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Dover Castle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TR32484194
Latitude 51.12948° Longitude 1.32123°

Dover Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Palace.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Due to its strategically important position overlooking the Straits of Dover and the shortest route to the Continent, the medieval royal castle at Dover developed from its presumed origins an Iron Age hillfort to become one of the most elaborate and heavily defended fortresses in Europe. Although medieval castles generally show a great deal of variety in form, the defences at Dover demonstrate an unusually high degree of technical innovation and engineering skill. Henry II's great keep was both the last and the technically most ambitious of its kind in England and the defences of the outer bailey, planned and begun before Henry's death, pre-empted the concentric castles of the 13th century by almost half a century. Despite later modifications, the medieval castle is unusual in surviving in such a complete state. Its importance is further enhanced by its royal connections and the survival of detailed documentary sources relating to its construction, and to the sieges of 1067 and 1216. Between 1537 and 1540 Henry VIII instigated a campaign to build a chain of defences along the south coast to counter the threat of French invasion. The defences included a series of artillery forts, blockhouses and batteries and were particularly concentrated along the Thames estuary and the south east. Although modified in later periods, Moat's Bulwark is the only remaining example of the three batteries known to have been built at Dover during this period, and as a smaller battery rather than a fort, it represents a particularly rare survival. The extensive 18th and 19th century defensive works surrounding the castle and the remodelling of earlier features provide a rare opportunity to understand how military theory and engineering practice was forced to adapt in the face of new technology. The Napoleonic underground barracks represent an unusual solution to the problem of providing artillery-proof accommodation and are both more extensive and complete than examples surviving elsewhere. The tunnels have additional historical significance due to their use as the headquarters of Ramsay during 1940. Together with the tunnels subsequently constructed in World War II and adapted in the post-war period for use in the event of nuclear war, the remains demonstrate a unique sequence of uninterrupted military occupation from the Napoleonic era to the late 20th century. Dover Castle represents a complex multi-period site. The hillfort, lighthouse, Saxon settlement, medieval royal castle and later defences, the tunnels and Moat's Bulwark will all contain buried remains providing information about the construction and use of the site, its economy and environmental setting from the prehistoric to the post-medieval periods. Dover Castle is a prominent feature in the landscape which is open to the public and has additional significance as both an amenity and a major educational resource. The monument includes Dover Castle, a medieval royal castle built within the presumed defences of a univallate Iron Age hillfort, a Roman lighthouse, and a Saxon settlement and church. The monument also includes a series of tunnels beneath the castle built between the 13th and 20th centuries and a 16th century gun battery called Moat's Bulwark at the base of the cliff. The remains of the castle and the lighthouse are Listed Grade I and the monument is in the care of the Secretary of State. It is situated on a chalk promontory overlooking both the River Dour and the modern town of Dover which lie immediately to the west. The hillfort was roughly triangular in shape, measuring a maximum of 300m north-south and 200m east-west with the cliff at its southern extremity preventing attack from this direction. The defences probably comprised a single bank and ditch, with an entrance on the north eastern side. Excavations adjacent to the church have produced evidence of Iron Age occupation in the form of a series of pits. In around the 1st century AD a pair of lighthouses were constructed on the headlands flanking either side of the major Roman port of Dubris to help guide in cross-channel traffic. One of the lighthouses survives within Dover Castle as a stepped tower approximately 19m in height constructed of flint rubble, with tile bonding courses and a tufa ashlar facing. The architecture of the lighthouse suggests that it originally stood to a height of around 24m, but it has been extensively modified. Its top is known to have been rebuilt by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester between 1415 and 1437 during his tenure as Constable of the Castle, by which time the lighthouse had been adapted for use as a bell tower. During the late 10th or early 11th century the Grade I Listed Church of St Mary in Castro was constructed adjacent to the lighthouse, and excavation has revealed an associated Saxon cemetery immediately to the south. Although the church and cemetery were almost certainly located within a Saxon settlement, its precise status is unclear. Documentary sources suggest that it was probably a burh or fortified town, which utilised the defences of the earlier hillfort. Whether it was a castle, or merely a burh, immediately following the Norman Conquest it is known that Duke William, a Norman, spent eight days adding to the defences. Excavation has produced evidence of a bank and ditch cutting through the Saxon cemetery which probably dates from this phase of Norman occupation. William put the castle into the care of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and Hugh de Montfort. In 1067 Dover was attacked by the men of Kent in league with Count Eustace of Boulogne, but the assault was quickly repulsed by the garrison, despite the absence of Odo and de Montfort. Pipe Rolls show that by the time of his death in 1189 Henry II had spent 6000 pounds rebuilding the castle, which constituted a huge expenditure. Work included the construction of the great keep and the inner curtain wall surrounding it. The keep was built between 1181 and 1188 and represents the most elaborate example in England. Both the inner curtain and a portion of the eastern outer curtain built during Henry II's reign included rectangular mural flanking towers which allowed the outer face of the walls to be defended by cross-fire and sections to be isolated if captured by escalade. The inner curtain had 14 towers with entrances to the north and south protected by barbicans, only the northern of which is visible today. Excavations in the area of the southern barbican in 1963 revealed the foundations of a substantial gatehouse which had been constructed in the reign of Henry II but which was quickly demolished and superseded by the inner bailey with its towers and barbicans. The precise extent of work carried out on the outer bailey during the reign of Henry II is not known, however the odd shape of the defences suggests that the new walls of the outer curtain almost certainly followed the line of the earlier hillfort defences. Dover is believed to be the first castle in western Europe to have employed concentric lines of fortification. Although the outer curtain remained uncompleted there is no record of major expenditure at Dover until the reign of King John between 1199 and 1216. Between 1205 and 1214 John spent 1000 pounds on improving the domestic buildings within the inner bailey, constructing a defensive wall around the church and adding to the outer curtain on the northern side of the castle, where the mural towers are 'D'-shaped rather than the characteristically rectangular examples from Henry II's reign. The end of King John's reign was marked by the rebellion of a large part of his baronage, who invited Louis, son of the King of France to be their leader and take the Crown of England. Louis therefore laid siege to Dover, then held for the King by Hubert de Burgh. Work during John's reign had also included the construction of a gate at the northern apex of the curtain, and it was from a piece of high ground immediately north of this gate that Louis chose to make his assault. Engineers under Louis mined underneath the gate causing its eastern tower to collapse, an occurrence confirmed by excavation. As a result the castle almost fell, but de Burgh managed to hold and following the accession of Henry III in 1217 Louis was eventually forced to withdraw. Between 1217 and 1256 Henry III spent 7500 pounds on improving the castle's defences. A great spur or outwork was dug to the north of the damaged gateway, which was blocked off. The spur was remodelled between 1801-03 to include a brick redan which survives today. In an effort to further improve defences on this side, St John's Tower, which was built in the ditch between the redan and castle in the 13th century was modified and the tower, castle and spur were linked by an underground passage. Fitzwilliam gateway was added on the north east side of curtain with a covered passageway leading across the ditch. The outer western curtain was further extended and the wall around the lighthouse and St Mary in Castro was replaced by a horseshoe-shaped earthwork surmounted by a palisade, and a masonry wall. A new set of buildings for the King and his entourage were constructed along the eastern wall of the inner bailey, including Arthur's Hall, finished in 1240, and chambers, a kitchen and chapel. The ruinous buildings were converted into barrack blocks in the mid-18th century but their medieval origins have always been visible in surviving architectural features, and their plans have been revealed by excavation. By 1256 the medieval castle had achieved its maximum size and an appearance similar to that of today. In around 1540 Henry VIII built three artillery fortifications at Dover to protect the newly constructed harbour. One of these, Moat's Bulwark, was situated at the foot of the cliff beneath the castle, and provided additional protection to its southern flank. The battery was probably completed in around March 1539. A 16th century 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. Little further building took place at the castle until the Austrian Wars of succession between 1742 and 1748 when the derelict domestic buildings lining the inner bailey were converted into new barracks. In 1756 two new batteries were constructed to improve landward defence. One was situated to the south east of the inner bailey and mounted six guns. The other, with four guns, was built immediately north of the church. A further outbreak of war with France in 1779 led to the construction of a large powder magazine within the castle. However, the most sustained period of building activity took place during the Napoleonic wars, particularly between 1794 and 1803 under the direction of Lt Col William Twiss. Heavier artillery saw a switch from reliance on masonry for protection to earthen banks, which absorbed shock better. The eastern approaches to the castle were considered the most vulnerable and Horseshoe Bastion was constructed beyond the ditch. Hudson's Bastion was placed in the middle of the eastern side, and East Demi-Bastion at the south, on the cliff edge. In 1797, faced with the problem of finding additional barrack accommodation for soldiers within the castle, four parallel tunnels were constructed within the southern cliff. The following year a further series of tunnels were constructed to the east to provide accommodation for officers. The two barracks were linked by communication tunnels and had latrines, a well and vertical ventilation shafts. The seaward ends opened out onto the cliff face and had brick frontages. As a consequence of rock falls the tunnels were brick-lined, the work being completed in 1810. Throughout the 19th century the defences were gradually improved and updated. The three eastern bastions were subsequently connected by passages beneath the ditch, which were adapted in the 1860s to lead to musketry galleries behind the scarp and counterscarp banks. In 1853 Hudson's battery had a covered gallery or caponier added with provision for artillery to cover the ditch bottom. In 1905 the obsolete hospital battery above the southern cliff was converted to a fire command post by the Army, and in 1914 the Admiralty moved its Port War Signal Station to new quarters immediately above it. The station played a fundamental role in controlling the traffic entering the new 610 acre Admiralty harbour below the castle, and following the threat of air attack, had a concrete protective roof installed above it in 1941. During World War II provision was made for the anti-tank defence of the castle by building a gun emplacement within the north western curtain, a Type 28 Pillbox at the foot of Horseshoe Bastion, and a series of anti-tank obstacles and a concrete wall for an infantry position on the counterscarp bank immediately west of the spur. In 1940, the Napoleonic barrack tunnels were used by Vice Admiral Ramsay for the planning and direction of Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from France. A further two complexes of tunnels named Annexe and Dumpy Levels were built beneath the castle between 1941 and 1942. The tunnels were lined with corrugated iron or concrete and fulfilled a variety of roles from Combined Headquarters and gunnery control to a military hospital. During the Cold War period they were adapted for use as a regional seat of Government in the event of a nuclear war. (Scheduling Report)

An extensive 12th/13th century concentric castle on the Eastern Heights overlooking Dover. Little Medieval internal detail survives. The palatial apartments in the keep are recognisable despite their conversion to ordnance stores and the insertion of a bombproof vault at roof level. The same later military use applies to many of the mural towers to a lesser or greater degree. The Medieval structures around the inner bailey have been largely converted into barracks, although parts of Arthur's Hall have been recovered by archaeological excavation. The configuration of earthworks on the cliff top is believed to have its origins in a prehistoric hillfort of probable Iron Age date and a Saxon burgh. The castle and surrounding area have been heavily modified and extended over the years particularly during the 18th - 20th centuries with additional gun emplacements and underground shelters. The site also contains the Roman Pharos Lighthouse. (Kent HER)

This hill top site was strongly defended by Iron Age ditches. The use of the Roman Pharos as the bell tower for a rare stone and reused Roman tile built Saxon church suggests a high status Saxon dwelling within the IA ditches. Further ditches and earthworks within the IA circuit have reformed the site into a double ring motte with the castle in one enclosure and the church in another. These earthworks presumably achieved their current form in the late C12 but may have had earlier origins.
The Great Tower sit centrally in the northern ring motte. This was built, with great sophistication, but in a somewhat dated square form in the 1180's by Henry II and represents an enormous royal palace. In 2009 this was redecorated and presented as it may have been to receive Philip, count of Flanders, in 1186. This is very impressive and does give a clear idea of the, to modern ideas, garish nature of medieval decoration. However for sophisticated and knowledgeable the compromises which had to made for the visitor experience will distract from the experience. (Historians who have squinted at the tiny manuscript hand of original documents written on parchment will note the clear large hand of replica documents written on paper. Quite why wax seals were reproduced in natural beeswax when coloured wax was always used by contemporaries is an interesting question.)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Brindle, S. and Pattison, P. (eds), forthcoming, The Great Tower of Dover Castle
      Coed, J., 2011, Dover Castle: a frontier fortress and its wartime tunnels (London: English Heritage)
      Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) passim
      Humphreys, Roy S., 2010, Dover Castle: England's First Line of Defence (The History Press)
      Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Late Medieval Siege: 1200-1500 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 139, 398
      Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Early Medieval Siege c. 450-1220 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 165-6, 268, 324-5, 331
      Humphrys, J., 2007, Enemies at the gate: English castles under siege from the 12th century to the Civil War (Swindon; English Heritage) (1217 siege)
      Philp, Brian, 2003, The Discovery and Excavation of Anglo-Saxon Dover (Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit: Monograph series 9)
      Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Kent (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 30-9
      Coed, Jonathan, 1995, Dover Castle (London: Batsford)
      Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 116-20 (plan)
      Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 58, 59, 129, 135, 136, 137, 153, 172, 191, 356
      Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 104-7
      Drage, C., 1987, 'Urban castles' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 117-32 online copy
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 230
      Colvin, H.M., Ransome, D.R. and Summerson, John, 1982, The history of the King's Works Vol. 4: 1485-1660 (part 2) (London) p
      Taylor, A.J., 1981, 'Stephen de Pencestre's account as constable of Dover Castle for the years Michaelmas 1272-Michaelmas 1274' in A. Detsicas (ed), Collectanea Historica: Essays in Memory of Stuart Rigold (Kent Archaeological Society) p. 114-22 (also in Taylor, A.J., 1986, Studies in castles and castle-building (London: Hambledon Press) p. 248–56)
      Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 220-2
      Guy, John, 1980, Kent Castles (Meresborough Books)
      Smithers, David Waldron, 1980, Castles in Kent (Chatham)
      Colvin, H.M., Ransome, D.R. and Summerson, John, 1975, The history of the King's Works Vol. 3: 1485-1660 (part 1) (London) p
      Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 169-73
      Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 1: the Middle Ages (London) p. 73-5, 117 (plan in separate volume)
      Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 629-41
      Toy, Sidney, 1953, The Castles of Great Britain (Heinemann) p. 98-102, 148-50
      Toy, Sidney, 1939, Castles: A short History of Fortifications from 1600 BC to AD 1600 (London) p. 79-80
      Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 138-44 online copy
      Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
      Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Kent Vol. 1 p. 413-15 online copy
      Sands, Harold, 1907, 'Some Kentish Castles' in Ditchfield and Clinch, Memorials of Old Kent (London) p. 159-165 online copy
      Statham, S.P.H., 1899, The History of the Castle, Town and Port of Dover (London) p. 247-97 and further notes
      Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 14-21 online copy
      Clark, G.T., 1884, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England (Wyman and Sons) Vol. 2 p. 4-24 online copy
      Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 1 (London) p. 323-6 online copy
      Lyon, John, 1813-14, The History of the Town and Port of Dover and Dover Castle (Dover and London) Vol. 2 p. 47-191
      King, Edward, 1804, Munimenta antiqua or Observations on antient castles (W.Bulmer and Co) Vol. 3 p. 143- online copy
      Darell, William, 1786, The History of Dover Castle (London)
      King, Edward, 1782, Observations on Antient Castles (London) p. 31-4
      Hasted, Edward, 1800 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 9 p. 475- online transcription
      Grose, Francis, 1785 (new edn orig 1756), Antiquities of England and Wales (London) Vol. 3 p. 35-43 online copy
      Buck, Samuel and Nathaniel, 1774, Buck's Antiquities (London) Vol. 1 p. 126-8
  • Periodical Articles
    • Marshall, Pamela, 2012, 'Some thoughts on the phenomenon of multiple doorways and large openings in Romanesque donjons' Château Gaillard Vol. 25 p. 233-242
      Guy, Neil, 2011-12, 'The Rise of the Anti-clockwise Newel Stair' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 25 p. 113-174 online copy
      Aslet, C., 2010, 'Royal splendour: the great tower of Dover Castle, Kent' County Life Vol. 204.12 p. 62-7
      Brindle, S., Oct 2009, 'By Royal invitation' Heritage Today Vol. 88 p. 14-19
      Cromwell, Tom, 2009, 'Below the Ministry venner: excavating where others left off' Research News Vol. 12 p. 15-17 online copy
      Brodie, Allan, 2009, 'Arthur's Hall and the Inner Bailey' Research News Vol. 12 p. 12-14 online copy
      Higgott, Gordon, 2009, 'The Great Tower in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries' Research News Vol. 12 p. 9-11 online copy
      Booth, K., 2009, 'Dover Castle: the survey of the Great Tower' Research News Vol. 12 p. 6-8 online copy
      Pattison, Paul, 2009, 'Dover Castle: the Great Tower project' Research News Vol. 12 p. 3-7 online copy
      Impey, E., July 2009, 'Made in England' Heritage Today Issue 87 p. 14-19 online copy
      Impey, E., 2009, 'The Dover Castle great tower project' Conservation Bulletin Vol. 60 p. 33-35
      Gillingham, J., 2009, 'The king and the castle: how Henry II rebuilt his reputation' BBC History Magazine Vol. 10.8 p. 32-6
      Keay, A., 2008, 'Dover Castle' Conservation Bulletin Vol. 58 p. 38
      Snow, D., 2005, 'King of castles' Heritage Today Vol. 71 p. 20-25
      Booth, Kevin and Coed, Jonathan, 2001-2002, 'Dover Great' Castle Studies Group Newsletter No. 15 p. 27-29 online copy
      Goodall, J.A.A., 2000, 'Dover Castle and the Great Siege of 1216' Château Gaillard Vol. 19 p. 91-102 view online transcription
      Booth, Kevin and Robert, Paul, 2000, 'Recording the keep, Dover Castle' Château Gaillard Vol. 19 p. 21-3
      Goodall, J.A.A., 1999, 'Dover Castle' Country Life p. 44-7, 110-3
      Parfitt, K., 1995, 'A lost earthwork near Dover Castle' Kent Archaeological review Vol. 121 p. 10-11
      Harfield, C.G., 1991, 'A Hand-list of Castles Recorded in the Domesday Book' English Historical Review Vol. 106 p. 371-392 view online copy (subscription required)
      Gillespie, James L., 1988, 'Dover Castle: Key to Richard II's Kingdom?' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 105 p. 179-196
      Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 312
      Brown, R.Allen, 1984, ‘Castle gates and garden gates’ Architectural History Vol. 27 443-5 (slight)
      Binney, M., 1984, 'Dover Castle, Kent — II' Country Life Vol. 175 p. 18–212
      Hull, F., 1982, 'The Domesday of Dover Castle - An archival History' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 98 p. 67-76
      Coad, J.G., and Lewis, P.N., 1982, 'The later fortifications of Dover' Post-Medieval Archaeology Vol. 16 p. 141-208
      Kenyon, J.R., 1981 'Early Artillery Fortifications in England and Wales: a Preliminary Survey and Re-appraisal' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 138 p. 208-9
      Hodgson, N., 1978, 'An introduction to the defences of Dover' Fort Vol. 6 p. 38-60
      Brown, R.A., 1970, 'Dover Castle' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 126 p. 205-13, 262-5
      Renn, D.F., 1969, 'The Avranches Traverse at Dover Castle' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 84 p. 79-82
      Brown, R. Allen, 1969, 'The Norman Conquest and the Genesis of English Castles' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 1-14
      Cook, A.M., Mynard, D.C. and Rigold, S.E., 1969, 'Excavations at Dover Castle, principally in the inner bailey' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 129 p. 54-104
      King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
      Davidson, Brian K., 1969, 'Early earthwork castles: a new model' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 37-47
      Biddle, M., 1969, 'The earthworks around St Mary-in-Castro' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 126 p. 264-5
      1969, Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 32 (3rd ser) p. 54-104
      Rigold, S.E., 1967, 'Excavations at Dover Castle (Kent) 1964-6' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 30 (3rd ser) p. 87-121
      (Rigold), 1966, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 10 p. 190-1 download copy
      (Biddle), 1965, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 9 p. 190 download copy
      Biddle, 1964, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 8 p. 254-5 download copy
      Renn, D.F., 1964, 'The first Norman Castles in England 1051-1071' Château Gaillard Vol. 1 p. 125-132
      (Biddle), 1962-3, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 6-7 p. 322 download copy
      Brown, R, Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
      Brown, R. Allen, 1955, 'Royal Castle-building in England 1154-1216' English Historical Review Vol. 70 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)) p. 19-64
      Hardman, F.W., 1937, 'Castleguard Service of Dover Castle' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 49 p. 96-107
      Report of Major E. R. Macpherson and on Notes supplied by E. G. J. Amos, 1931, 'The Norman Waterworks in the Keep of Dover Castle' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 43 p. 167-17
      1929, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 86 p. 251-8 online copy
      Tipping, 1922, Country Life Vol. 51 p. 700-7, 743-51, 786-92
      Peck, 1914, Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 20 p. 242-52
      Round, J.H., 1902, 'Castle Guard' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 59 p. 144-159 online copy
      Plunket, G.T., 1884, 'The development of the fortifications of Dover Castle' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 40 p. 152-7 online copy
      Blashill, T., 1884, 'The castle of Dover' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 40 p. 373-8 online copy
      Peck, W.M., 1880, 'Notes on the keep, the Roman pharos, and the shafts at the shot yard battery, Dover Castle' Archaeologia Vol. 45 p. 328-36 online copy
      Clark, G.T., 1875, 'Dover Castle' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 32 p. 436-61 (reprinted in MMA) online copy
      Scott, G.G., 1863, 'The church on the Castle Hill, Dover' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 5 p. 1-18 (on the church) online copy
      1811, The Gentleman's Magazine Part 2 p. 477 (survey of 1578) online copy
      King, Edward, 1777, 'Observations on antient castles' Archaeologia Vol. 4 p. 364-413 esp 393-6 (reprinted in Antient Castles) online copy
  • Guidebooks
    • Brindle, S., 2012, Dover Castle (London: English Heritage) (see Guy, Neil, 2012-13, 'The Steven Brindle Dover Castle guidebook' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 26 p. 297-303 for a review this book, with additional information)
      Coed, J., 2007, Dover Castle (London: English Heritage)
      2001, Dover Castle Kent Souvenir Guide (London: English Heritage)
      Brown, R.Allen, 1985 4edn, Dover Castle, Kent (English Heritage)
      Brown, R.Allen, 1983 3edn, Dover Castle, Kent (HMSO)
      Brown, R.Allen, 1974 rev edn, Dover Castle, Kent (HMSO)
      Brown, R.Allen, 1966, Dover Castle, Kent (HMSO)
      Radford, C.A.Ralegh, 1959, Dover Castle, Kent (HMSO)
      Radford, C.A.Ralegh, 1953, Dover Castle, Kent (HMSO)
      Hunter Blair and Honeyman, 1947, Dover Castle, Kent (HMSO)
      Puckle, 1864, Church and Fortress of Dover Castle (Oxford and London) (mostly on church)
      Hundley, n.d., (Dover)
  • Primary (Medieval documents or transcriptions of such documents - This section is far from complete and the secondary sources should be consulted for full references.)
    • 1086, Domesday Book online copy
      Pipe Rolls 1180-90 (see Pipe Roll Society for published references)
      Stubbs, W. (ed), 1869, Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Houedene (Rolls Series 51) Vol. 2 p. 5 online copy
      Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 266-70
      C145/113(13) (Survey of 1330) The National Archives reference (calendared in Maxwell Lyte, H.C., 1916, Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), preserved in the Public Record Office (H.M.S.O.) Vol. 2 p. 284 No. 1151 online copy)
      C145/92(9) (Survey of 1324) The National Archives reference (calendared in Maxwell Lyte, H.C., 1916, Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), preserved in the Public Record Office (H.M.S.O.) Vol. 2 p. 165 No. 664 online copy)
      C145/132(18) (Survey of 1360) The National Archives reference (calendared in Stamp. A.E. (ed), 1937, Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), preserved in the Public Record Office (H.M.S.O.) Vol. 3 p. 159-60 No. 432 online copy)
      SP12/46/77 (Survey of 1568) The National Archives reference
      B.M. Harleian MS. 1326 (Survey of 1623) British Library collection information
  • Antiquarian (Histories and accounts from late medieval and early modern writers)
    • Darell, 1786 (written in reign of Elizabeth I), History of Dover Castle
      Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
      Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 252, 255
      Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1909, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 4 p. 50 online copy
      Celia Fiennes, 1888, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary (London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press) Vision of Britain online transcription
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • Brodie, A. and Higgott, G., 2011, Inner Bailey, Dover Castle, Kent: The Development of the Buildings 1200 -1800 (English Heritage Research Department Report Series 41-2011) online copy
      Brodie, A., 2011, Arthur’s Hall, Dover Castle, Kent: Analysis of the Building (English Heritage Research Department Report Series 40-2011) online copy
      Fradley, Michael, 2011, The Old in the New: Urban Castle Imposition in Anglo-Norman England, AD1050-1150 (University of Exeter PhD Thesis) available via EThOS
      Flight, Colin, 2010, Dover castle: Knight's fees owing castle-guard service at Dover access via
      Linford, N.T. and Martin, L., 2008, Keep Yard, Dover Castle, Kent: Report on Geophysical Survey, June 2008 (English Heritage Research Department Reports series 61/2008) online copy
      Cromwell, Tom, 2008, Dover Castle Inner Bailey Excavations online copy
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The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of English Heritage, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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