It may be temerarious to present drawings of this kind in an academic journal, but the text below seeks to justify – as far as is possible – the principal reconstructed elements.* One feature which requires explanation at the outset is the representation of the siege works. In July 1205 to work in the “boves” at Dover: HARDY 1833, 42a (bis). This is based on the tentatively identified set at Berkhamstead, built by Prince Louis in 1216 when he invested that castle.9 In 1216 the fate of the Angevin Empire was hanging in the balance. After securing the capital, Louis marched west to take Winchester. By this time his success was attracting many important figures from John’s allegiance as well as the support of Alexander, the king of Scotland, and Llywelyn, Prince of North Wales. I am particularly grateful to Kevin Booth for his many suggestions and help in the analysis of this building. The bulk of this documentation is printed in COLVIN 1971, p. The breach was stormed and the barbican fell.22 We are told that Huart de Paon, a horse soldier who bore the banner of the Lord of Bethune was the first to mount the breach, and that the captain of the gate and barbican, Pierre de Creon, was mortally wounded in the fighting.23 Louis now pressed his attack, sending miners to dig beneath the castle gate.
The siege is of interest not only as a case-study in the warfare of this period, but also because it was one element in a coherent military campaign by Prince Louis to assert his control over England. The dating of this building is a matter of conjecture but it evidently predates the late thirteenth-century works at the castle. An attempt was made to persuade the garrison to acknowledge the French prince as king instead of the young boy,27 but this offer was rejected and Louis left for London after nearly three months spent before the gates of Dover. Curiously, the siege encampment appears to have been left as it stood because the History also relates that it was destroyed and the guards killed a few months later in 1217.28 This reverse was to be of decisive importance in Louis’ bid for the English throne. This work included the construction of a great gatehouse at the northern tip of the castle enclosure, and the extension of the stone defences in an anti–clockwise direction around the entire northern end of the castle at least as far as Peverill’s gate. Judging by the sums of money known to have been spent on Dover by these two kings it seems likely that John undertook the lion’s share of this work, including the gatehouses.5 As is discussed below, the architecture of the defences further substantiates this attribution.