Dover Castle was built by Henry II in the 1180s, on the same spectacular site above the famous white cliffs where William the Conqueror, immediately after the Battle of Hastings, constructed his timber-stockaded castle on the likely remains of an Iron Age hillfort.
From 1066, the castle was garrisoned uninterruptedly until 1958, with various improvements to its structure over the years. The Spur Caponier is part of Henry III’s 13th century fortifications of the great stone edifice, where his engineers combined earthen defences with masonry towers and underground passages in a series of outworks.
In 2009, DBR Southern was commissioned to carry out extensive conservation work to the brick roofs and walls of the Spur Caponier, some of which had collapsed due to extensive water ingress and vegetation, which had penetrated the masonry joints and substrate. Loose brickwork was carefully dismantled and the substrate cleared of vegetation using steam-cleaning.
Gravity grouting was carried out with a proprietary lime grout to fill voids and consolidate the walling. New imperial bricks were specially manufactured for the project where salvaged bricks could not be re-used, and the roofs and walls were carefully reconstructed in lime mortar.
Extensive areas of the masonry were repointed and, finally, stone indenting and reconstruction of stone cappings to piers were employed.
More projects by DBR Southern teams can be found here.
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