Visit Dover and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Dover, Kent, has played a major role in British history for more than 2,000 years. Since the coming of the Romans it has been one of the most important entries to the country. was one of the Cinque Ports, and is now the busiest passenger port in England. It has survived enemy assaults, threats of invasion and the bombardments of two world wars when it was in the aerial and artillery front line.
Pre-eminent of its monuments is the mighty Dover Castle, standing on a high hill and dominating the town and harbour and the approach by sea from all directions.
The hill site was first utilized by the Ancient Britons who threw up earthworks. The oldest edifice now here is the ruin of the Roman pharos, or lighthouse, built in A.D. 43. Nearby mounds may have been part of earthworks put up by Harold II. Of other structures built up to the time of the Norman Conquest there is little or no trace.
The oldest part of the castle itself is Peverell's Tower, constructed shortly after the Conquest. The keep, the strongest in England, was erected in the second half of the 12th century and the outer walls in the 13th century when an unsuccessful French attack in 1216 demonstrated that the existing walls might not withstand a sustained battering by siege engines. Further additions and strengthening were carried out in the face of threatened attack during the Napoleonic Wars, and again during the Second World War.
From the battlemented roof can be seen the gun emplacements set up during the Napoleonic Wars to meet the invasion that never came; the Channel and its shipping; and on a clear day the French coast.
In the basement were the huge kitchens, and in the ceilings can be seen the trapdoors through which the prepared food was hoisted to the rooms above. A visit to the tunnel system beneath the castle completes the tour. These tunnels were originally dug in 1216 at the time of the French attack. They were extended during the Napoleonic Wars. Some of the tunnels come out right at the cliff-face, others in the surrounding meadowland. They still had their uses in the Second World War as air-raid shelters.
The Church of St Mary-in-Castra was originally Anglo-Saxon and cruciform in plan. Despite additions and heavy restoration and rebuilding in the middle of the 19th century, it has essentially retained its original form, with traces of the Anglo-Saxon work. Next to the church stands the pharos. which, although restored in part, retains much of its ancient Roman brickwork. It is not known when it ceased to be used as a lighthouse, but it served as the bell-tower of the church for many years.
The parish church, St Mary's, is the oldest church in the town with parts dating back to the Norman period, but largely rebuilt in the 19th century. The west door, the window above it and the vestibule are Norman. St James's Church in Woolchamber Street was almost as old but suffered extensive bomb damage in the war and later collapsed, leaving only one wall standing.
Dover has been the scene of many “firsts”. Blériot is commemorated by a concrete slab. the size and shape of his monoplane, on the spot north east of the castle where he landed from the first cross-Channel flight by a heavier-than-air machine (1909). Then there was the Hon. Charles S. Rolls who took off from here on the first two-way Channel flight in 1910, and in 1875 Captain Matthew Webb was the first person to swim the Channel; both arc commemorated on the East Cliff Promenade.
Nearby cities: Canterbury
Nearby towns: Deal, Folkestone, Hythe, Sandwich
Nearby villages: Alkham, Barfreston, Bekesbourne, Bridge, Chillenden, Coldred, Denton, Eastry, Elham, Elvington, Eythorne, Goodnestone, Great Mongeham, Hawkinge, Kearsney, Knowlton, Lydden, Martin, Paddlesworth, Ringwould, Ripple, River, Sandgate, Seabrook, Selstead, Shepherdswell, Sholden, Shorncliffe Camp, St. Margarets, Staple, Swingfield, Temple Ewell, Tilmanstone, Waldershare, Walmer, West Langdon, Womenswold
Have you decided to visit Dover or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Dover bed and breakfast (a Dover B&B or Dover b and b)
- a Dover guesthouse
- a Dover hotel (or motel)
- a Dover self-catering establishment, or
- other Dover accommodation