Dover Castle

History and Heritage in Dover

Explore Dover's rich heritage

Step inside the amazing Great Tower at Dover Castle and immerse yourself in the royal court of King Henry ll. Experience the vibrant colour and opulence of one of medieval England's most important castles. 

Discover the Secret Wartime Tunnels where the Dunkirk evacuation was masterminded, visit the Anglo-Saxon church, and Roman Pharos Lighthouse.

Explore deep beneath the chalk cliffs with a guided tour of Second World War Fan Bay Deep Shelter, and First World War Sound Mirrors.

Stand beside the Dover Bronze Age Boat! Discovered in 1992, the timbers of the oak plank-built boat have been dated to 1550 BC, making it the world's oldest known seagoing boat. It's on display at Dover Museum (free admission).

See where the Romans lived in the well preserved remains of the Roman Painted House (a few steps away from Dover's high street).

Visit a Napoleonic fort with a unique triple staircase, the Grand Shaft, at Dover Western Heights.

Dover's 800-year old Maison Dieu, also known as Dover Town Hall, was founded by Hubert de Burgh, then the Constable of Dover Castle in 1203. It was first built to provide short term accommodation for pilgrims travelling to the shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury, and for the care of wounded and destitute soldiers. Discover the history on a guided tour.

The parish church of St Mary-the-Virgin is nearly 1000 years old, and is situated in the heart of Dover just along from Market Square. Dating from Saxon times, it was built originally by the secular canons of St Martin Le Grand, but was rebuilt by the Normans.

St Edmund's Chapel is one of the smallest churches in England in regular use. The chapel was consecrated in 1253 by Richard, Bishop of Chichester, who dedicated it to his friend St Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dover Bluebird Heritage Trail

Did you know...we have a new self-guided trail route, marked by distinctive Bluebird Heritage Trail bronze pavement markers, linking 31 of Dover’s historic buildings, sites and monuments?

  • Pick up a free guidebook (including a map) from Dover Visitor Information Centre & Dover Museum.
  • Or download a copy of the guidebook from the new website
  • Download the free interactive App (compatible with iOS and Android smartphones).
  • Visit for further historical information, along with images and details about the local heritage attractions and visitor facilities within the town.