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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.

Whether you are looking for relaxation and the chance to unwind or for something more active including great hand's on fun for the younger family members then Kent is the place for you. With many award winning attractions featured together with the best known places to visit and many smaller less well known attractions.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Dover Shopping
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Dover: The main town centre isn't large as a shopping centre, although the market square itself is quite pleasant. The main shops are along the partially pedestrianised High Street.

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.
Dover Museum
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Dover Museum is one of the oldest museums in Kent, founded over 150 years ago in 1836.
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.
Dover
The town has been inhabited since the Stone Age according to archeological finds, and Dover is one of only a few places in Britain – London and Cornwall being other examples – to have a corresponding name in the French language, Douvres.
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.
Dover Castle
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Dover Castle- set in a spectacular location high above the famous White Cliffs, Dover Castle commands the shortest sea crossing between England and the continent and boasts an eventful history. Visitors to the Castle today can step inside the newly-renovated Great Tower to meet themed characters or re-live the turbulent war years and drama of the Dunkirk evacuation of May 1940 in the recently opened Operation Dynamo. With exciting exhibitions, winding tunnels to explore, ghosts to hunt out and of course restaurants, shops and ample space for youngsters to run around, Dover Castle offers a fantastic day out for everyone.
Western Heights
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Western Heights
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
Cinque Port - Dover
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Dover In the past, received a great deal of Royal support, probably more than the other Cinque Ports. For example, in Henry VIII 's time, an embankment was built as a barrier to the sea and wind. When these defenses were later damaged by the sea, Elizabeth I built a new harbour. Dover still stands as a major port,mainly using the Eastern Docks, although the Channel Tunnel is now a major competitor as regards freight and passengers on their way to and from France.
Dining in Dover
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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 or indulge in a taste sensation, Kent caters for every occasion.
Dover Churches
St Mary
St Mary in Castro
St James
St Martin le Grand
Ss Peter and Paul, Charlton
St Edmund
St Barnabas
Dover Smuggling
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In the long struggle between the free traders and the various preventive services there was hideous violence, needless suffering, villainy and greed, but also determination, skill and courage on both sides. This was a significant episode in our social history. For more than a century the black economy played a major role in everyday life, probably accounting in peak years for a quarter of all of England's overseas trade, and employing up to 40,000 at a time
Dover Poster
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Dover’s history, because of its proximity to France, has always been of great strategic importance to Britain. Archaeological finds have shown that there were Stone Age people in the area; and that by the Bronze Age the maritime influence was already strong. Some Iron Age finds exist also, but the coming of the Romans made Dover part of their communications network. Like Lemanis (Lympne) and Rutupiae (Richborough) Dover was connected by road to Canterbury and Watling Street; and it became Portus Dubris, a fortified port. Forts were built above the port; lighthouses were constructed to guide passing ships; and one of the best-preserved Roman villas in Britain is here.

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.

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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 coastline from Dover harbour to Kingsdown is of extreme importance geologically and physiographically, and for its varied floral and faunal communities which include many rare species.
Biology
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.
Geology
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.
Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs
More Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Kent
Kent Place Names
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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
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.
Kent Place Names
Kentish Dialect
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

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.
Kentish Dialect
Kent Parishes

Kent Parishes
Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894 -1895

DOVER PARISH

Dover, a seaport town and municipal and parliamentary borough in Kent. The town stands on the coast, partly under chalk cliffs, at the mouth of the rivulet Dour, the end of Watling Street, and the terminus of two railways, 15 1/4 miles SE of Canterbury, and 76 from London. The "S.E.R. has a station in Beach Street, with a branch to the Admiralty Pier. The L.C. & D.R. has two stations-one at the Priory, on the Folkestone Road, and a terminal station in Strond Street, with a branch to the Admiralty Pier. It confronts Calais, is the nearest port of England to France, and has been noted from very early times as a main point of communication with the Continent.

History.-Dover was the Dwffyrrha of the ancient Britons, the Dubrse of the Romans, the Dofra or Dofris of the Saxons, and the Dovere of Domesday. The ancient Britons had a camp at it, Ca£sar appeared off it prior to his landing at Deal, a Roman receiver of tribute was located at it before Caesar departed, another Roman functionary converted the British camp at it into a fort or castle in the year 43, Severus engirt it with strong walls about the year 200, Roman legions were stationed at it in the reigns of Valen-tinian and Theodosius, and King Withred of Kent protected it by a sea-wall about the year 700. The Saxons and the Danes were prevented from troubling it by its strength. King Arthur, in the romance, arrived at it from Brittany. The knights of the Norman Conquest burned it, but the Conqueror furnished money for rebuilding it and gave it to Bishop Odo. Its Norman masters enlarged and strengthened its castle, enriched it with numerous churches and monastic houses, and made it, according to Matthew Paris, " the lock and key of the kingdom." Stephen, the last of the Norman kings, died in it. Henry II. was here in 1156, and again with Louis of France in 1179. Richard I. sailed hence in 1189 to the Holy Land. Walter, Bishop of Carlisle, was here in 1205 on his way to Rome as Prince John's agent against the Barons.

King John assembled on the neighbouring downs in 1212 a force of 60,000 men to prevent a threatened descent of the French, and made on the western heights in 1213 his submission to Rome. The French laid siege to the castle in 1216 in the belief that the capture of it would give them the kingdom, but were forced to retire. Richard de la Wyche, Bishop of Chichester, preached a great crusade against Sicily at Dover in 1253 in presence of the king. Henry III. landed here in 1254, was here again in 1257, and embarked and relanded here at four other times, Richard, king of the Romans, was refused admittance hither by the ruling barons in 1259, and the queen landed here and was met by the kings of England and Germany in 126 6. Edward I. and Queen Eleanor landed here in 1274, and the king sailed hence in 1286, and relanded in 1289. The French burned the town in 1295, but were immediately driven out. Queen Margaret of France landed here in 1299. Edward II. was here in 1303, sailed, hence in 1308 to espouse the Princess Isabella of France, relanded with that " she-wolf" in the same year, and was here again in 1319. Queen Philippa arrived here with a vast retinue in 1327. Edward III. embarked and relanded here in 1329, and again in 1331. The corpse of King John of France was brought hither from London in 1363 for removal to France.

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