Friday, 17 June 2011

Dover Castle

 My day off yesterday as my bookshop is closed on Thursdays and those of us who were in the mood set off to look around Dover Castle.

I particularly wanted to see the changes that they had made to the parts of the underground tunnel system that is open to the public there as there are moves afoot to try and get some of the Ramsgate tunnel system open to the public.
 The Dover tunnels have been a big tourist draw for some years now, and at the moment they have them set out as an Operation Dynamo experience. Not much mention of the little ships and none of Ramsgate, but very entertaining nonetheless.

Unlike the Ramsgate Tunnels there are signs saying photography is not allowed in the Dover Tunnels so no pictures of them I am afraid.

 The Great Tower of Dover Castle has for many years been somewhere that I found disappointing to visit,  years ago when I used to visit the keep it was decorated with an eclectic collection armour and weapons. I suppose it looked a bit like one would expect a baronial hall to be decorated in an old American film based on a British novel.

It then went through a bare period, I believe this was caused by the removal of everything that was thought to be historically incorrect, which was just about everything, this left the castle with about as much atmosphere as an empty industrial unit.
 The last time visited the keep was I think about five years ago, at that time it was going through a sort of educational period, the displays seemed to aimed at people who hadn’t had history lessons at school.

You know the sort of thing large cardboard cut-outs that on closer investigation are made out of plastic, that appear to have been produced with very large primary school children in mind.

Anyway they have finally cracked the thing and done a reasonable job of making it look like an inhabited castle, even a real log fire burning, I took some pictures

With the inside I wanted to produce a series of pictures that were something like a dream of visiting a castle as it could have been in ones imagination, well I have done my best see what you think.

Part of the way they have produced the atmosphere in the great tower is with subtle the lighting, this would be insufficient for conventional photography and of course using a flash would have spoilt the effect.

The rest of the pictures are more conventional, see


  1. Why is photography banned in the Dover Tunnels?

    Ben K

  2. Ben I would say having filled it with projectors and lighting effects, people using camera flashes and blinding everyone else could have something to with it, it would be rather like using a camera in the cinema.

    Ramsgate Tunnels although usually fairly full of activity, don’t have any special effects.

  3. I think the main reason is wanting to get the biggest volume of people through the tunnels - a group of 40 all wanting to take photos will grind the whole system to a halt.....

  4. I think the main reason is pathetic control freakery. They are desperate that people pay to come in rather than looking at phots of the place on someone's blog. Only a matter of time before TDC tries to stop Michael Childs from taking photographs of Ramsgate and putting them on his blog. No doubt there will be a licence you can buy for several thousands of pounds.

  5. I`m not an English Heritage member, so it would cost me 16 quid to enter.

    Too much...

    Ben K


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