The Keep, Palace Gate, and Inner Curtain Wall of Dover Castle, Kent, UK

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John Latter on December 29, 2009

This southern view of Dover Castle's Keep, Inner Bailey, and Palace Gate was taken from Godwin Road, just before it meets Harold's Road, north of Colton Gate.

The 12th Century Norman Keep, or Great Tower, is 83 feet high with walls 12 feet thick.

The Inner Bailey consists of ten rectangular towers and two gatehouses: King`s Gate in the north, and Palace Gate in the south.

Palace Gate is on the left-hand side of the above photo and has a banner above it, as do each of its flanking towers.

Abridged extract from "The History of the Castle, Town and Port of Dover" by Reverend S. P. H. Statham, Rector of St Mary-in-the-Castle (ie St Mary-in-Castro) (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899):

The (Inner Bailey) curtain forms an irregular polygon about 120 yards each way, supported by fourteen rectangular towers with no inward projection. These towers are nearly of the same height as the curtain, which is a very lofty wall. It is built of flint rubble quoined with ashlar, and battered on the outside at the base. The wall was surrounded by a broad and deep ditch, which is now filled in on the south front.

Two gates (in the Inner Bailey walls) led in to the inner ward (or Keep Yard), the one on the north, called the King`s Gate; that on the south being named the Palace Gate, or the Duke of Suffolk's Gate. They are vaulted passages between two flanking square towers, and are early English in character. Both were fitted with a portcullis.

An outwork, consisting of a wall with towers, was thrown out in front of each of these gates, and the entry to these works was placed obliquely to the main gate so as to allow the approach to be commanded. That at the King's Gate (the King`s Gate Barbican) remains much as it was first built, but the one at the Palace Gate has been entirely destroyed.

Abridged from The English Heritage Trail:

Guardian of the 'Gateway to England', Dover Castle displays a solid strength and determination that has obviously carried it through many troubled times. Proudly standing atop the White Cliffs, overlooking this busy port, Dover Castle has withstood the test of time remarkably well throughout its long and eventful history. Dover Castle, as it stands today, dates from the rebuilding work during Henry II's reign, but the site has been of vital importance since the Iron Age. The first castle at Dover was probably an Anglo-Saxon fortress and, on the arrival of William the Conqueror, the existing fortifications were improved with the building of an earthwork castle. This Norman 'motte' (mound) which supported the castle is today known as 'Castle Hill'.

Work began on Dover Castle in the latter part of the 12th century with the construction of the Keep (or Great Tower) - the largest in Britain - and is entered through a forebuilding more substantial than any other built before or since. At each corner of the Keep lies a buttress turret, and mid-way along each wall is a pilaster buttress. Four storeys high, the Keep comprises a basement, first floor, and a second floor that spans two storeys, the upper level of which is a mural gallery that can be seen today at the end of the Great Armour Hall. The second storey provided the royal accommodation, and the first floor, based on a similar plan to the second, contained rooms with a much less elaborate decor. All floors were connected by staircases set in the north and south corner turrets.

Providing the entry staircase, and two chapels, is the magnificent forebuilding. It is interesting to note the decor of the chapels - the lower chapel of a Gothic style, and the upper chapel late Norman and richly decorated. From outside of the Keep, the significance of the three-towered forebuilding can be fully appreciated, as it can be seen travelling along the eastern wall of the Keep and turning at the corner of the southern wall. It was around this stronghold that the concentric castle was developed and work was completed mid-13th century.

Dover Castle appears in "Dover in World War Two: 1942", a ten minute British Ministry of Information film, released by the US Office of War Information, and narrated by the American journalist, Edward R. Murrow.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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kevin lee on March 31, 2010

Very nice! Beautiful Shot! Best Regards from China!

John Latter on March 31, 2010

kevin lee, on Wednesday March 31st, 2010, said:

Very nice! Beautiful Shot! Best Regards from China!

Thank you, Kevin - Greetings from Dover, England!

John Latter / Jorolat

John Latter on November 18, 2010

Dover Castle is a Grade I Listed Building (1).

The following is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence (PSI licence number C2010002016):

Building Details:

Building Name: DOVER CASTLE

Parish: DOVER

District: DOVER

County: KENT

Postcode:

Details:

LBS Number: 177823

Grade: I

Date Listed: 07/03/1974

Date Delisted:

NGR: TR3249141696

Listing Text:

1050 DOVER CASTLE

TR 3241 1/47

TR 34 SW 7/47

I

2.

Norman keep C.1155 of rag-stone ashlar blooks picked out flints with Caen stone dressings. Around the keep are ranges of C18 (=18th Century) houses of 2 to 3 storeys ashlar with a flint galleting. Round headed windows. Surrounding these ranges are 2 concentric rings of walls and towers dating from Mediaeval times. Beneath the castle are a whole series of subterranean passages dating from the C13 and improved for defence during the Napoleonic period. Ancient Monument. (Abridged).

Listing NGR: TR3249141696

Source: English Heritage. Click to see photos of Listed Buildings and English Heritage locations in the town of Dover, England.

(1) Grade I: buildings "of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important".

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 8, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/11/02 12:48:24
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 24.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/13.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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