Moonraker Tidbits

We’ve actually covered much of the Moonraker novel already here. There are few references and locations, particularly around the Dover area that are worthy of mention that haven’t been posted yet. I’m going to wrap several of them up into one post here:

Chilham Castle

On his way to report in on his new assignment with Sir Hugo Drax, Bond is motoring along.

Well, thought Bond, accelerating down the straight stretch of road past Chilham Castle, he could see that picture too, and if he was going to work with the man, he must adjust himself to the heroic version.

There has been a castle on this site for at least eight centuries, perhaps much longer.

chilham-castle

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Dover “Cardboard” Castle

On that same journey, he sees another historical landmark.

Bond concentrated on his driving as he coasted down into Dover. He kept left and was soon climbing out of the town again past the wonderful cardboard castle.

Dover Castle, known as The Key To England has been a fortress, stronghold and lookout for England for 20 centuries. It has the longest recorded history of any major castle in Britain Calling it cardboard is a reference to its color.

Dover_Castle

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Swingate Radar Station

After Bond passes Dover Castle he comes up to the next place of note.

The visibility was bad and he switched on his lights as he motored slowly along the coast-road, the ruby-spangled masts of the Swingate radar station rising like petrified Roman candles on his right.

Known as Swingate Chain Home Radar Station, this facility was one of five radar stations built just prior to World War II to provide early warning of enemy aircraft raids.

swingate

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Royal Marine Garrison’s Firing Range

When Bond and Gala are returning from the cliff ordeal, they pass by here on the way back to Drax’s house.

They scrambled down a steep cliff-path to the beach and turned to the right beside the deserted small-arms range of the Royal Marine Garrison at Deal.

Also known as the Kingsdown range, this former Marines training ground and rifle range was abandoned even by the time Fleming was writing Moonraker.

kingsdown-rifle-range

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World Without Want

It’s been speculated that this establishment, which is where poor Major Talon met his end, and where James Bond followed up at for a drink and chat with the proprietor, was based on The Swingate Inn, which is still there.

Swingate-Inn-01

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