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Some of Dover’s History
Because of its position, Dover controls the English Channel and is known as the ‘Lock and Key of England’. Julius Caesar tried to land at Dover during the Roman Invasion of 55 BC and it was the prime objective of the invasion plans of William the Conqueror, Napoleon and Hitler.
As well as the massive castle, Dover’s history as a military and garrison town can be seen in the extensive remains of its Roman forts, Napoleonic forts and defences from both the World Wars when Dover was Britain’s Front line Town.
Today, Dover still relies on the harbour for its prosperity. It is the busiest passenger ferry terminal in the world, the busiest cruise liner terminal in Britain and a major port for freight, particularly for fruit and other perishables imported via the massive reefer cargo ships.
After the Norman Conquest much of Saxon Dover was rebuilt. The town benefited from the increase in cross channel trade. The carrying of passengers between France and England also became common and was stimulated by William the Conqueror.
In this period vast improvements were made to Dover Castle. By 1190, the large stone keep and the bailey surrounding it were complete.
The thirteenth century saw many attacks on the town by French forces, The 1216 siege of the castle by Prince Louis was very close to being successful, whilst the great raid of 1295 saw 10,000 Frenchmen burn most of Dover to the ground.
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