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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

Dover Castle - 18th and 19th Century Fortifications

In the eighteenth century barracks were built within the walls of  the Castle like those in the inner bailey. Many of the towers were  lowered to create platforms for modern artillery or give clear field  of fire to the new batteries. The keep was modified with brick  vaults, or ‘bombproof arches’ built over the main apartments on  the top floor in the 1790s. The complex of tunnels in the cliff face  was started in the eighteenth century too. In the nineteenth century the defences were further strengthened  during the Napoleonic Wars. The report of the Royal Commission  on Defence published in 1860 led to the further strengthening of  the Western Heights, and also the construction of Fort Burgoyne,  to deny to any foe the high ground to the north east of the Castle. Further fortification of the castle took place in the 1870s with gun  replacements and magazines for the ramparts on the line of the  old eastern curtain wall. Other cliff edge batteries were rebuilt to  mount heavy guns covering the harbour. One of the most impressive remains of the Victorians’ work at the  Castle is the Officers’ Mess built in 1856-58.
Gun emplacements on the eastern ramparts with original smooth bore guns mounted on replica carriages. The Officers' Mess of 1856-8, which commands fine views of the harbour and Channel. Back to Castle Index