Walmer Castle near Dover is creating new displays and preparing previously untold stories to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, when it re-opens in April. The Battle of Waterloo was the final engagement in the Napoleonic Wars. Known as the British Army’s greatest victory under its greatest general, it led to a generation of peace in Europe and kept Britain free of war on the continent for a century and made a hero of Arthur Wellesley the Duke of Wellington.
Walmer Castle was built during the reign of King Henry VIII, as part of a chain of coastal artillery defences, it evolved into the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The Duke of Wellington held the post for 23 years and enjoyed his time spent at the castle and in recent years Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother made regular visits to the castle. The castle also has beautifully maintained gardens to enjoy.
it was at Walmer that the Duke died on 14 September, 1852, the armchair in which Wellington died, his death mask and an original pair of ‘Wellington boots’ are among the highlights on display.
Other connections with Wellington include Apsley House, the Duke’s residence in London known as No 1, London with its wonderful Waterloo Gallery commemorating his military achievements is open all year round as is St Paul’s Cathedral where Wellington received a State Funeral and where his tomb now rests. Wellington’s Battlemap, used in the Battle of Waterloo, is on show at the Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham.
And of course there is always the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle to be visited.
Over the weekend of 19 & 20 June 2015, thousands of re-enactors will congregate on the battlefield of Waterloo to recreate the ultimate battle of the Napoleonic Wars.