We are

The Friends of Dover Castle

Dover Castle
Friends of Dover Castle Membership

The FRIENDS now have regular Monthly Meetings

Yes Friends, we are now set up to have regular monthly meetings – the first Monday of each month and if the Monday is a Bank Holiday we meet on the Tuesday !

Each month will have a theme and all members are welcome but you must let us know in advance, as we are limited to how many we can accommodate.

There is normally a short agenda to discuss urgent matters.

We have a library of books that relate specifically to the Castle, Dover and the various war time periods. We also now have an antique ‘plans chest’ that holds a number of Castle drawings, maps and plans which have been kindly donated to the Friends by our Honorary Vice President, Mrs Wendi Atherton. These will be periodically displayed on open days and can be viewed at our monthly meetings.

Anyhow, why not come and help us clean and scrub and generally smarten our accommodation up and have a coffee and a chat at the same time, you never know we might even throw a ‘cheese & wine party’ !


MEETING DATES 2024

Tuesday 2nd May
Tuesday 4th June
Monday 1st July
Tuesday 6th August
Monday 2nd September
Monday 8th October
Monday 4th November
Monday 2nd December

2023 WW2 Weekend Kitchen Garden Open Days

AMAZING SUCCESS

English Heritage report over 9200 visitors attended the 2023 Castle’s WW2 Weekend over the public holiday weekend and regard it as a commercial success.
We rough counted between 500 and 600 people visited the Kitchen Garden during that weekend. Grateful thanks to Mark and Pauline who not only run the Kitchen Garden Project but were also in attendance all three days. Chairman Graham attended 2 out of the 3 days, keen to show off his new “period” Webley pistol ! Other volunteers included John Moat and Sarah Hooper. Thanks also to members Janet & Chris who were very effective “plant sales” personnel !
The Garden is now starting to take shape and the work that Mark and Pauline, John and Sarah have put in over the last 12 months is starting to pay dividends and the purchase of the Jubilee Arbour and Potting Shed has added to the overall success of this Friends project.

SEE YOU ON 25th > 27th  May 2024 – when we do it all again !

See our events page for other Open Day dates

Success Stories

The Friends of Dover Castle will be supporting the Castle’s main event of the year – the WW2 Weekend over the weekend 25th > 27th May.

Our volunteers will be participating in the general WW2 theme for the weekend and as part of this we will also be including a “Dig For Victory” element with authentic props from the era as well as posters of the time. Volunteers will don authentic period military uniforms / Womens Land Army clothing.

If you are visiting the Castle for this spectacular WW2 event please come and visit us in Constables Tower Kitchen Garden and see how we have transformed a neglected part of this historic castle.

Come and learn about the Friends, and if you like us, why not join us !

"My wife and and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to your castle and the British Army Home Guard exhibits were the highlight of our day "

Bud Anderson, Alabama USA

"Lovely afternoon visiting the Kitchen Garden, the Friends have done a wonderful job restoring it, loved the WLA outfits very fetching !

Iris Partridge, Briddlington

"Beautiful garden so English and thank you to the lovely gentleman in uniform who explained the various army items on show, our grandson was amazed, keep up the good work"

Lillian Westwood, New Hampshire US

"First time visiting this year and the garden already looks beautiful and really excited to see how it blooms throughout the year. The team were so friendly and passionate about this beautiful part of the castle....wonderful to see"

Natasha, Dover

"Beautiful gardens so wonderful to see, wonderful and knowledgeable staff"

Courtney, Folkestone

"First time visiting Dover and this garden was so beautiful"

Ansley & Phillip, Atlanta, GA, USA

"Amazing everything, thanks"

Kate, Nadia, Mar, Khrysd, Ukraine

"Love this ! "

Emilia, Slovakia

Graham and Mark

The Friends of Dover Castle was founded in 1986 and constituted as a Registered Charity with the Charity Commission in 1987.
The aims and objectives are to support and promote Dover Castle.

Here seated in our new Jubilee Arbour is vice Chairman Mark Danson and Chairman Graham Hutchison (dressed in his Volunteer re-enactment WW1 Gunner uniform).

Graham with Mike, Martin, Gordon

The Friends of Dover Castle Dover Community Time Capsule Project

Graham Hutchison, the Chairman, pictured here with Chairman of Dover District Council, Mike Connolly, Maison Dieu Project Development Officer Martin Crowther, and the Mayor of Dover

Gordon Cowan at the official launch.

Lowering the Capsule v2

The Time Capsule was Graham’s idea as he felt Dover District had so much going for it that we needed something positive to do coming out of the Covid pandemic. Local residents were able to make suggestions and donate items to go into the Capsule so it became a whole community project.

The capsule was buried on 9th November 2022 and a reception was held in the Riverside Community Hub.

Garden inside the Castle
On the left the Kitchen Garden March 2023

On the left our Project Leader Mark is in discussion with volunteer John in respect of plans for the coming year, and with a view to preparation of the various sections of the garden for planting.

On the right the Kitchen Garden in March 2022

The garden as it was before the project got underway in March 2022

As a member of the Friends you get to go places and see things other people do not!

We organise regular tours to areas such as DUMPY, the lower level of the underground tunnels where the Regional Centre of Government would have been sited in the event of a Nuclear War. The Cold War was at it’s height between the 1950’s and late 1980’s.

We also do a range of other tours and events – Behind Locked Doors; The Stone Hut; Hudson’s Passage and the East Demi Bastion; the Officer’s New Barracks; Constables Tower and Debtors Prison.

Last year we also did a unique special tour called ‘Invisible Castle’, which gave us a view of what the Castle was like in Medieval times.

We also hold talks and a regular Carol Concert in St Mary-in-Castro Church located within the castle grounds.

More recently we organised a really special talk by the Company who advise film makers on filming in Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Watch this space for an announcement on forthcoming tours

Our new Potting Shed

We have just purchased a quality potting shed from Eagle Sheds at Sandwich. Our Gardening Team have been busy over the last few months sowing and planting and generally having fun, it will be ready to view on our Open Days in April.

To find out what it’s also used for………..you’ll need to come and have a look !

Come and see at our OPEN DAYS in 2024

Potting Shed at Dover Castle
Potting Shed Inside