Henry II's Great Tower

Travel Back to the 12th Century

The Great Tower at Dover Castle The Great Tower of Dover Castle was built by Henry II, one of the most powerful English kings of all time, to entertain the leaders of Christendom.
Stairs in the main entrance The Great Tower at Dover Castle is the most spectacular building in one of Europe's most spectacular castles.
During the eight centuries of its existence it has been the scene of numerous events throughout English history. Its heyday, however, was undoubtedly in the decades after its creation in the late 12th century.
The Kings Throne in the Great Tower The throne is in blue and gold and stands about 1.5 metres (five feet) tall, while the gold-on-red backcloth is five metres (16 feet) high. Topping the whole thing off is an amazing canopy.
"This is the most ambitious and large-scale attempt to re-create a medieval palace that has been undertaken in more than a century.

You can find a couple of 13th-century rooms at the Tower of London, but this is a completely different scale. My role has been to see that everything in the Great Tower is exactly as it would have looked all those years ago."


Steven Brindle, Senior properties historian, English Heritage.
Guest Hall The backcloth of the 'high table', the centrepiece of the Guest Hall where Henry II would have dined and entertained foreign pilgrims and dignitaries
Guest Room The Guest Room
One of several Pepper's ghosts One of several Pepper's ghosts (light projections of moving figures), costumed re-enactors and audio-visual presentation will add atmosphere and drama about gossip and rumour of Henry's complex family and court life, transporting visitors back to one of the most turbulent periods of European history.
The Kitchen A group of 141 craftsmen and artisans recreated more than 1000 artefacts.

Meet the team behind the transformation.
Great Tower edition of the Friends of Dover Castle magazine (PDF 691KB)

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