« PreviousContinue »
writer would answer this question, tentatively indeed, and under correction, by the theory that the castrum constructed or repaired by Harold was the present outer rampart of Dover Castle, which encloses an area of about 34 acres, and may have enclosed more, if it was formerly complete on the side towards the sea. The evidence in support of this theory is as follows :
1. There certainly was a burh on the top of the cliff at Dover in Saxon times, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us that in 1048 Eustace of Boulogne, after coming to Dover, and slaying householders there, went up to the burh, and slew people both within and without, but was repulsed by the burh-men. There was then a
” burh, and valiant burh-men on the cliff at Dover in Edward the Confessor's reign. But the whole analogy of the word burh makes it certain that by the time of Edward it meant a fortified town.
2. That the burh at Dover was of the nature of a town, with houses in it, is confirmed by the poem of Guy of Amiens, who says that when King William entered the castrum, he ordered the English to evacuate their houses. William of Poitiers also states that there was an
* In 1580 an earthquake threw down a portion of the cliff on which the castle stands, and part of the walls. Statham's History of Dover, p. 287.
3 “Wendon him tha up to thære burge-weard, and ofslogen ægther ge withinnan ge withutan, ma thanne 20 manna." Another MS. adds “tha burh-menn ofslogen 19 men on othre healfe, and ma gewundode, and Eustatius atbærst mid feawum mannum.”
3 See ante, pp. 17-19. + His description is worth quoting :
Est ibi mons altus, strictum mare, litus opacum,
Unumquemque suum misit ad hospitium.
innumerable multitude of people in the castle, though he may refer to a multitude gathered there for safety.
3. Though the whole of the outer enceinte is generally credited to Hubert de Burgh in Henry III.'s reign, the truth probably is that he built the first stone walls and towers on the outer rampart; but the existence of this earthen rampart shows that there was a wooden wall upon it previously. It is not improbable that it was for the repair of this wooden wall that so much timber was sent to Dover in the reigns of Richard I. and John. Dering, who was lieutenant of the castle in 1629, records the tradition that the tower in the outer enceinte, called Canons' Gate, dates from Saxon times (of course this could only be true of a wooden predecessor of the stone tower), and that Godwin's Tower, on
1 William's description is also of great interest : “Deinde dux contendit Doueram, ubi multus populus congregatus erat, pro inexpugnabile, ut sibi videtur, munitione ; quia id castellum situm est in rupe mari contigua, quæ naturaliter acuta undique ad hoc ferramentis elaborate incisa, in speciem muri directissima altitudine, quantum sagittæ jactus permetiri potest, consurgit, quo in latere unda marina alluitur." P. 140.
2 The following entries in the Pipe Rolls refer to this :1194-5. Three hundred planks of oak for the works of the castle
£2 00 1196-7. Repair of the wall of the castle
76 30 1208-9. Timber for walling the castles of Dover and Rochester, also rods and (wooden) hurdles and other needful things
76 13 4 1210-11. Payment for the carpenters working the timber
24 95 1212-13. For the carriage of timber and other things
48 16 7 1214-15. For the carriage of timber for the castle works 1214-15. For timber and brushwood for the works, and for cutting down wood to make hurdles, and sending them
sum not given, but £100 entered same year for the works of the castle. There is no mention of stone for the castle during these two reigns, but after the death of John we find that works are going on at Dover for which kilns are required. (Close Rolls, i., 352, 1218.) This entry is followed by a very large expenditure on Dover Castle (amounting to at least £6000), sufficient to cover the cost of a stone wall and towers round the outer circuit. The orders of planks for joists must be for the towers, and the large quantities of lead, for roofing them. The order for timber "ad palum et alia facienda” in 1225 may refer to a stockade on the advanced work called the Spur, which is said to be Hubert's work. (Close Rolls, ii., 14.)
2 0 0
the east side of the outer vallum, existed as a postern before the Conquest. Nearly all the towers on this
" wall were supported by certain manors held on the tenure of castle-guard, and eight of them still retain the names of eight knights to whom William is said to have given lands on this tenure. Mr Round has shown that the Warda Constabularii of Dover Castle can be traced back to the Conquest, and that it is a mere legend that it was given as a fief to a Fienes. He remarks that the nine wards of the castle named in the Red Book of the Exchequer are all reproduced in the names still attached to the towers. “This coincidence of testimony leads us to believe that the names must have been attached at a very early period; and looking at the history of the families named, it cannot have been later than that of Henry II.”? May it not have been even earlier ? Eight of these names are attached to towers on the outer circuit,s and five of them are found as landholders in Kent in Domesday Book.
4. William of Poitiers further tells us that when the duke had taken the castle, he remained there eight days, to add the fortifications which were wanting. What was wanting to a Norman eye in Anglo-Saxon fortifications, as far as we know them, was a citadel; and without laying too much stress on the chronicler's eight days, we may assume that the short time spent by William at Dover was just enough for the construction of a motte and bailey, inside the castrum of Harold, but crowned by wooden buildings only.
1 Cited by Statham, History of Dover, pp. 265, 313. 2 Commune of London, pp. 278-81.
3 The ninth name, Maminot, is attached to three towers on the curtain of the keep ward.
4 “Recepto castro, quæ minus erant per dies octo addidit firmamenta.” P. 140.
Taking these things together, we venture to assume that the inner court in which the keep of Dover stands, represents an original motte, or at any rate an original citadel, added to the castle by William 1. Whether what now remains of this motte is in part artificial, we do not pretend to say; it may be that it was formed simply by digging a deep ditch round the highest knoll of ground within the ancient ramparts. Anyhow, it is still in effect a motte, and a large one, containing not only the magnificent keep, but a small ward as well. That this keep was the work of Henry II. there can be no manner of doubt; the Pipe Rolls show that he spent more than £2000 on the turris or keep of Dover Castle between the years 1181 and 1187, and Benedict of Peterborough mentions the building of the keep at this date. The curtain around the motte may also be reckoned to be his work originally, as the cingulum is spoken of along with the turris in the accounts. Modern alterations have left little of Norman character in this curtain which shows at a glance, and the gateways (one of which remains) belong to a later period.
Attached to this keep ward is another ward, whose rampart is generally attributed to Saxon times. We are not in a position positively to deny that the Saxons had an inner earthwork on the highest part of the ground within their burh. But considering that small citadels are unusual in Saxon earthworks : considering also that this bailey is attached to the motte in the
Lyon says: “The keep [hill] was formed of chalk dug out of the interior hill. Cited by Statham, p. 245.
3 “Per præceptum regis facta est apud Doveram turris fortissima." II. 8, R. S., anno 1187. The Historia Fundationis of St Martin's Abbey says that Henry II. built the high tower in the castle, and enclosed the donjon with new walls : "fit le haut tour en le chastel, et enclost le dongon de nouelx murs,” M. A., iv., 533.