Friday, 31 July 2009

Henry II 'spent a fortune on Dover Castle to counter Becket cult'

Henry II spent vast sums on Dover Castle as an international public relations exercise to counter the growing "anti-monarchial cult" of Thomas Becket's shrine in nearby Canterbury, according to a new analysis.

The fiery monarch spent at least £6,440 throughout the 1180s – more than a quarter of his average annual income – building and furnishing the impressive keep at the castle, according to a study of his finances by John Gillingham, Professor Emeritus in medieval history at the London School of Economics.

The rooms have just been renovated and refurbished in a £2.45 million project managed by English Heritage, to resemble how they would have done in Henry's day.

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