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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

Dover Castle - The Keep

Under Henry II, the Castle was totally rebuilt, and the walls of the  inner bailey and the eastern part of the outer curtain wall erected. Most impressive is the monumental keep, built by Henry II's great  architect, Maurice the Engineer, between 1180 and 1185, which  stands at the heart of a concentric ring of defences. The keep, or Great Tower, is 83 feet (25.3m) high and just under  100 feet (30m) square, with walls up to 21 feet (6.5m) thick.  It  dominates the inner bailey giving an overwhelming feeling of  strength and power. The keep was designed to serve many functions: as a storeroom,  occasional residence of the monarch and his court, and perhaps  most importantly, as a stronghold.   Throughout, the internal arrangement of the keep is ingeniously  designed. Its three-towered fore-building, carrying the entry  staircase and two chapels, is an elaborate and magnificent  approach to the main apartments. The upper chapel, richly  decorated and reserved for the royal family's use, is especially  fine. The former royal apartments are still impressive in their  monumental scale, despite having lost most of their original  decoration. Recently the interior of Henry’s Great Tower has been recreated.  Historians, designers, artists and craftspeople have combined to  present it as it might have appeared when newly completed, and  ready to receive an important visitor, Count Philip of Flanders, in  1184. 
The Keep towers over you as you walk around the Inner Bailey. The Keep showing the fore-building. The Royal Bed Chamber.  One of the recreated interiors from the 1180s. The Throne Room.  One of the recreated interiors from the 1180s. Back to Castle Index