I love history and I have a particular fascination for the Middle Ages. This is why whenerver it comes to exploring a medieval castel like Dover Castle, I get super excited. If you like old castles just as much as I do, keep reading 🙂
Dover Castle was built in the 11th Century and because it was on the coast, right opposite Calais, France, it had great defensive importance. For this reason, it can also be described as the “Key to England”. According to the book “Catellarium Anglicanum: An Index and Bibliography of the Castles in England, Wales and the Islands” published in 1983, Dover Castle is the largest castle in England.
Did you know that initially the castle was built entirely from clay? The clay construction collapsed but the clay was used as the basis for the actual castle which, as you can see is now built from stone (as it is a lot more stable). Considerable changes and additions were made during the reign of Henry II and during the Napoleonic Wars.
Under the castle there is a system of tunnels (it used to be a secret system of tunnels) which served first as an air-raid shelter and then as a hospital in the Second World War. It is both creepy and amazing in the same time.
The castle and the tunnels are owned by English Heritage now and any unauthorised changes to them are strictly forbidden. And it is understandable when you think abou the fact the castle is not only one of the best preserved castles in the world, but it is also a an archeological site, a historical site and a building of national importance (the official name for this title is Scheduled Monument).
The best way to get to Dover to see the castle is by train, car or bus. Once you get to Dover you can even walk to the castle as the city is not that big but bear in mind that you have to climb a small hill to get to the castle. If you will get tired climbing the hill think about how it must have been like to climb it wearing an armour and caring a heavy sword in case you were planning to take on the castle in the Middle Ages, and you will understand why it was built up there. However, there is transport available from the city centre to the castle in case you want to skip the climbing part.
Don’t forget that if you go to Dover, the White Cliffs of Dover are a must see as well.
And of course don’t forget to bring snacks!
If you like this article, I recommend you to read the article about Hunedoara, to learn about Corvin’s Castle, an amazing medieval construction and also the place where Vlad Tepes (commonly known as Dracula) was held prisoner for a while: