Around 2,000 years ago, in the early 2nd century AD, the Romans built a pharos, or lighthouse, at Dover. The lighthouse is one of only three to survive from the whole of the former Roman empire. The others are at Leptis Magna in Libya and La Coruña in Spain
The Romans invaded Britain in AD 43, and in the first half of the 2nd century Dover was chosen as the base for the Classis Britannica, the fleet that patrolled the English Channel and North Sea. The lighthouse was probably built on Castle Hill around this time, along with another on the high ground opposite. They were clearly intended to act as beacons, guiding shipping into the entrance to the harbour in the Dour estuary below. The tower stands 15.8 metres high and is 12.2 metres wide at the base. The Roman fabric survives to a height of 12.5 metres.
The views from the topmost stage of the pharos seem to have been deliberately angled so that it could communicate not only with the second lighthouse on Western Heights but with Cap Gris Nez on the French coast. Platforms at the top of the towers would have held burning braziers to act as beacons.
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