of the kitchen can be seen, including realistic models of meat and vegetables! Best part - the tower has rain water harvesting!
The 1st floor has a great hall and a guest chamber. In the great hall is a tiny bed for the king which was pretty much uncomfortable! However King had to sleep on it because he has to be higher than the rest! A fire place was opposite this.
A small room beside has a display of armoury! Though the original fresco, and decoration are all gone, a prototype in its place today gives an idea incl a fresco of 12 months with their arch angels!
The 2nd floor has the King's Hall, King's chamber, Scriptorium and Wardrobe. The King's chamber again has a bed. The King's Hall is essentially a dining hall.
The 3rd floor is a gallery and there are tiny holes on the wall from which the King's Chamber is visible! Was it a diagonal passage or a periscope, I dunno!
Above this is the rooftop and a tiny set of stairs in a room leads to the flag post atop. From here, the view was definitely breath taking. Behind this Great Tower is the Constable's gate, which is also an exit from where I went to the White Cliffs!
P.S: Check out here for my outfit for the trip
To Get There:
To Get There:
From Priory Station: 1km
From Dover Town Centre Bus Stand: 850m
Entry Ticket: £18.30
Opening hours & working days - Check their website.
It changes drastically in Summer & Winter