Preserving a snapshot of life in Dover for future generations


Friends of Dover Castle competition winners help to bury the time capsule

An idea to create a 100-year time capsule to celebrate HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has now come to fruition, with over 40 items of our time now buried as a historic keepsake.

Local dignitaries and competition winners attended the event by the Maison Dieu to see the capsule buried far under the ground for future generations to discover.

The Friends of Dover Castle (who support English Heritage) partnered with Dover District Council, Reawakening the Maison Dieu Project and the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and Queen’s Regiment Museum with a plan to bring the community together and link the castle and town.

The Dover Community Time Capsule Project was first launched last September as part of Heritage Open Days when the team invited groups and societies from across Dover to contribute ideas for time capsule objects.

Dover Castle Art and Storytelling competitions had taken place with the winners having their entries on display at the Castle but also to be included in the Time Capsule. Joint events took place through spring and summer this year at the Maison Dieu, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment Museum and at community events hosted by DDC in the town where the local community had the chance to enter a competition suggesting items to be included in the Capsule.  Over 20 winning suggestions were selected which included adults, teenagers, and children.

As well as the inclusion of individual narratives of life as it is now, other objects encapsulated underground for the next 100 years include:  

  • Official Platinum Jubilee photograph of HM Queen Elizabeth II
  • HM The Queen Official Platinum Jubilee Souvenir Book – 70 Glorious Years
  • Queen’s Baton Relay flag
  • DVD of HM The Queen’s Funeral Procession and Ceremony
  • Proclamation of HM King Charles III
  • Photos of Dover and Dover Castle
  • Newspapers recording the record summer temperatures
  • Air quality records
  • Objects from local community clubs – ATC badges and brassard, police cadet lanyard, Rotary Club badge
  • Popular music and fashion items, including a pair of Nike Air trainers
  • Ukrainian flag
  • Covid tests
  • Port of Dover Royal Charter
  • DVD of Dover Film Festival
  • Plans of the Reawakening the Maison Dieu project
  • Dover District Council Local Plan to 2040
  • A fired clay dragon from Claydate 2022 (Reawkening the Maison Dieu project)

Graham Hutchison, Chairman of Friends of Dover Castle and Chair of Dover Community Time Capsule Project, said: “I wanted the Dover of 2022 to be remembered positively by people in 100 years’ time.  We are a great town, a great district and a great community. It is a great place to work, live and to visit – we have over 100 attractions and are genuinely a world class destination for tourists and visitors.

“I knew that a Dover Community Time Capsule would bring the community together following the tough time we’ve all had as a direct result of the pandemic. I set about creating a small but wide-ranging team of partners who have helped so much in bringing this project to fruition. It has also seen our Friends membership grow and helped to promote our wonderful castle – The Lock and Key to the Kingdom – to our local residents.”

Deputy Leader of DDC, Cllr Oliver Richardson, said: “This is a superb initiative combining the ‘Reawakening of the Maison Dieu’ project with a community initiative where future generations will learn so much from this ‘snapshot’ of time. When our generation takes its own place in the history books, part of us will come alive once more as a result of our very own time capsule being discovered”.

Notes to editors

The Time Capsule

The Time Capsule was purchased from Heritage Time Capsules based in Williamsville, New York in USA. It is made of corrosion resistant 304 grade, stainless steel and can withstand extremes of temperature and is watertight. Acid free tissue, archive paper and waterproof membranes were used to help preserve the contents.

The winning entries of the art and storytelling competitions: 

  • Adult art competition: Tom Paine
  • Teenager art competition: Sophie Pierson
  • Child art competition: Eddie Hayes
  • Adult storytelling competition: Stephanie Upton
  • Teenage storytelling competition: Olivia Gough
  • Child storytelling competition:  Mahima

Friends of Dover Castle

The Friends of Dover Castle is a registered charity with the Charity Commission. All funds are used for the purposes of their charitable objectives, which is to support and promote Dover Castle. Members of the local community can pay a membership subscription to the Friends and then visit free all year round. Visit for more information.

About the Reawakening the Maison Dieu Project

The £10m reawakening of the Grade I Listed Maison Dieu sees the restoration of internationally significant decorative schemes by the renowned Victorian neo-Gothic architect, William Burges, a new street-level visitor entrance to the Connaught Hall, along with improved access throughout the building.

The project creates a sustainable future for the Maison Dieu by bringing redundant spaces back into commercial use, including restoring the Mayor’s Parlour as a holiday let in conjunction with The Landmark Trust, and a unique new café in the space once occupied by Victorian gaol cells.

Once complete in 2024 the Maison Dieu will be permanently open to the public for the first time in its 800-year history and contributing to the creation of a heritage quarter in Dover town centre.

Project funders/partners include the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Wolfson Foundation, The Landmark Trust, Dover Town Council, and the Dover Society.

The Princess of Wales's & Queen's Regiment Museum breathes life into the stories of soldiers on the front lines, from the beginnings of the British Army right up to the present day. Located in the majestic Keep at Dover Castle, their collection tells stories of the great courage and sacrifices made by ordinary people from the South East of England since 1572.


Posted on 10 November 2022

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