The Middle Ages of Dover during the time of Normans
Dover is a city with a long history, spanning to prehistoric times and the stone age. After the Roman era and the Saxons took over Dover, following which the city experienced the Norman Conquest which happened in 1066. The Battle of Hastings is a battle which has always been remembered and in this battle King Harold was defeated by the duke of Normandy who was called William. This was a great victory for the Normal knights over the English foot soldiers. This victory marked an end to the Saxon era and the reign of William the Conqueror began.
After the victory at Hastings, the Normandy prince marched to Dover. Thus, Dover was a city with a strategic point and the town was guarded across the shortest crossing to France. There was a new castle which was constructed near the Saxon church of St. Mary in Castro. After having secured Dover, William took Canterbury and struck into Surrey and Berkshire prior to entering London. The coronation happened on Christmas Day in the Westminster Abbey. The Domesday Book was compiled in 1086 and it established the taxable value of the kingdom. Historians have shown that this evidence in the twenty years between the Norman Conquest and the Domesday Book, Dover has been rebuilt and revitalised.
The Normans have many significant pieces of evidence which have been left behind. The St. Mary the Virgin was a church which was built during the time of the Normal origin and it was built on the foundations of a Roman Structure. The St Martin –le-Grand is another famous church which was founded in the 7th century and is believed to have been destroyed by fire in 1066. After sometime it was rebuilt and the church dominated the Market Square. The church housed the altars of several parish churches including that of St John the Baptist. The remains of the church survived till the 19th century. Another church which is of significance is the St. James the Apostle which was a parish church and it is believed to be on the site as that of the Saxon church which was partly destroyed in 1066. The church had comprised of an aisleless nave with a short tower and the ruins of it is still visible today.
These evidences are clear cut examples of what the ancient city of Dover was like under the reign of the Normans. To the present day most of these evidences persist and it is found in the Dover Museum as well.