Rare view of Hurst Tower, Western Outer Curtain Wall, Dover Castle, Kent, UK

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

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John Latter on April 15, 2010

Hurst's Tower, also shown in the Hurst Tower from Knights Road photo, is the southernmost of the three D-type mural towers which lie between the Peverell Gateway and Fulbert`s Tower on Dover Castle's Western Curtain Wall.

The other two D-type towers are Say`s Tower (alt. Arsick), located 30 yards to the left in the direction of Peverell's Gateway, and Gatton Tower which is located another 30 yards beyond Say's Tower. Fulbert's Tower (alt. Calderscot's Tower) is 70 yards to the right.

The crenellations of Hurst's Tower (alt. Hirst's Tower) were removed, and its height reduced, during the 18th Century (1760's) in order to turn it into a gun platform.

All three mural towers are shown in the Gatton Tower, Say Tower, Hurst Tower photo.

Taken from on top of the outer wall of the Western Moat.

Extract from the 1828 6th Edition of "A Short Historical Sketch of the Town of Dover, and its Neighbourhood; containing a Concise History of the Town and Castle, from the Earliest Accounts to the Present Time; with a Description of the Villages near Dover, within a distance of Six Miles". Printed by and for Z. Warren at the Albion Library, 86 Snargate Street, and Marine Library on the Parade:

Hirst Tower is named from a dependant manor of Chilham Castle, situate in that parish, and which was granted to build and repair it.

Extract from the 1916 book, "Annals of Dover", by John Bavington Jones:

Hirst Tower: This is now but a stump of masonry in the wall. It is named after John de Hirst, who held it on military tenure in connection with the Manor of Chilham.

Click to see an oblique view of the curtain wall between Peverell's Gateway and Fulbert's Tower and the The Great Tower, Peverell`s Gate, and Hurst Tower photo.

Click to see all photos of Dover Castle, an English Heritage site.

Abridged extract from the English Heritage Pastscape entry for Dover Castle:

Medieval castle possibly originating as a pre-1066 motte and bailey castle, remodelled during the reign of Henry II, to became a castle with concentric defences, one of the first examples of its kind in western Europe.

Much of this work was supervised by Maurice the Ingeniator (Maurice the Engineer) and started with piecemeal additions to the defences during the 1160s and 1170s and major construction work, including the Keep (or Great Tower), walls of the Inner Bailey and parts of the Outer Curtain Wall between 1179 and 1188.

Work during the reign of Henry III included strengthening of the defences and the modernising of the castle's accomodation. Much of this took place between 1217-57 and was supervised by Hubert de Burgh (first Earl of Kent). Additions included construction of St John's Tower outside the northern defences which was linked to the castle by a tunnel. Limited work on the castle and its defences took place during the 14th and 15th century and by the 17th century it was in neglect.

The castle was in use as a prison for prisoners of war from 1690 and until the 1740s when a programme of modernisation was started. This included the updating of the defences and construction of barracks, supervised by John Peter Desmaretz (military engineer, c. 1686-1768) . Further changes took place in response to the Napoleonic Wars. Much of this took place between 1794 and 1805 and was implemented by Lieutenant Colonel William Twiss, and included bombproofing of the keep, installation of additional gun batteries and outworks and the excavation of underground tunnels for communication and additional accomodation.

The castle was also adapted to protect itself from new explosive shells in 1853 and new barrack were constructed. The castle was used during World War I and World War II when features including anti aircraft and search light batteries were constructed.

Dover Castle is located upon the famous White Cliffs overlooking the town and port below. The Normans, beginning with William the Conqueror, built upon earlier Roman and Saxon fortifications on a site first selected by their Iron Age predecessors.

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

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 3, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/12/22 11:06:27
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/160)
    • Focal Length: 55.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: -0.30 EV
    • No flash