Dover Castle aerial view

Dover Castle aerial view

Dover Castle Entrance

Dover Castle Entrance

Dover Castle is a medieval castle in Dover, Kent. It was founded in the 11th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. It is the largest castle in England. The site may have been fortified with earthworks in the Iron Age or earlier, before the Romans invaded in AD 43. This is suggested on the basis of the unusual pattern of the earthworks which does not seem to be a perfect fit for the medieval castle. Excavations have provided evidence of Iron Age occupation within the locality of the castle, but it is not certain whether this is associated with the hillfort. There have also been excavations on the mound which the church and Roman Pharos are situated on, which has been discovered to be a Bronze Age mound. The site also contained one of Dover's two 80-foot (24 m) Roman lighthouses (or Pharoses), one of which still survives, whilst the remains of the other are located on the opposing Western Heights, across the town of Dover. On the site is a classic montrol (campsite) where the Normans landed after their victorious conquest.

 

After the Battle of Hastings in October 1066, William the Conqueror and his forces marched to Westminster Abbey for his coronation. They took a roundabout route via Romney, Dover, Canterbury, Surrey and Berkshire. From the Cinque Ports foundation in 1050, Dover has always been a chief member—it may also have been this that first attracted William's attention, and got Kent the motto of Invicta. In the words of William of Poitiers: Then he marched to Dover, which had been reported impregnable and held by a large force. The English, stricken with fear at his approach had confidence neither in their ramparts nor in the numbers of their troops ... While the inhabitants were preparing to surrender unconditionally, [the Normans], greedy for money, set the castle on fire and the great part of it was soon enveloped in flames...[William then paid for the repair and] having taken possession of the castle, the Duke spent eight days adding new fortifications to it'. The Castle was first built, entirely out of clay. It collapsed to the ground and the clay was then used as the flooring for many of the ground-floor rooms.

 

This may have been repairs and improvements to an existing Saxon fort or burgh, centred on the Saxon church of St Mary de Castro, although archaeological evidence suggests that it was actually a new motte and bailey design castle built from scratch nearby. In 1088, eight knights were appointed under tenures to guard Dover Castle, their names were: William d'Albrincis; Fulberl de Dover, William d'Arsic; Geoffrey Peverell; William Maminot; Robert du Port; Hugh Crevecoeur; and Adam Fitzwilliam.

 

Then came the First Barons War. The war began over the Magna Carta but quickly turned into a dynastic war for the throne of England. The rebel barons, faced with a powerful king, turned to Prince Louis, son and heir apparent of Philip Augustus, King of France, also a maternal grandson-in-law of the late English King Henry II. The Norman invasion had occurred only 149 years before, and the relationship between England and France was not so simply adversarial as it later became. The contemporary document called the annals of Waverley sees no contradiction in stating that Louis was invited to invade in order to "prevent the realm being pillaged by aliens". At first, in November 1215, Louis simply sent the barons a contingent of knights to protect London. However, even at that stage he also agreed to an open invasion, despite discouragement from his father the King of France and from the Pope. This came in May 1216, when watchmen on the coast of Thanet detected sails on the horizon, and on the next day, the King of England and his armies saw Louis' troops disembark on the coast of Kent. John decided to escape to the Saxon capital of Winchester, and so Louis had little resistance on his march to London. He entered London, also with little resistance, and was openly received by the rebel barons and citizens of London and proclaimed (though not crowned) king at St Paul's Cathedral. Many nobles, including Alexander II of Scotland for his English possessions, gathered to give homage to him. Many of John's supporters, sensing a tide of change, moved to support the barons. Gerald of Wales remarked: "The madness of slavery is over, the time of liberty has been granted, English necks are free from the yoke." On 14 June Louis captured Winchester (John had already left) and soon conquered over half of the English kingdom.

 

In the meantime, the King of France taunted his son for trying to conquer England without first seizing its key: Dover. The royal castles at Canterbury and Rochester, their towns, and indeed, most of Kent had already fallen to Louis but when he did move on to Dover Castle on 25 July it was prepared. Its constable, Hubert de Burgh, had a well-supplied garrison of men. The first siege began on 19 July, with Louis taking the high ground to the north of the castle. His men successfully undermined the barbican and attempted to topple the castle gate, but De Burgh's men managed to repel the invaders, blocking the breach in the walls with giant timbers. (After the siege the weak northern gate was blocked and tunnels were built in that area, to St John's Tower, and the new Constable's Gate and Fitzwilliam's Gate.) In the meantime Louis's occupation of Kent was being undermined by a guerrilla force of Wealden archers raised and led by William of Cassingham. After three months spent besieging the castle, and with a large part of his forces diverted by the siege, Louis called a truce on 14 October and soon after returned to London.

 

Apart from Dover, the only castle to hold out against Louis was that at Windsor, where 60 loyalist knights survived a two-month siege, despite severe damage to the structure of its lower ward (immediately repaired in 1216 by Henry III, who further strengthened the defences with the construction of the western curtain wall, much of which survives today). This is possibly due to its having been already besieged by the barons in 1189, less than 30 years earlier. In 1206, John had spent £115 on repairs to Rochester Castle, and he had even preemptively held it during the year of the negotiations leading up to Magna Carta, but the Charter's terms had forced him to hand it back into the custody of Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, in May 1215. The rebel barons had then sent troops under William d'Aubigny to the castle, to whom its constable Reginald de Cornhill opened the castle's gates. Thus, during October 1215 on his marching from Dover to London, John found Rochester in his way and on 11 October began besieging it in person. The rebels were expecting reinforcements from London but John sent fire ships out to burn their route in, the city's bridge over the Medway. Robert Fitzwalter rode out to stop the king, fighting his way onto the bridge but eventually being beaten back into the castle. He also sacked the cathedral, took anything of value and stabled his horses in it, all as a slight to Langton. Orders were then sent to the men of Canterbury saying "We order you, just as you love us, and as soon as you see this letter, to make by day and night, all the pickaxes that you can. Every blacksmith in your city should stop all other work in order to make them and you should send them to us at Rochester with all speed".

 

Five siege engines were then erected and work carried out to undermine the curtain wall. By one of these means the king's forces entered and held the bailey in early November, and began attempting the same tactics against the keep, including undermining the south-east tower. The mine-roof was supported by wooden props, which were then set alight using pig-fat. On 25 November 1215 John had sent a writ to the justiciars saying "Send to us with all speed by day and night, forty of the fattest pigs of the sort least good for eating so that we may bring fire beneath the castle" causing the whole corner of the keep to collapse. The rebels withdrew behind the keep's cross-wall but still managed to hold out. A few were allowed to leave the castle but on John's orders had their hands and feet lopped off as an example. Winter was now setting in, and the castle was taken on 30 November by starvation and not by force. John set up a memorial to the pigs and a gallows with the intention of hanging the whole garrison, but one of his captains (Savari de Mauléon) persuaded him not to hang the rebels since hanging those who had surrendered would set a precedent if John ever surrendered – only one man was actually hanged (a young bowman who had previously been in John's service). The remainder of the rebel barons were taken away and imprisoned at various royal-held castles, such as Corfe Castle. Of the siege – against only 100 rebels, and costing over a thousand pounds a day – the Barnwell chronicler wrote "No one alive can remember a siege so fiercely pressed and so manfully resisted" and that, after it, "There were few who would put their trust in castles".

 

On 18 October 1216, John contracted dysentery, which would ultimately prove fatal. He died at Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire, and with him the main reason for the fighting. Louis now seemed much more of a threat to baronial interests than John's nine-year-old son, Prince Henry. While Eleanor of Brittany, the grown daughter of John's late elder brother Geoffrey, imprisoned by John since 1202, posed another potential candidate for the crown as the rightful heiress to England since 1203 according to primogeniture, the barons passed her over just like their ignorance of her conditions when the Magna Carta was issued, leaving her still in prison. Pierre des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, and a number of barons rushed to have the young Henry to be crowned as King of England. London was held by Louis (it was his seat of government) and therefore could not be used for this coronation so, on 28 October 1216, they brought the boy from the castle at Devizes to Gloucester Abbey in front of a small attendance presided over by a Papal Legate, Guala Bicchieri (d. 1227, Bishop of Vercelli, papal legate in England 1216–18). They crowned Henry with a band of gold made from a necklace. On 12 November 1216 the Magna Carta was reissued in Henry's name with some of the clauses omitted, including clause 61. The revised charter was sealed by the young king's regent William Marshal. A great deal of the country was loyal to Prince Louis, with the southwest of England and the Midlands favouring Henry. Marshal was highly respected and he asked the barons not to blame the child Henry for his father's sins. The prevailing sentiment, helped by self-interest, disliked the idea of depriving a boy of his inheritance. Marshal also promised that he and the other regents would rule by Magna Carta. Furthermore, he managed to get support from the Pope, who had already excommunicated Louis.

 

William Marshal slowly managed to get most barons to switch sides from Louis to Henry and attack Louis. The two opposing sides fought for about a year. On 6 December 1216 Louis took Hertford Castle but allowed the defending knights to leave with their horses and weapons. He then took Berkhamsted Castle in late December, again allowing the royal garrison to withdraw honourably with their horses and weapons. By early 1217, Louis decided to return to France for reinforcements. He had to fight his way to the south coast through loyalist resistance in Kent and Sussex, losing part of his force in an ambush at Lewes, with the remainder pursued to Winchelsea and were only saved from starvation by the arrival of a French fleet. Since the truce had been arranged with Dover, the Dover garrison had repeatedly disrupted Louis's communication with France, and so Louis sailed back to Dover to begin a second siege. The French camp set up outside Dover Castle in anticipation of the new siege was attacked and burned by William of Cassingham just as the fleet carrying the reinforcements arrived. Louis was forced to land at Sandwich and march to Dover, where he began a second siege in earnest on 12 May 1217. This new siege diverted so much of Louis's forces that Marshal and Falkes de Breauté were able to attack and heavily defeat pro-Louis barons at Lincoln Castle on 15 May or 20 May 1217, in what became known as the Second Battle of Lincoln. Marshal prepared for a siege against London next. In the meantime, Louis suffered two more heavy defeats, this time at sea, at the Battle of Dover and Battle of Sandwich in the Straits of Dover, this time at the hands of William's ally and Dover's constable Hubert de Burgh. Louis' new reinforcement convoy, under Eustace the Monk, was destroyed, making it nearly impossible for Louis to continue fighting.

 

The vulnerable north gate that had been breached in the siege was converted into an underground forward-defence complex (including St John's Tower), and new gates built into the outer curtain wall on the western (Fitzwilliam's Gate) and eastern (Constable's Gate) sides. During the siege, the English defenders tunnelled outwards and attacked the French, thus creating the only counter-tunnel in the world. This can still be seen in the medieval works. Following the siege, John’s son Henry III added three powerful new gatehouses and a fortified spur extension to the castle. By the 1250s the medieval defences had assumed the extent and shape they retain today, a highly visible symbol of English royal power. During the time of Stephen de Pencester ( Warden of the Cinque Ports when the first authoritative list of Cinque Ports Confederation Members was produced in 1293), a windmill was erected on Tower 22, which was later known as the Mill Tower.

 

By the Tudor age, the defences themselves had been superseded by gunpowder. They were improved by Henry VIII, who made a personal visit, and added to it with the Moat Bulwark. During the English Civil War it was held for the king but then taken by a Parliamentarian trick without a shot being fired (hence it avoided being ravaged and survives far better than most castles) in 1642. Dover Castle was a crucial observation point for the cross-channel sightings of the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790), which used trigonometric calculations to link the Royal Greenwich Observatory with the Paris Observatory. This work was overseen by General William Roy. The other English viewpoint used to make measurements across to Cap Blanc Nez in France was at Fairlight, East Sussex..

 

Massive rebuilding took place at the end of the 18th century during the Napoleonic Wars. William Twiss, the Commanding Engineer of the Southern District, as part of his brief to improve the town's defences, completed the remodelling of the outer defences of Dover Castle adding the huge Horseshoe, Hudson's, East Arrow and East Demi-Bastions to provide extra gun positions on the eastern side, and constructing the Constable's Bastion for additional protection on the west. Twiss further strengthened the Spur at the northern end of the castle, adding a redan, or raised gun platform. By taking the roof off the keep and replacing it with massive brick vaults he was able to mount heavy artillery on the top. Twiss also constructed Canon's Gateway to link the defences of the castle with those of the town. With Dover becoming a garrison town, there was a need for barracks and storerooms for the additional troops and their equipment. The solution adopted by Twiss and the Royal Engineers was to create a complex of barracks tunnels about 15 metres below the cliff top and the first troops were accommodated in 1803. At the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the tunnels housed more than 2,000 men and to date are the only underground barracks ever built in Britain. The windmill on the Mill Tower was demolished during the Anglo-American War of the orders of the Ordnance Board. It was said that the sale of materials from the demolished mill did not cover the cost of the demolition. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the tunnels were partly converted and used by the Coast Blockade Service to combat smuggling. This was a short-term endeavour though, and in 1827 the headquarters were moved closer to shore. The tunnels then remained abandoned for more than a century.

 

The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 saw the tunnels converted first into an air-raid shelter and then later into a military command centre and underground hospital. In May 1940, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey directed the evacuation of French and British soldiers from Dunkirk, code-named Operation Dynamo, from his headquarters in the cliff tunnels. A military telephone exchange was installed in 1941 and served the underground headquarters. The switchboards were constantly in use and had to have a new tunnel created alongside it to house the batteries and chargers necessary to keep them functioning. The navy used the exchange to enable direct communication with vessels, as well as using it to direct air-sea rescue craft to pick up pilots shot down in the Straits of Dover. Later the tunnels were to be used as a shelter for the Regional Seats of Government in the event of a nuclear attack. This plan was abandoned for various reasons, including the realisation that the chalk of the cliffs would not provide significant protection from radiation, and because of the inconvenient form of the tunnels and their generally poor condition.

 

Tunnel levels are denoted as A - Annexe, B - Bastion, C - Casemate, D - DUMPY and E - Esplanade. Annexe and Casemate levels are open to the public, Bastion is 'lost' but investigations continue to gain access, DUMPY (converted from Second World War use to serve as a Regional Seat of Government in event of an atomic war) is closed, as is Esplanade (last used as an air raid shelter in the Second World War). The Annexe level was excavated in 1941 to serve as a medical dressing station for wounded soldiers. It contained two operating theatres and had basic accommodation for patients. Soldiers would be sent for emergency treatment in the tunnels and then transferred to inland hospitals. Within the Annexe level were dormitories, kitchens and mess rooms. A statue of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay was erected in November 2000 outside the tunnels in honour of his work on the Dunkirk evacuation and protecting Dover during the Second World War. If they were being attacked they would have to move quickly as the enemies were just nine minutes away from Dover by plane. There are over three miles of these Tunnels going deep down into the chalky cliffs, some still undiscovered. There are tunnels that are far too dangerous to walk down. Full information about these tunnels is not due to be released until 2020-2025.

 

There is a great deal to engage you at Dover Castle. Step inside the Great Tower and immerse yourself in a medieval palace like no other. Be transported to a world of courtly intrigue and royal ambition, as you experience the vibrant colour and rich furnishings of one of medieval England's most important castles. Meet the royal court of King Henry II as the castle is brought to life on selected dates throughout the year. Travel deep into the white cliffs to explore the atmospheric Underground Hospital. Converted into a hospital for injured troops in 1941, visitors today can experience the sounds, smells and atmosphere of the World War II hospital with its operating theatre. Constructed in 1941-2 as a Medical Dressing Station for injured troops, visitors today can experience the sounds, smells and atmosphere of the underground Second World War hospital with its operating theatre. Follow the dramatic story of an injured pilot fighting for his life, told with exciting audio-visual effects, and discover what life was like for those men and women working here during Second World War. The tour continues around several rooms, reconstructed to look as they would have done during WWII, including the kitchen and dormitory for the Women's Auxilliary Air Force (WAAF). Immerse yourself in the drama of the Dunkirk evacuation of May 1940, in the very tunnels where the operation - codenamed 'Dynamo' - was masterminded. Walk through the tunnels deep beneath the castle as state-of-the-art special effects, dramatic projections and real film footage bring this dramatic rescue operation to life. Imagine working day and night deep inside Dover Castle's top secret tunnels as war raged outside, in a desperate bid to rescue the troops stranded at Dunkirk as German forces closed in. This life or death battle against time was won in just ten short days in 1940, when Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay pulled off a miracle. With no technology and with pitiful resources he masterminded the rescue of 338,000 troops from his Naval HQ in the tunnels below the castle. Vice Admiral Ramsay, is the unsung hero whose brilliant organisational skills pulled off the greatest rescue in our history. Operation Dynamo: Rescue from Dunkirk uses original news-reels and recordings, testimonies from veterans and dramatic special effects to recreate the terror and tension of these dark days of Second World War.

 

The urgency and drama unfolds as you explore the tunnels in small groups on self-guided tours. The tours are 'pulsed' so that you have the space to fully appreciate this immersive experience. Spitfires screech overhead and the boom, boom of anti-aircraft guns resonate while you feel the danger and desperation in the cramped tunnels. Vivid sets and original film give a graphic account of the horror of the French beaches under fierce enemy fire. It was here that Ramsay plotted and planned his brilliant operation, issuing the orders and making the decisions that saved so many lives. The tour continues through some of the original rooms of the adjacent Army HQ. Dressed as they were throughout Second World War, they include the Gun Operations Room, Telephone Exchange, Repeater Station (communications room) and Coast Artillery Operations Room. For over 200 years the tunnels have provided shelter, safety and secrecy to those defending our shores. Delve deeper into the history of the tunnels, from Napoleonic times right up to the Cold War in this exhibition. Artefacts, interactives, real life stories, striking images and original wartime film footage are all used to trace the history of the tunnels across the centuries. From a diary entry describing the dangers of tunnel life during the Napoleonic Wars, to the uniform of a private soldier in First World War, objects on display also provide a personal snapshot of life underground. Poignantly, they include a box of fragments from Nagaskai and Hiroshima, which represent the era when the tunnels were a Regional Seat of Government in the event of nuclear war. During the First World War, the Dover area was officially designated as a fortress with a garrison of over 10,000 men. The castle acted as the military headquarters and played a crucial role in protecting the harbour and Straits of Dover. A new attraction reveals the story of this important period in the castle's history. There is so much to do during your visit: you can enjoy the panoramic view across the Straits of Dover, try communicating in Morse code, and learn how to spot enemy or friendly ships. Central to the experience is an authentic anti-aircraft gun - the only working example left in the world. Volunteer explainers can tell you all about the role the castle played in the war effort 100 years ago. During their summer season, there are regular opportunities to see a re-enacted Gun Drill, carried out entirely by volunteers.

 

There is also the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and Queen’s Regiment Museum. Exhibits trace the regiment's history, and include displays of photographs, paintings, weapons, badges, medals, uniforms and regimental regalia. Wheelchair access is available within the grounds; Arthur's Hall; Stone Hut; Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and Queen’s Regiment Museum; WWI Gun Emplacement. Great Tower has access to ground floor only. Access to church is by arrangement only. Note that Pharos has access over gravel path. Blue Badge Holders' car park (near to Great Tower) pay at Canon's Gate pay box. Land train connection to other parts of the site. The land train (with wheelchair lift) stops outside the upper car park, Blue Badge Holders car park, Medieval Tunnels and the NAAFI Restaurant. Great Tower: upper floors up steep flights of narrow steps. There is no lift access in the Medieval part of the castle. There are several benches and places to rest dotted around the site. Assistance dogs are welcome, Dog bowls are provided outside the Naafi Restaurant, the Visitor Admission Building, the Tunnels shop, and the Great Tower Café. There are accessible toilets. There is a Tactile model of Great Tower located in Arthur's Hall.

St Mary in Castro with Roman Pharos

St Mary's with Roman Pharos

St Mary in Castro

St Mary in Castro

Roman Pharos

At the start of his first attempt to conquer Britain in 55BC Julius Caesar initially tried to land at Dubris, whose natural harbour had presumably been identified by Volusenus as a suitable landing place. However, when he came in sight of shore, the massed forces of the Britons gathered on the overlooking hills and cliffs dissuaded him from landing there, since the cliffs were "so close to the shore that javelins could be thrown down from" them onto anyone landing there. After waiting there at anchor "until the ninth hour" (about 3pm) waiting for his supply ships from the second port to come up and meanwhile convening a council of war, he ordered his subordinates to act on their own initiative and then sailed the fleet about seven miles along the coast to an open beach. The Roman fleet in British waters, the Classis Britannica's main purpose was protecting the Gaul-to-Britain routes and supporting the land army in Britannia, not defending the British Isles from invasion. For this reason, its main harbor was in Gesoriacum (Boulogne), not Dover. However, it did have other, smaller bases in Britannia itself, at Rutupiae and Dubris.

 

Two lighthouses, each called the Pharos, were built soon after the conquest. Proposals of their date range from 50 (only seven years after the invasion of 43), 80 or (since the building includes tiles identical to the mansio in the town built at that date) c. 138, though the general consensus is for a 1st-century AD date. They were sited on the two heights (Eastern Heights and Western Heights) and modelled on the one built for Caligula's aborted invasion at Boulogne. The one on the Eastern Heights still stands in the grounds of Dover Castle to 80 feet (24 m) high close to its original height, and has been adapted for use as the bell tower of the adjacent castle church of St Mary de Castro. What little remains of the western lighthouse is called the Bredenstone or the Devil's Drop of Mortar after the putative nearby lost village of Braddon, within Drop Redoubt on Dover Western Heights - it was covered in the 18th century building works but then rediscovered in fresh works in the 1860s, and was the traditional site of the investiture of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

St Mary in Castro

St Mary in Castro was built on the Castle Hill in the 10th century. The church of St Mary in Castro as it stands today is a much restored example of a Saxon church dating from around 1000 AD. It is surrounded by a large late Saxon cemetery which suggests that this church replaces an earlier building.

 

The church is cruciform in plan, with an aisleless nave and a tower at its centre. It stands on a projecting plinth of plain square section constructed mainly with large stone blocks. The walls are mainly of flint with some stone and tile, and the window facings are mainly tile. The tower is the same width as the nave, but the transepts and chancel are narrower. The arches opening east and west from the tower appear to be original, and are 28 feet high with strip work of projecting tiles outlining the arches on their western faces. The north and south walls of the nave are pierced by unusual double splayed round headed windows. A pair of double splayed flat headed windows near the west end of the side walls of the nave are suggested by Scott to indicate that space was needed for a west gallery. Whilst restoring the church Scott found further evidence of this gallery in the form of holes in the walls for the insertion of supporting timbers. Access to the nave from the south was by way of a tall round headed doorway with through stone facing of alternate upright and flat slabs. This doorway is now blocked and little of its original outlining stripwork remains.

 

An Early English vault was inserted into the chancel, probably at the end of the twelfth century. In addition the altar recess at the south east corner of the nave probably dates from this period. In 1226 Henry III gave instructions that the church be repaired. In 1247 Henry ordered three altars to be built and dedicated to St. Edmund, St. Adrian and St. Edward. In additon images of these saints and of St. John the Evangelist were to be made. In 1252 three bells were cast at Canterbury to be hung in the tower. The Pharos was used as a bell tower and was connected to the church via a short passage. At some time between 1324 and 1334 the church was repainted by a painter named John of Maidstone. Two new bells were cast in 1345 at a cost of £15 18s. 5¼d. These weighed 4266 lb. and 1078 lb. In 1494 Sir Edward Poynings, probably acting as deputy to the then Constable, Prince Henry, spent over £36 on the church and keep although the amounts spent on each are not specified.

 

Between 1555 and 1557 the church was secured as it was about to collapse through want of repair. In 1576 it was recommended that the chancel be repaired in stone, the windows glazed and seats be provided so that men could hear the service. In 1582 fourteen small chairs were finally purchased. In 1690 public worship in the church ceased although soldiers continued to be buried in the church yard for a time. In 1780 it was converted into a cooperage and storehouse but in 1801 it collapsed, and by 1808 it had become a coal store. After many years of use as a coal store the church was first restored by Scott between 1860 and 1862, and later by Butterfield in 1888. This later restoration was less sympathetic than Scott's and involved the completion of the tower, the mosaic work in the nave and the building of a vestry. Saint Mary in Castro was used as the Dover Garrison Church until 2014 and is still a place of worship.

 

Location : Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU

Transport : Dover Priory (National Rail) then 20 minutes or bus (80). Bus Routes : Stagecoach East Kent 15, 15X, 80, 80A, and 93 stop close by

Opening Times : 1st November to 12th February, Weekends 10:00 to 16.00;  1st April to 31st October, Daily 10: to 17:00;  13th February to 31st March, Wednesday - Sunday 10:00 to 16:00

Tickets : Adults £18.30;   Concessions £16.50;   Children (5 - 15) £11.00

Tel. : 01304 211 067