The Romans developed Dover as their main naval base and it continued to be important, becoming a founder member of the Confederation of Cinque Ports founded by Edward I. Slowly the old harbour silted up, and it now lies under the town; a new harbour was built out into the English Channel in the 19th century.
Sitting in the Shadow of Dover Castle & the Iconic White Cliffs, is ideal if you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
On the other side of the busy coastal dual-carriageway is the De Bradelei Wharf and a Must Visit for the serious shopper or anyone passing through the Port of Dover. Set in some period dockyard buildings, it's not too large, but is undercover, and popular with those seeking a bargain.
There are hundreds of independent retailers situated in the Kent, offering an array of worldwide brands to locally sourced products. Each and every one of them offer a customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Dover Directory above.
In 1991 the museum was rehoused in a new three-storey building behind its original Victorian facade. The history galleries tell the story of the development of the town and port with original objects, graphics and models.
Services related to the Port of Dover provide a great deal of the town’s employment, as does tourism, although many of the former ferry services have declined. There was a military barracks in Dover, which was closed in 2007.
Dover’s name originated with its river – the River Dour, deriving from the Brythonic Dubrās ("the waters"), via its Latinized form of Dubris. The cliffs also gave Britain its ancient name of Albion ("white"). The Romans called it ’’Porte Dubris’’; the modern name was in use at least by the time Shakespeare wrote King Lear (between 1603 and 1606), in which the town and its cliffs play a prominent role.
At the height of the Napoleonic Wars the threat of French invasion on the south coast of England was very real. The government put into place a comprehensive set of coastal defenses to counter that threat. One of the most ambitious of these was the development of the Western Heights above Dover which together make up the largest set of Napoleonic defenses in Britain.
Dover, Kent, England
St Mary in Castro
St Martin le Grand
Ss Peter and Paul, Charlton
Dover figured largely in the Domesday Book as an important borough. It also served as a bastion against various attackers: notably the French during the Napoleonic Wars; and against Germany during World War II. It was one of the Cinque Ports during medieval times.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.
Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View, old Ordnance Survey maps, Cycle routes and much more.
Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs
The vegetation of the cliff tops consists mainly of chalk grassland interspersed with areas of scrub. Much of the grassland is dominated by tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum or upright-brome Bromus erectus, though there are numerous areas of species-rich open grassland with a range of typical chalk-turf grass and herb species. These include sheep’s fescue Festuca ovina, salad burnet Sanguisorba minor, wild thyme Thymus praecox, and horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa. A number of nationally-rare plants occur. These include early spider orchid Ophrys sphegodes and ox-tongue broomrape Orobanche loricata which are both at the northern extreme of a continental distribution. Dense areas of scrub occur locally, eg at Fan Hole. The main constituent species are gorse Ulex europaeus, wild privet Ligustrum vulgare, hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and bramble Rubus fruticosus. There are a few scattered individuals of juniper Juniperus communis, this species now has only a few remaining native sites in Kent.
On the sheerest chalk-cliff faces, vegetation is largely confined to crevices and narrow ledges. In places where gullies have formed (particularly around Langdon Bay), the vegetation is more extensive and consists of mixed communities of plants typical of both maritime and chalk grassland habitats. National rarities include wild cabbage Brassica oleracea, hoary stock Matthiola incana and Nottingham catchfly Silene nutans, while more locally-rare species include wild madder Rubia peregrina. At the northern end of the site, at Kingsdown beach is a broad shingle plateau with a succession of plant communities influenced in their extent and composition by increasing shingle-stability. Typical species include sea sandwort Honkenya peploides and the rare sea pea Lathyrus japonicus, while more secure shingle inland supports a sward of sheep’s fescue and other grasses together with further colonies of the early spider orchid. Of particular note is a prostrate oak tree Quercus robur which instead of a trunk has branches radiating from its root-base.
The invertebrate fauna of the site is rich, including important communities of Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) and Coleoptera (beetles). Locally-restricted species found here include the adonis blue butterfly Lysandra bellargus, the scarlet tiger moth Callimorpha dominula, a ground-beetle Bradycellus distinctus, and some rare weevils of the family Apionidae. There are numerous breeding sea birds along the cliffs including fulmars, rock pipits and lesser-black backed gulls; kittiwakes have been established since 1967, their expanding population now exceeds 1100 pairs, but are still found nowhere else in Kent. The South Foreland valley at St Margarets is a significant landfall for migrant birds in the spring and a gathering point for dispersal in the autumn. More importantly many migrants breed here including whitethroat, blackcap, grasshopper and other rarer warblers. Old wartime fortification-systems, of which there are several within the site, attract black redstarts. Near Kingsdown is one of the two cliff-nesting colonies of house martins in Kent. In addition the site includes important chalk foreshore habitats, particularly those at St Margarets Bay. These support the most species-rich littoral chalk algal flora in south-east England. The wide wave-abrasion platform at the foot of the cliffs provides a diverse range of rock formations and habitats colonised by rich and complex seaweed communities, the lower shore red algae being particularly luxuriant. Examples of algae characteristic of lower salinities are present where freshwater springs emerge on the shore, and the cliff face supports well developed examples of the unusual algal communities characteristic of this habitat, exhibiting clear vertical zonation patterns.
Dover to Kingsdown is an internationally important stratigraphic reference site which provides extensive and near continuous cliff and shore exposures of the Cenomanian, Turonian and Coniacian Stages (the Lower, Middle and Upper Chalk). The site is historically very important as many geological principles, such as biostratigraphic zonation were tested here during the early development of geology. Many parts of the succession are fossiliferous and, in particular the upper parts of the Turonian and lower parts of the Coniacian are rich in Micraster, which have contributed, and still are contributing to our knowledge of evolution.
This is also a key site for coastal geomorphology, providing an excellent example of structural controls on coastal cliff morphology. It also provides significant evidence for understanding contemporary form/process relationships in a cliff- shore platform-beach system. Historically, retreat of the cliffs has averaged 0.5 m per year but, in contrast to Foreness on the Isle of Thanet, erosion takes place mainly as large slides affecting much of the cliff face. The present beach closely relates to contemporary erosion of the cliffs and a well-developed shore platform extending to below low water mark. Geomorphologically, Dover to Kingsdown is an essential member of the network of chalk coastal sites in Britain. Where's the path? Use the link below.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
Towns and Villages Nearby
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