Sunday, 7 July 2013

Dover Castle

I am officially middle-class and middle aged (despite being 25), as I am now a member of the English Heritage as well as the National Trust.

Today I had a jolly out to Dover Castle
Dover Castle
Built on the coast, just across the channel from France, Dover Castle has been an important fortification for 2,000 years. King Henry II first constructed the castle in the 1180's, but to due to the areas strategic significance, the site has been adapted to over the years to meet the changing demands of warfare. Further buildings were added during World War II, including a network of underground tunnels used as a field hospital.

More pictures after the cut:-
stained glass, I thought it was pretty how it reflected onto the stone  

 You can go all over at Dover, up on to the roof and down into the bowels of the castle.
I love a good spiral staircase. 
The older part of the castle of my favourite. There are actors dressed in costume who are really keen to impart their knowledge, plus they stage in character the whole time. A merchant gave us a talk on armour and warfare, and let us lift his mail and shield. King Henry was also holding court in the throne room- he asked if I had a shrewish nature as I am unwed,  and told me about his constable who's recruiting camp followers.  I wouldn't like a career as a camp follower (prostitute)  but I would love to be a actor in one of these historical properties!

World War II tea caddies 
The tour around the World War II field hospital was a bit disappointing, you're sort of herded along in a large group. They gone to the effort to recreate it, with lots of authentic details and blinking lights and the sound of bombing, but you're rushed round so quickly you don't get time to appreciate it. The information on the tour could also be improved, a talk about the surgery that took place would have been good. I couldn't really appreciate how it would actually feel like to be down there for 3 months, barely seeing daylight.

I'd really recommend you go. English Heritage has recently invested heavily into the property and the actors really make the whole trip.

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