Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Keep and Western Outer Curtain Wall of Dover Castle from the Harbour, Kent, UK

A panoramic view of Dover Castle taken from the lighthouse and Harbour View cafe end of the Prince of Wales Pier:

Panorama of Norman Great Tower and Inner Curtain Wall (Inner Bailey) and Palace Gate. Western Outer Curtain Wall: Constable's Gateway, Peverell's Gateway; Gatton, Hurst, Rokesley Towers. Regimental Institute.
(Click this Keep and Western Outer Curtain Wall text link to see the largest size)

Distance to the White Cliffs of Dover above East Cliff at bottom-right is about 1450 yards; to the Keep, or Great Tower, about 1850 yards.

The Keep is 83 feet (25.3m) high and just under 100 feet (30m) square, with walls up to 21 feet (6.5m) thick.

This massive edifice was designed by the architect, 'Maurice the Engineer' (ie Mason) and built between 1180 and 1185 during the reign of Henry II (Curtmantle).

The interior of the Norman Keep was "re-furbished" by English Heritage in 2010 to show how a medieval royal palace, or royal court, may have looked in the 12th Century:

The Keep, with the Union Flag, or Union Jack, flying above its South Tower, was also once known as Palace Tower.

Below the Keep are the uncrenellated (ie flat-topped) towers of the Inner Bailey wall, or Inner Curtain Wall. The two higher towers close together below the Keep's right-hand tower flank the Palace Gateway, an entrance into the Keepyard. The other entrance is the King's Gateway, or King's Gate, on the northern side.

Furthest on the left of the photo is the stand alone grouping of the Constable's Gateway with the Queen Mary Tower indistinguishable in front.

The Western Outer Curtain Wall then extends from Queen Mary's Tower to the cliff-edge, featuring (from left to right):

Peverell's Gateway, Gatton's Tower (above which is the Georgian Sergeant-Major's House), Say's Tower (hidden by a turn in the curtain wall), Hurst's Tower, and Fulbert's Tower.

The last is Rokesley Tower, above the Tudor Bulwark in the photo, and adjacent to the Canons Gateway (or Canons Gate: see thumbnail) whose bridge/caponier is identified by the lighter coloured brickwork at bottom-centre (this also indicates the depth of the unseen moat in front of the curtain wall).

The Canons Gate complex was added by Colonel William Twiss of the Royal Engineers during the Napoleonic Wars: see the Canons Gateway at Night and Canons Gate Caponier photos (not yet uploaded).

The group of Victorian buildings with slate-roofs half-way along the diagonal between the Keep and bottom right-hand corner lie on either side of Knights Road. The larger building on the right was once the Regimental Institute and now houses the Naafi Restaurant and Queen Elizabeth's Pocket Pistol (the prototype World War II Barnes Wallis "Bouncing Bomb fragment" has been moved elsewhere).

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
LBS Number: 177823
Grade: I
Date Listed: 07/03/1974
Date Delisted:
NGR: TR3249141696
Listing Text:
TR 3241 1/47
TR 34 SW 7/47
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.

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

The outer walls of Dover Castle are built upon the earthworks of an Iron Age hill fort.

The main photo first appeared at:

The Keep and Western Outer Curtain Wall of Dover Castle from the Harbour

Also see:


The Great Tower of Dover Castle and Constable's Gateway

To be uploaded:

The Keep, Peverell's Gateway, and Hurst Tower of Dover Castle

The English Heritage "Pastscape" entry for Dover Castle states:

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

All castle photos first appear under the Castles and Dover Castle category labels.

The castle is one of Dover's Grade I Listed Buildings and English Heritage sites.

A Medieval, Napoleonic Wars, and Victorian photo reflecting Dover's History.

More Dover Architecture and Panorama photos.

Clickable thumbnails of all castle- and harbour-related photos on the main Panoramio Images of Dover website are available on this blog at Dover Castle Page and Port of Dover Page (also linked to below the blog title).

The Panoramio photos are each accompanied by a Google Earth satellite map. However, the images are smaller than those on the Images of Dover Blog and the captions are less well formatted.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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