The natural mound on which this fortress stands is known as Castle Hill and has a commanding view of the English Channel and Kent coastline.
The strategic value of this site was well understood by the Romans who built a lighthouse here. Later the Saxons raised a Burgh and when William of Normandy defeated King Harold II at Hastings in 1066 he headed not for London as would have been expected, but for it's "gateway" Dover. There he improved the existing fortifications by erecting a motte and bailey castle in just eight days.
By 1168 two masons, Robert and Ralph, the king's master masons, under the direction of Maurice the Engineer, were involved in the erection of the stone curtain walls. Maurice, it is thought, designed the stone Towered Keep which was built around 1169.
Over the years various English kings have added and improved its defences.
This is one of the most complete castles in the British Isles
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