Aerial view of Dover Harbour
|Population||31,022 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||77.8 miles (125.2 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||CT16, CT17|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Dover ( // ) is a major ferry port in Kent, South East England. It faces France across the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury and east of Maidstone. The town is the administrative centre of the Dover District and home of the Dover Calais ferry through the Port of Dover. The surrounding chalk cliffs are known as the White Cliffs of Dover.
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.
South East England is the most populous of the nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex. As with the other regions of England, apart from Greater London, the south east has no elected government.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Archaeological finds have revealed that the area has always been a focus for peoples entering and leaving Britain. The name derives from the River Dour that flows through it.
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.
The Port of Dover provides much of the town's employment, as does tourism.
Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller's country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go "beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only", as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure and not less than 24 hours, business and other purposes".
First recorded in its Latinised form of Portus Dubris , the name derives from the Brythonic word for waters (dwfr in Middle Welsh. The same element is present in the town's French (Douvres) and Modern Welsh (Dofr) forms (though the modern Welsh name is in fact a borrowing from, and an adaptation of, the English name Dover), as well as the name of the river Dour and is evident in other English towns such as Wendover.
Middle Welsh is the label attached to the Welsh language of the 12th to 15th centuries, of which much more remains than for any earlier period. This form of Welsh developed from Old Welsh.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
The River Dour is a chalk stream in the county of Kent, in Dover, England. It flows from the villages of Temple Ewell and River, through the village of Kearsney. It is roughly 4 miles (6.4 km) long.
The current name was in use at least by the time of Shakespeare's King Lear (between 1603 and 1606), in which the town and its cliffs play a prominent role.
King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom by giving bequests to two of his three daughters egged on by their continual flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. Derived from the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors.
Archaeological finds have shown that there were Stone Age people in the area, and that some Iron Age finds also exist.During the Roman period, the area became part of the Roman communications network. It was connected by road to Canterbury and Watling Street and it became Portus Dubris , a fortified port. Dover has a partly preserved Roman lighthouse (the tallest surviving Roman structure in Britain) and the remains of a villa with the only preserved Roman wall painting outside Italy. Dover later figured in the Domesday Book .
Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is often viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines.
The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted roughly 3.4 million years and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking.
The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, preceded by the Stone Age (Neolithic) and the Bronze Age. It is an archaeological era in the prehistory and protohistory of Europe and the Ancient Near East, and by analogy also used of other parts of the Old World. The three-age system was introduced in the first half of the 19th century for the archaeology of Europe in particular, and by the later 19th century expanded to the archaeology of the Ancient Near East. Its name harks back to the mythological "Ages of Man" of Hesiod. As an archaeological era it was first introduced for Scandinavia by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen in the 1830s. By the 1860s, it was embraced as a useful division of the "earliest history of mankind" in general and began to be applied in Assyriology. The development of the now-conventional periodization in the archaeology of the Ancient Near East was developed in the 1920s to 1930s. As its name suggests, Iron Age technology is characterized by the production of tools and weaponry by ferrous metallurgy (ironworking), more specifically from carbon steel.
Forts were built above the port and lighthouses were constructed to guide passing ships. It is one of the Cinque Ports.and has served as a bastion against various attackers: notably the French during the Napoleonic Wars and Germany during the Second World War.
Dover is in the south-east corner of Britain. From South Foreland, the nearest point to the European mainland, Cap Gris Nez is 34 kilometres (21 mi) away across the Strait of Dover.
The site of its original settlement lies in the valley of the River Dour, sheltering from the prevailing south-westerly winds. This has led to the silting up of the river mouth by the action of longshore drift. The town has been forced into making artificial breakwaters to keep the port in being. These breakwaters have been extended and adapted so that the port lies almost entirely on reclaimed land.
The higher land on either side of the valley – the Western Heights and the eastern high point on which Dover Castle stands – has been adapted to perform the function of protection against invaders. The town has gradually extended up the river valley, encompassing several villages in doing so. Little growth is possible along the coast, since the cliffs are on the sea's edge. The railway, being tunnelled and embanked, skirts the foot of the cliffs.
Dover has an oceanic climate (Koppen classification Cfb) similar to the rest of the United Kingdom with mild temperatures year-round and a light amount of rainfall each month. The warmest recorded temperature was 31 °C (88 °F) and the coldest was −8 °C (18 °F), but the temperature is usually between 3 °C (37 °F) and 21.1 °C (70.0 °F). There is evidence that the sea is coldest in February; the warmest recorded temperature for February was only 13 °C (55 °F), compared with 16 °C (61 °F) in January.
|Climate data for Dover Harbour (Beach), elevation: 0m (1981-2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||16|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||3.3|
|Record low °C (°F)||−5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||74.9|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||12.3||10.6||10.6||10.5||8.1||8.2||8.2||8.0||10.2||11.6||12.6||12.7||123.5|
|Average relative humidity (%)||88||86||84||81||83||84||84||82||82||84||87||88||84|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||66.0||83.4||117.5||185.2||214.7||213.3||221.6||223.4||159.4||126.0||76.7||55.8||1,743|
|Source #1: Met Office|
|Source #2: weather2|
In 1800, the year before Britain's first national census, Edward Hasted (1732–1812) reported that the town had a population of almost 10,000 people.
At the 2001 census, the town of Dover had 28,156 inhabitants, while the population of the whole urban area of Dover, as calculated by the Office for National Statistics, was 39,078 inhabitants.
With the expansion of Dover, many of the outlying ancient villages have been incorporated into the town. Originally the parishes of Dover St. Mary's and Dover St. James, since 1836 Buckland and Charlton have become part Dover, and Maxton (a hamlet to the west), River, Kearsney, Temple Ewell, and Whitfield, all to the north of the town centre, are within its conurbation.
The Dover Harbour Boardis the responsible authority for the running of the Port of Dover. The English Channel, here at its narrowest point in the Straits of Dover, is the busiest shipping lane in the world. Ferries crossing between here and the Continent have to negotiate their way through the constant stream of shipping crossing their path. The Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme allots ships separate lanes when passing through the Strait. The Scheme is controlled by the Channel Navigation Information Service based at Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre Dover. MRCC Dover is also charged with co-ordination of civil maritime search and rescue within these waters.
The Port of Dover is also used by cruise ships. The old Dover Marine railway station building houses one passenger terminal, together with a car park. A second, purpose built, terminal is located further out along the pier.
The ferry lines using the port are (number of daily sailings in parentheses):
These services have been cut in recent years:
Dover Harbour, from the cliffs above.
Dover's main communications artery, the A2 road replicates two former routes, connecting the town with Canterbury. The Roman road was followed for centuries until, in the late 18th century, it became a toll road. Stagecoaches were operating: one description stated that the journey took all day to reach London, from 4 am to being "in time for supper".
The other main roads, travelling west and east, are the A20 to Folkestone and thence to London and the A258 through Deal to Sandwich.
The railway reached Dover from two directions: the South Eastern Railway's main line connected with Folkestone in 1844, and the London, Chatham and Dover Railway opened its line from Canterbury in 1861. Southeastern trains run from Dover Priory to London Charing Cross, London Victoria or London St Pancras International stations in London, and Ramsgate or Sandwich in Kent.
A tram system operated in the town from 1897 to 1936.
Dover has two long distance footpaths: the Saxon Shore Way and the North Downs Way. Two National Cycle Network routes begin their journey at the town.
The Port of Dover is a 20-minute walk from Dover Priory railway station.
The Dover to Dunkirk ferry route was originally operated by ferry operator Norfolkline. This company was later acquired by the pan European operator DFDS Seaways in July 2010.The crossing time is approximately two hours. Due to this route not being as well known as Dover to Calais, prices are often cheaper. The location of Dunkirk is also more convenient for those travelling by road transport on to countries in Northern Europe including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and further afield.
Stagecoach in East Kent provide local bus services. Dover is on the Stagecoach Diamond network providing links to Canterbury and Deal. The Western Docks at the port of Dover are served from the town centre as well as Canterbury and Deal. Dover is the start of The Wave network to New Romney via Folkestone, Hythe and Dymchurch. There are services to Lydd via Lydd Airport, with one continuing from Lydd on to Hastings via Camber and Rye. There is a link to Sandwich and Ramsgate. Buses run from Dover to Canterbury via Aylesham.
National Express runs coaches from Dover to other towns in Kent including Canterbury, Folkestone, Ashford, Kent, Maidstone, Gillingham at Hempsted Valley shopping centre and Greenhithe at Bluewater Shopping Centre for Dartford to London including Bexleyheath, Eltham, Walworth, Canary Wharf, Elephant & Castle, The City (The City of London) and to Victoria Coach Station
All buses serve Pencester Road except route 68 to Maxton operated by Regent Coaches.[ citation needed ]
The town's main shopping streets are the High Street, Biggin Street, Market Square, Cannon Street, Pencester Road and Castle Street. The Castleton Retail Park is to the north-west of the town centre. The new St James' Retail and Leisure Park opened in 2018 and is a southern extension of the town centre and consists of shops, restaurants, a Travelodge Hotel and a Cineworld Cinema.
The Dover lifeboat is a Severn class lifeboat based in the Western Docks.Dover Lifeboat station is based at crosswall quay in Dover Harbour. There is a Severn-class lifeboat, which is the biggest in the fleet. It belongs to the RNLI which covers all of Great Britain. The lifeboat number is 17-09 and has a lot of emergencies in the Channel. The Severn class is designed to lay afloat. Built from fibre reinforced composite (FRC) the boat is lightweight yet very strong and is designed to right itself in the event of a capsize.
There are seven secondary level schools serving Dover.
Selective Secondary Schools
There are 2 single-sex grammar schools and a mixed military school.
Both grammar schools require the Dover Test or the Kent Test for admission to Year 7.
Duke of York's Royal Military School is a selective secondary school with academy status and England's only military boarding school for children of service personnel (co-ed ages 11–18), located next to the former site of Connaught Barracks.
Non-Selective Secondary Schools
There are 3 ex-Secondary modern mixed schools, all with academy status.
Astor College federated with St Radigunds Primary School (then renamed White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts) to form the Dover Federation for the Arts (DFA). Subsequently, Barton Junior School and Shatterlocks Nursery and Infant School joined the DFA. In 2014 the DFA was warned by the Department for Education about "unacceptably low standards of performance of pupils ".
St Edmund's Catholic School federated with St Richards Catholic Primary School to form the Dover Federation of Catholic Schools.
Dover Christ Church Academy is located in Whitfield, 4 miles north of Dover.
Dover College is a mixed public school founded in 1871 by a group of local business men.
Dover Technical College is part of the East Kent College (EKC) group.
In addition, 16 primary schools and 2 special schools add to the educational offering.
Dover has one hospital, Buckland Hospitalbuilt in 2015 near its previous premises (in a former Victorian workhouse) on Coombe Valley Road. The town once had four hospitals, Buckland, Royal Victoria, Isolation and the Eye Hospital, in various places.
Dover was the home to television studios and production offices of Southern Television Ltd, the company which operated the ITV franchise for South and South East England from 1958-1981. The studios were located on Russell Street and were home to programmes like 'Scene South East', 'Scene Midweek', 'Southern News', 'Farm Progress' and the nightly epilogue, 'Guideline'. The studios were operated by TVS in 1982 and home to 'Coast to Coast', however they closed a year later when the company moved their operations to the newly complete Television Centre in Maidstone.
Dover has two paid for newspapers, the Dover Express (published by Kent Regional News and Media) and the Dover Mercury (published by the KM Group). Free newspapers for the town include the Dover and Deal Extra, part of the KM Group; and yourdover, part of KOS Media.
Dover has one local commercial radio station, KMFM Shepway and White Cliffs Country, broadcasting to Dover on 106.8FM. The station was founded in Dover as Neptune Radio in September 1997 but moved to Folkestone in 2003 and was consequently rebranded after a takeover by the KM Group. Dover is also served by the county-wide stations Heart, Gold and BBC Radio Kent.
The Gateway Hospital Broadcasting Service, in Buckland Hospital radio, closed at the end of 2006. It was the oldest hospital radio station in East Kent being founded in 1968.
Dover Community Radio (DCR) currently offer internet programming and podcasts on local events and organisations on their website. The online station of the same name launched on 30 July 2011 offering local programmes, music and news for Dover and district.
There are three museums: the main Dover Museum,the Dover Transport Museum and the Roman Painted House. The town has two cinemas, the Silver Screen Cinema located at the Dover Museum and the Cineworld Cinema opened in 2018 as part of the St James' Retail and Leisure complex. The Discovery Centre located off the Market Square houses Dover's library, Dover Museum, Silver Screen Cinema, the Roundhouse Community Theatre as well as adult education facilities . The Charlton Shopping Centre off the High Street has retail units, the Dover Local community hub, leisure facilities and the studios of Dover Community Radio. The White Cliffs Theatre opened in 2001 is based at Astor College. There is also a community theatre based at St Edmund's Catholic School
Dover District Leisure Centre operated by Places Leisurelocated in Whitfield opened in March 2019 replacing the previous facility on Townwall Street, which was operated by Your Leisure, a not for profit charitable trust, which caters for sports and includes a swimming pool.
There are sports clubs, amongst them Dover Athletic F.C., who play in the conference Premier league; rugby; swimming; water polo and netball (Dover and District Netball League).
Dover Rowing Club is the oldest coastal rowing club in Britain and has a rich history, at one time becoming the best club on the south coast. More information can be found on the history page of the club's website.
One event which gets media attention is that of swimming the English Channel.
Sea fishing, from the beach, pier or out at sea, is carried out here.The so-called Dover sole (solea solea) is found all over European waters.
M.R. James used the Dover landmark, the Lord Warden Hotel, as a location in his short ghost story "Casting the Runes", first published in More Ghost Stories in 1911.
Matthew Arnold used the setting of Dover in his famous 19th-century poem, "Dover Beach."
Folkestone is a port town on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Ramsgate is a seaside town in the district of Thanet in east Kent, England. It was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century. In 2001 it had a population of about 40,000. Ramsgate’s main attraction is its coastline, and its main industries are tourism and fishing. The town has one of the largest marinas on the English south coast, and the Port of Ramsgate provided cross-channel ferries for many years.
Capel-le-Ferne is a village situated near Folkestone, Kent. Its name derives from the phrase "Chapel in the Ferns". It had a population in 2011 of 1,884. It is perched on top of the White Cliffs of Dover.
MV Barfleur is a ferry operated by Brittany Ferries on the route between Poole on the south coast of England and Cherbourg, France. She was built at Masa Yards Turku New Shipyard in Finland for the Brittany Ferries subsidiary Truckline and entered service in 1992. In 1999 she was repainted in Brittany Ferries standard livery. Barfleur was the last ship to carry the 1983–2002 version of the Brittany Ferries logo and livery which was replaced by the post-2002 version in March 2009. She sails under the French flag and is registered in Cherbourg.
MS European Seaway is a cross-channel freight ferry operated by P&O Ferries from Dover.
MS Pride of Burgundy is a cross-channel ferry owned by P&O Ferries. She has operated on the Dover to Calais route since 1993.
MS Pride of Canterbury is a cross-channel ferry operated by P&O Ferries between Dover and Calais.
MS Pride of Kent is a cross-channel ferry operated by P&O Ferries, which since 2003 has operated on the Dover to Calais route. Before that, between 1992 and 2002, it had operated on the Dover to Zeebrugge route.
LD Lines was a French shipping company, with both roro freight and passenger ferry operations. It was a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA), which engages in building, owning, operating, and managing vessels. LD Lines operated ferry routes on the English Channel, the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean Sea.
MS Calais Seaways is a passenger and vehicle ferry operated jointly by LD Lines and DFDS Seaways between Dover and Calais.
The Port of Dover is the cross-channel port situated in Dover, Kent, south-east England. It is the nearest English port to France, at just 34 kilometres (21 mi) away, and is one of the world's busiest passenger ports, with 11.7 million passengers, 2.6 million lorries, 2.2 million cars and motorcycles and 80,000 coaches passing through it in 2017, with an annual turnover of £58.5 million a year. The Channel Tunnel in nearby Cheriton now takes an estimated 20 million passengers and 1.6 million trucks.
P&O Stena Line was formed in 1998 after the merger of P&O European Ferries (Dover) Ltd and the Dover and Newhaven operations of Stena Line.
DFDS Seaways is a Danish shipping company that operates passenger and freight services across northern Europe. Following the acquisition of Norfolkline in 2010, DFDS restructured its other shipping divisions into the previously passenger-only operation of DFDS Seaways.
Transmanche Ferries was a ferry company that operated the Newhaven - Dieppe route across the English Channel. This ferry route is now operated by DFDS Seaways.
MS Stena Superfast X is a fast ropax ferry in service between Holyhead in the UK and Dublin in Ireland for Stena Line. She replaced Stena Nordica on the route in March 2015. The ferry was refurbished in Gdańsk, Poland for her new service and was returned to her original design before her SeaFrance career and looks identical to her sisters Stena Superfast VII & VIII. Before November 2014 she operated between Dover and Calais for DFDS Seaways France and between 2008 and 2012 for SeaFrance.
MS SeaFrance Cézanne was a ferry launched in 1979 as the Ariadne. Starting life in the Mediterranean, she has spent the majority of her career serving the Dover-Calais cross channel ferry route with successive operators, Sealink, SNCF & SeaFrance, was taken out of service in February 2009 and scrapped in 2011-12
MyFerryLink was an English Channel passenger and freight ferry company which began operating between Dover and Calais in August 2012. The MyFerryLink fleet consisted of two modern ferries – sister ships the MS Rodin and the MS Berlioz – that carried passengers and freight, and one dedicated freight ship, the MS Nord Pas-de-Calais. It was formed following the liquidation of SeaFrance. MyFerryLink offered passengers up to sixteen sailings between Dover and Calais every day, and additional services for freight.
DFDS Seaways France, trading as DFDS Seaways, and formerly known as New Channel Company A/S, is the trading name of the ferry services across the Dover Strait and Parts of the Western Channel operated by DFDS Seaways and formerly operated by LD Lines.
The Port of Calais is a port in Calais, northern France. The port is the fourth largest port in France and the largest for passenger traffic. It accounts for more than a third of economic activity in the town of Calais.
MS Côte des Flandres is a Ro-Ro Passenger Ferry owned by Euro-Transmanche 3 BE and operated by DFDS Seaways France between Dover and Calais, the ship was the second to be built for SeaFrance in 2005, she entered service with SeaFrance in March 2005 and finished with SeaFrance in January 2012 when the company was liquidated.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dover .|
|Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article about Dover .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Dover .|