Doure, Douvre, Dovre

An important port city, in the region of Kent on the shore of the English Channel, especially for travel between Britain and the Continent. Dover has a good battlefield, Barham Down, nearby.

It also boasts Dover Castle. Arthur used it for keeping at least one lifetime political prisoner, the duke of a Tuscan town. Dover was invaded by Saxons in the early days of Arthur’s reign. As the closest city to mainland Europe, it was the site of troop departures and arrivals in Arthur’s various wars. Arthur landed in Dover on the way back from his war with Lancelot, and Arthur’s forces encountered Mordred in the first of their various battles. Gawaine was slain in the combat, and was buried, according to Malory, in a chapel in the city.

Chrétien recognized Dover’s importance: the messengers who brought Arthur, then in Brittany, news of Count Angrs’ treachery came through Dover.

Dover | 400-600 AD

At the start of the fifth century, the Roman Empire’s influence in Britain was declining, and the Roman legions withdrew from the island to defend Rome and its territories. This withdrawal left a power vacuum, allowing various Germanic tribes to migrate to Britain. Dover was an essential Roman port town, and the Romans had established a fortification called the “Saxon Shore Fort” during their occupation. However, after the Roman withdrawal, the fort lost its original purpose and fell into disuse.

The region of Dover, like much of southern and eastern England, became a target for the invading Anglo-Saxon tribes. These Germanic settlers gradually established their presence and established the foundations of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Kent. The Jutes, one of the Germanic tribes, are believed to have been particularly influential in the formation of the Kingdom of Kent.

By the sixth century, the Kingdom of Kent had emerged as one of the significant Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in southeastern England, with Dover serving as an important port and coastal stronghold for the kingdom. During this period, Christianity began to spread in the region. The arrival of St. Augustine of Canterbury in 597 AD, who was sent by Pope Gregory the Great to convert the Anglo-Saxons, led to the conversion of the Kentish king, Æthelberht, to Christianity. This event played a crucial role in the wider Christianization of Anglo-Saxon England.

Dover’s strategic location at the narrowest point of the English Channel made it an important site for both trade and defense. The port’s significance as a gateway to and from the continent persisted through the Early Medieval period.

Towards the end of the eighth century and into the ninth century, Viking raids on the coast of England increased. Dover, as a coastal settlement, was not immune to these raids, and the town experienced periods of vulnerability and disruption.

Dwfr is the modern Welsh for water, also spelt dwr. The name of Dover is a variation of this word. It can be compared with the Cornish dour, Gaelic and Irish dur and dohhar [pronounced doar], the Greek udor, and all probably cognate with the Celtic dubr.

See also
Vortimer | The Legend of King Arthur

Vulgate Mort Artu | 1215-1230
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
The Stanzaic Le Morte Arthur | 14th century
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470