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King's Chamber, Dover Castle, Dover, Kent

King's Chamber, Dover Castle, Dover, Kent
Photograph taken 2009 © Historic England Archive Photo Library ref: N090249

Interior of the King's Chamber in the Great Tower staged to look as it would have during the reign of Henry II (1154-89). It shows a replica chair, table and chess set. The Great Tower was the grandest and among the last of the keeps raised by the kings of England during the 11th and 12th centuries. It was designed by Henry II’s architect ‘Maurice the Engineer’ and built between 1180 and 1185. It was a symbol of kingly power and authority guarding the gateway to the realm, it was also a palace designed for royal ceremony, and to house Henry’s travelling court. Within this magnificent showpiece, Henry could welcome and impress distinguished visitors to England– particularly noble pilgrims travelling to the new shrine in Canterbury Cathedral of St.Thomas Becket, slaughtered before the altar by Henry’s household knights only a dozen or so years before the Great Tower was begun. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2011).

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