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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King's tower of 'bling' recreated

The opulent interiors of King Henry II's Dover Castle have been recreated by English Heritage in a £2.45m project lasting two years.

The Kent castle's Great Tower has been brought back to life with almost psychedelic colour and drama, its restorers said. It reopens on Saturday.

It follows extensive research by a team of historians who worked closely with artists and craftspeople.

English Heritage said the castle had been a palace of "Versace-esque bling".

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Friday, 3 July 2009

Remains of a medieval castle found at St. Adrian's tunnel in Basque Region

Those responsible for leading excavations into the St Adrian tunnel (between Gipuzkoa and Alava) which started a year ago have been amazed by recent findings.

"This is double what we expected (to find)," said one archaeologist. "Without doubt, what is emerging here is a big surprise."

Remains which have been found inside the tunnel, where today only the old Roman road and an ancient chapel still stand, have lead archaeologists to conclude that there once stool a medieval castle of some magnitude, as well as possibly an inn and a cemetery. All of these are evidence of the importance of the underpass which joins the Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Alava.

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