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See the graffiti bored British soldiers carved into a castle door more than 200 years ago

Still Waters

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Starting in the 1790s, thousands of British soldiers were stationed at Dover Castle in case of a possible invasion by French troops led by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Apparently, they had lots of time on their hands: Historians recently discovered more than 50 drawings, initials, dates and more carved into a wooden door from the castle’s tower—including one that may depict Bonaparte being hanged. Experts suspect the men used knives or bayonets to make the graffiti between 1789 and 1855.

“With tensions high but hours to kill, it seems that those men on duty put their questionable artistic talents to use,” according to an announcement from English Heritage, the nonprofit organization that manages the castle.


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