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Dover; Moats Bulwark

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Moates; bulwark under Dover Castle; the bulwark subtus castrum Doveri

In the civil parish of Dover.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of Kent.
1974 county of Kent.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TR32534152
Latitude 51.12577° Longitude 1.32171°

Dover; Moats Bulwark has been described as a certain Artillery Fort.

There are uncertain remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


In around 1540 Henry VIII built three artillery fortifications at Dover to protect the newly constructed harbour. One of these, Moats's Bulwark, was situated at the foot of the cliff beneath Dover Castle, and provided additional protection to its southern flank. The battery was probably completed in around March 1939. A C16 plan depicts it as a timber revetted platform approached by tunnels in the cliff, although it was remodelled as a large semi-circular battery in around 1750, and in 1856 linked with the castle by a spiral stairway tunnelled into the cliff.

This is a pictorial representation of a cannon on a cliff, almost certainly at Dover, dating from around 1541. The drawing shows a gun platform with six cannons, titled 'The Bulwerck under the Castell Dyke'. The platform is more elaborate than other bulwarks, with gun ports for heavy armament. Behind the platform is a long timber building in an advanced state of decay which was probably a store house. The construction of a harbour under the Western Heights in around 1500 meant that Dover Castle was too far away to provide sufficient protection for the expanding town and port and so an additional program of defence became necessary. This was one of several bulwarks constructed between March 1539 and midsummer 1540 that controlled landing in the harbour and the shallow bay opposite the town. They were made of earth revetted with timber, provided by the harbour works. The reason for these additional defences was Henry VIII's fear of an invasion from the combined forces of France and Spain as in 1538 Francis I of France, and Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain signed a peace treaty. France was England's historical enemy and Henry VIII's divorce of Catherine of Aragon, Charles V's aunt, had offended the militantly catholic King of Spain. (British Library)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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