#14 & #83 The Keep of Dover Castle
Kent, England
This is NOT an official Lego site

Of strategic importance for 2000 years due in no small measure to its proximity to France, the current castle was begun in 1168 for Henry II under the sure hand of Maurice the Builder. The Keep was started in 1180 and completed in 1189, the year Henry died. It is the largest in England. The outer curtain wall, seen to the right, was added by the imperious King John, signer of the Magna Carta. So unpopular was he that one of only two sieges of Dover was attempted during his reign - by Prince Louis, heir to the French throne.  Hubert de Burgh's modest garrison ably defended Dover Castle against Louis' first siege. When King John died and the English throne passed to 9-year-old Henry III, who had popular support, Louis withdrew, but not before his army had collapsed the gatehouse.
As Henry III came of age, he oversaw the completion of Dover Castle, only to have it captured in July 1263 by the baronial opposition led by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester.  On August 4, 1265 de Montfort was killed at the Battle of Evesham, but his wife, Eleanor, prepared to defend Dover.  However, 14 royalist knights escaped imprisonment inside Dover, took over the huge keep, and, faced with Prince Edward's approaching army, Eleanor surrendered and went into exile.  The strengthening of the royal fleet, and construction of coastal defenses including Deal and Walmer Castles by Henry VIII lessened Dover's defensive importance.  The castle gradually deteriorated to the point that when Elizabeth I visited Dover in 1582, she stayed in the town rather than within the castle. In 1625 the castle was briefly occupied by Princess Henrietta Maria, 14 year old future bride of Charles I, but her chamberlain complained that Dover was 'an old building in the antique manner, where the [future] queen was rather badly housed'.
The castle was seized by a small band of Parliamentarians in 1642, remaining in Cromwell's hands until the Restoration and thus assuring that Dover Castle would not meet the grim fate of so many other English castles. Dover briefly lost its title as official residence of the Lord Warden of Cinque Ports in 1708, but regained respect with the threat of French invasion during the second Jacobite Uprising of 1745, and again in 1793 and 1815 with the French Revolution and Napoleonic War.  Eventually, following the peace with France in 1815, the fourteen towers that line the curtain were lowered and the keep's roof was altered to accommodate cannon. The castle served as Naval Headquarters during World War II.  The castle remains huge, impressive and well worth a visit.  All six photographs were taken during my May 2015 visit.
Inner Bailey Plan Second Floor Plan Detail Plan
First Floor Cutaway Second Floor Cutaway Gallery Cutaway


Construction Photos
July 2001 to April 2002

This castle model is my first built mainly from dark gray Lego. As I gradually purchased additional
pieces the model grew but it naturally took months. Arches above the outer and main doors
were changed which the necessary bricks from Lego first became available in Harry Potter sets!
The castle was built using 13,865 Lego blocks! 8,605 dark gray bricks were needed:
There were 4466 1xN and 2xN standard bricks, of which 2,604 were 1x2 bricks;
3,748 plates, of which 2280 were 1x1 plates and 779 1x2 plates; 302 slopes, of which 224 were 75 for the batter!
The 3,413 light gray Legos included 2,456 1x2 plates, also for the quoins, and
1,847 other Lego blocks were also used.

Phase 1
South View
Phase 2
East View
Phase 3
Pit and Drawbridge
Phase 4
East View with roof


Photos of the Lego Models
Built May 1988 & July 2001- April 2002
Southeast View
1988 model
Southeast View of the
2001-2 Model
South View in dark gray
Lego with light grey quoins
Southwest View with
entrance, from ground level
Northwest View with
latrine tower
Northeast View with original
stairway battlements
Closeup of stairs with pit ,
drawbridge and main door
Turret detail showing
stairs from roof


Dover Keep on the Road
Here's a picture of me just before
Halloween 2002 at the Children's
Museum of Illinois as they prepare
for Medieval Night November 5


Build Your Own
1988 Lego Plan
1988 Northwest Elevation
2001 Lego Plan
Southeast Elevation
Southwest Elevation
Northwest Elevation
Northeast Elevation

Other Dover Castle pages:

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page created & maintained by
Robert Carney