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Liberty Adventures: Discovering Dover Castle, Secret Wartime Tunnels

DOVER, England – Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime Tunnels is one of the many attractions Airmen can visit while stationed in England. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle on March 26, 2011. RAF Lakenheath ITT offers several trips every month to castles and stately homes around the United Kingdom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime Tunnels is one of the many attractions Airmen can visit while stationed in England. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle on March 26, 2011. RAF Lakenheath ITT offers several trips every month to castles and stately homes around the United Kingdom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England –King Henry II had Dover Castle built from 1180 to 1185. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath ITT trip visited the castle March 26, 2011. The next trip to the castle will be April 23, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England –King Henry II had Dover Castle built from 1180 to 1185. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath ITT trip visited the castle March 26, 2011. The next trip to the castle will be April 23, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – This outer defense to the King’s Gate at Dover Castle was built in the 12th century.  Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to the castle March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – This outer defense to the King’s Gate at Dover Castle was built in the 12th century. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to the castle March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – The Church of St. Mary-in-Castro is one of many sites to see at Dover Castle. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to the castle on March 26, 2011. On the right side of church is a Roman pharos, or lighthouse, which was probably built in the first century A.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – The Church of St. Mary-in-Castro is one of many sites to see at Dover Castle. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to the castle on March 26, 2011. On the right side of church is a Roman pharos, or lighthouse, which was probably built in the first century A.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – People gather around a statue of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay on March 26, 2011. He was a British admiral during World War II who was placed in charge of the Dover area of responsibility in August 1939. This was one of the many attractions to see at Dover Castle. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – People gather around a statue of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay on March 26, 2011. He was a British admiral during World War II who was placed in charge of the Dover area of responsibility in August 1939. This was one of the many attractions to see at Dover Castle. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – One of Dover Castle’s characters speaks to an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip participant in the guest dining hall inside the Great Tower on March 26, 2011. Dover Castle has a variety of characters on site to explain the castle’s history. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – One of Dover Castle’s characters speaks to an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip participant in the guest dining hall inside the Great Tower on March 26, 2011. Dover Castle has a variety of characters on site to explain the castle’s history. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – A helmet sits in a room filled with a variety of shields, helmets and weapons on the third floor of the Great Tower at Dover Castle.  Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to the castle March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – A helmet sits in a room filled with a variety of shields, helmets and weapons on the third floor of the Great Tower at Dover Castle. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to the castle March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – The plaque on the side of the Keep at Dover Castle notes it was built by King Henry II from 1181 to 1188. Despite being more than 800 years old, the Keep is far from being the oldest structure at Dover Castle. The castle has a Roman pharos, or lighthouse, which was probably built in the first century A.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – The plaque on the side of the Keep at Dover Castle notes it was built by King Henry II from 1181 to 1188. Despite being more than 800 years old, the Keep is far from being the oldest structure at Dover Castle. The castle has a Roman pharos, or lighthouse, which was probably built in the first century A.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – A hologram informs visitors of the history and culture of Dover Castle in the castle’s Great Tower. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle on March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – A hologram informs visitors of the history and culture of Dover Castle in the castle’s Great Tower. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle on March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – This crest sits above one of the entrances to the Officer’s New Barracks at the Dover Castle.  Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle on March 26, 2011. The Officer’s New Barracks were built in the 1850s. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)
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DOVER, England – This crest sits above one of the entrances to the Officer’s New Barracks at the Dover Castle. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle on March 26, 2011. The Officer’s New Barracks were built in the 1850s. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – The guest hall in the Great Tower at Dover Castle was used by King Henry II to dine his guests. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle on March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)
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DOVER, England – The guest hall in the Great Tower at Dover Castle was used by King Henry II to dine his guests. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle on March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England – This is one of the mosaics in the Great Tower at Dover Castle. King Henry II had the castle built from 1180 to 1185. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)
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DOVER, England – This is one of the mosaics in the Great Tower at Dover Castle. King Henry II had the castle built from 1180 to 1185. Participants in an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip went to Dover Castle March 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)

DOVER, England -- It stood strong under siege in 1216 and was overrun by locals in 1642. On March 26, 2011, its gates were compromised again when Liberty Warriors on an RAF Lakenheath Information Tickets and Travel trip visited Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime Tunnels.

According to Steve Friedrich, English Heritage visitor's operations member, the castle offers more than just insight into medieval history, noting that the Secret Wartime Tunnels were very important during World War II.

"It (the Secret Wartime Tunnels) is one of the few places where you can actually see a section of World War II command center preserved," he said. "It is historically very significant to U.K. history and World War II history."

Along with the Secret Wartime Tunnels, the castle, which was built by King Henry II from 1180 to 1185, has a variety of other attractions. Some of these include a Roman pharos, or lighthouse, which was probably built in the first century A.D., barracks that garrisoned soldiers for 900 years, immense defenses around the castles and the Great Tower, which stands 83-feet high and has walls that are 21-feet thick in areas.

The castles defenses have been tested and improved many times during its existence.
Its first test came at the hand of Prince Louis and a division of the French Army who assisted local rebel barons in May 1216. By autumn, Windsor and Dover were the only castles in Southern England under King Henry II's control. In 1642 the castle fell to local rebels during a civil war. Defenses and extra gun positions were added in the late 18th century during the Napoleonic Wars. During World Wars I and II, the castle was armed with anti-aircraft guns, search lights and radar.

"Dover Castle ... is an absolutely gorgeous castle," said Dawn Michalek, an RAF Lakenheath ITT volunteer. "There is so much (history) that you can see. It's not just ancient history, it is (also) more recent history. So it shows how the building has been used throughout this massive amount of years."

The RAF Lakenheath ITT office offers several trips every month to castles and stately homes around the United Kingdom. The next trip to Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime tunnels will be April 23, 2011.

For more information about travel opportunities call the RAF Lakenheath ITT office at commercial 01638 522 979 or DSN 226-2979 or visit their website at www.ittlakenheath.com.

(Editor's note: No federal endorsement is intended or implied concerning places of interest covered by the 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.)