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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII had a long and intimate connection with Dover,  having held the offices of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and  Constable of Dover Castle before he became king. Henry did much to improve the Castle and the fortifications of  Dover itself by adding the Moat Bulwark on the north side of  the harbour and a similar bulwark (which developed into  Archcliffe Fort) on the south side. This provided shore batteries  on either flank of the harbour. When Henry visited Dover he stayed in the Royal Apartments in  the keep and inner bailey of the Castle. Records survive from  1513 of his orders to the Barons of the Cinque Ports to fit out  their fleet to convey him and his entourage to Calais (then an  English possession). He arrived at the Castle on 15 June and  stayed until 30 June when he embarked for Calais.   Dover witnessed a splendid sight on 31 May 1520 when Henry  and his Queen, Katherine of Aragon, set off for France to meet  the French King at the 'Field of the Cloth of Gold'. The Royal  couple's entourage numbered 5,000 people with full equipage  for living and feasting.   Henry’s dissolution of the monasteries had an effect on Dover’s  religious houses, resulting in the destruction, or re-use for  secular purposes, of the Maison Dieu, St Martin’s Priory, St  Edmund’s Chapel and St Martin-le-Grand.  
King Henry VIII. The Embarkation of Henry VIII at Dover, 1520.  Henry sets off for France with Katherine of Aragon and an entourage of 5,000 people.