Holy Dover!: Castles, Crossbows and the Poor Man’s Trebuchet on the third fantastic episode of Battle Castle

Dan Snow is back again for another awesome adventure in Dover. Relive the medieval excitement of last night’s third episode of Battle Castle!

If you’re into fortifications, then this episode is for you! Dover is thee Fort Knox of medieval England. Walls anyone? Dover boasts many stone walls and a wooden palisade. Thinking of attacking? Good luck, because it won’t be easy…

Coming off the previous week’s episode, where King John lost Chateau Gaillard, his main fortress in Normandy, this episode looks at another siege during his reign – that of Dover Castle in 1216. The first half of the show examines how the defences at Dover were created, with good remarks made about how castle technology was changing during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. They are also able to show how this castle was both a virtually-impregnable bastion as well as a suitable home for English kings who wanted to use this place to impress visitors and conduct state business.

Dan then takes us onto Dover’s walls for some exciting crossbow action. A crossbow expert shows him how deadly this weapon can be, and Dan gets to shoot a replica medieval crossbow – but a medieval sniper he is not: Best.Line.Ever.: “You killed the man behind him.”

The second half of the show deals with the siege of 1216, when French forces under Prince Louis launch their attack on the castle. This episode has a lot of fighting, ending in a dramatic battle when a part of Dover’s walls come crashing down. Battle Castle has done a great job of telling the story with the use of living re-enactors and some computer generated images.

Get your medieval on with us once again next week when Dan Snow tackles Conway Castle on the next exciting episode of Battle Castle on History Television, Thursday at 9pm.

See also Dover Castle and the Great Siege of 1216

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