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The Roman Pharos

    This is the Roman pharos, or lighthouse, overlooking the eastern side of the Dour estuary.  This is probably one of the most complete Roman ruins to have survived.   A similar pharos once stood on the Western Heights.

"The supposition is that when the head of the British insurrection was broken at Dover, Aulus Plautius, who did not proceed inland with Vespasian and Titus, remained here and fortified the Castle Hill with towers and earthworks.  To raise stone buildings, their ships had to bring materials across the Channel, and to assist the navigators, they first built the lighthouse known as the Pharos.  Having no stone at hand, they constructed the Pharos with blocks of tufa dug up in the valley of the Dour, interlocking the blocks with peculiarly manufactured tiles made on the spot from local clay.  So constructed, the tower was strong enough to serve as a lighthouse.  In the thirteenth century it was heightened, and strengthened with a stone casing, the casing being renewed in the Fifteenth Century, but the exposure to weather during five centuries in some parts entirely destroyed the outer covering rendering work of preservation necessary, which was carried out under the order of Earl Beauchamp by the Office of Works in 1913, when the architect, Mr. Frank Baines, reported that although the fifteenth century casing had, in parts perished, the original Roman core was perfectly sound.(J.B.J. 1916)