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Dover
 
Port, Piers & Shipping
 
 
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the port of Dover, its piers and ships.
 
The gap in the cliffs, plus its proximity to the continent, has meant that the site of Dover has been used for shipping from at least Roman times. A small artificial harbour has existed since at least 1495. From 1606, the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports had responsibility for the harbour. Soon it was used by small fast sailing craft carrying mails to Calais and Ostend - the first Channel 'packets'. By the mid 18th Century, three dock basins had been constructed. The first steamer to cross to Calais was the Majestic in 1816. In 1820, the first regular steam ship service to Calais began. These soon replaced the sailing packets, services being provided by the Admiralty for much of the period.
 
The South Eastern Railway (SER) reached Dover Town in 1843, and they formed a subsidiary company to start steamer services to Calais and Boulogne. The SER also ran steamers from Folkestone, on which port they later concentrated. The East Kent Railway, later the London, Chatham & Dover railway (LCDR) also arrived in Dover, and they linked to the docks in 1861, also the year the Dover Harbour Board was created. Railway connections were allowed into the docks in 1862. The SER agreed to confine its operations to Folkestone. The LCDR obtained powers to run their own steamers in 1864, and they then obtained the mail contract, initially running to Boulogne since it had the first railway link to Paris. The railway arrived at Calais in 1867, and this shorter route took prominence over Boulogne. The SER and LCDR merged in 1899 to form the South Eastern & Chatham Railway.
 
Turbine steamers began to replace paddle from 1902, and even quite recent paddle steamer deliveries were rapidly displaced. The Prince of Wales Pier was opened in the same year. This had a stone outer end connecting to land by a cast iron section. Liners such as the Deutschland (3) and Amerika of the Hamburg America Line called here for a short period. The cast iron section was boxed in with concrete when the Western Docks Hoverport was built in 1978. The Admiralty Pier protecting the west of the harbour was opened in 1909 by King George V, as the final part of the Admiralty Harbour. The pier was later widened at the seaward end, and Dover Marine Station opened for public services in 1919 (it had been used for hospital trains in the war). Dover Harbour Board took full control of the port in 1923.
 
The first tentative steps towards car ferries began in 1928 when Townsends began running the Artificer. The Southern Railway responded with the Autocarrier (1) the following year. Both ships loaded cars with cranes unless tides suited portable side ramps. the first linkspan at Dover was used for the train ferry service to Dunkerque, which started in 1936. The train ferries could also carry heavy vehicles at the stern (part of the deck being raised to rail height) and so the Southern railway could claim to be pioneers of ro-ro traffic at the port. However, rail traffic proved sufficient to fill the ferries and the vehicle side was not pursued.
 
The first link spans in the Eastern Docks were opened in 1955, beginning a gradual expansion of the area. A hoverport was also created at Eastern docks, later transferred in 1978 to the Western Docks adjacent to the Prince of Wales Pier. The ex-Admiralty Camber Dock was reclaimed to provide extensive vehicle waiting areas. Expansion continues, with further plans announced for the Western Docks, which would prevent access to to the Prince of Wales Pier. Following the cessation of hovercraft services, the Hoverport terminal was demolished with a v
 
 
Sections on this Page:-
Dover Ports & Piers
   Dover Admiralty Pier
   Dover Eastern Docks
   Dover Excursion Ships
   Dover Prince of Wales Pier
   Dover Promenade Pier
   Dover Southern Breakwater
   Dover Western Docks - Dover Cruise Terminal
Dover Tugs
Dover Fortifications
   Dover Castle
   Dover Modern Fortifications

Ship Names on this Page:-
Amerika - NDL Atlantic Liner
Deutschland - NDL Atlantic Liner
DHB Dauntless - Dover Harbour Board tug
DHB Doughty - Dover Harbour Board tug
Southern Queen - Dover harbour tours

Other Dover Pages:-
British Railways/Sealink - Page 7 - Dover/Folkestone Services
Kent - Kent, Thames & Medway Excursion Vessels
Kent Piers
Oostende-Dover Services - Ferry cards of Belgian Railways and their successors.
P&O Dover
P&O Stena Line
SeaFrance
South Eastern & Chatham Railway - SECR Dover/Folkestone Services
Southern Railway - Page 1 - Dover/Folkestone Services
Townsend Brothers
Townsend Thoresen
 
Associated Pages:-
UK Excursion Ships
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Simplon Postcards - Home Page
 
References:-
Guide to British Piers (2nd Edition) - by Timothy Mickleburgh - Piers Information Bureau, 1988
www.dover-kent.co.uk - Dover history pages
www.doverturret.co.uk - history of Dover Pier Fort (Dover Turret)
Trip Out Guides - Written and published by G.P.Hamer - various editions from 1977 to 2005 consulted
Trip Out Guides are available from Geoffrey Hamer, PO Box 485, Southall, UB1 9BH
 
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Dover Port & Piers

Dover Admiralty Pier
 
The foundation stone of the Admiralty Pier was laid on 2nd April 1848 as the first stage in the proposed harbour of refuge for the Royal Navy. The first section of pier was 800 feet long and completed in 1854, when another contract was awarded for a further 1000 feet.

From 1851 cross-channel steamers were using the pier regularly. In 1860 the South Eastern Railway started running its trains along the pier to connect with the railway owned steamers, and in 1864 its rival, the London Chatham and Dover Railway, did the same.
 
The 1000 foot extension started in 1854 was to be completed by November 1864, but by 1864 a decision had still not been reached on how to terminate the pier. In 1871 it was finally decided to add a further 300 feet, terminating in a substantial pierhead. The work was completed in 1875 and in the late 1870s it was decided to build a fort on the pier head for defence. Work on the Admiralty Pier Fort, known as the Dover Turret, commenced in January 1872 and it was ready for test firing on the 20th July 1883. The guns were never fired in anger and the turret was obsolescent by the time it was completed. Two 6 inch breech loading guns were installed by the turret by 1909, and the turret was used as a magazine for these guns. The two original 16 inch, 81 ton rifled muzzle-loading guns remain inside the turret. The turret itself is made up of a sandwich of armour plates with wood layers between each plate to a thickness of about 25 inches. The total weight of the turret and guns is nearly 900 tons. Inside the pier is the loading chamber, magazines and the spaces where the steam engines were that operated the the loading systems. Today the steam engines have been removed, and the two guns are depressed in their loading position.
In 1899 work started on extending the pier again as part of the new Admiralty Harbour, and in 1900 the extension of 2,000 feet was completed bringing the total length to 4,140 feet. In 1909 work started at the landward end of the pier to reclaim land for the building of the new Marine Station, which was completed in 1921.

 
Postcard of the Admiralty Pier, before the landward end was widened for the construction of Dover Marine station.
Outside the pier is an ex-South Eastern Railway (SER) paddle steamer. The large paddle steamer with yellow funnels is a Belgian State Railways vessel. Behind her is an ex-London, Chatham & Dover paddle steamer.
Scan: www.nixonfarm.com
 
 
Postcard of the ex-London, Chatham & Dover paddle steamer Empress at the Admiralty Pier.
The Lord Warden Hotel in the left background still stands.
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Postcard of the ex-London, Chatham & Dover paddle steamer Dover, Calais or Lord Warden at the Admiralty Pier.
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Postcard of the ex-London, Chatham & Dover paddle steamer Dover, Calais or Lord Warden at the Admiralty Pier.
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Official SE&CR Postcard of the ex-London, Chatham & Dover paddle steamer Dover leaving the Admiralty Pier.
 
 
Postcard of the ex-London, Chatham & Dover paddle steamer Dover, Calais or Lord Warden at the Admiralty Pier.
 
 
Postcard of the Admiralty Pier c.1890.
Pier at original length ending in the Dover Turret fort
 
 
Postcard of the Admiralty Pier c.1900 showing the railway lines running east and west.
Pier extension work has started
 
 
Postcard of the Admiralty Pier c.1900 showing paddle steamer departing
Pier extension work complete
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Postcard of the Admiralty Pier showing the railway lines running east and west.
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Postcard of the Admiralty Pier showing the railway lines running east and west.
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Photographic postcard of the Admiralty Pier.
 
 
The Admiralty Pier at sunset (hence long shadows) on 8th April 2006.
Photo: © Ian Boyle
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Dover Admiralty Pier with Dover Cruise Terminal - previously Dover Marine Station
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Dover Western Docks
Dover Cruise Terminal
 
 
Postcard of Dover Western Docks
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Postcard of Dover Western Docks
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Postcard of Dover Western Docks
 
 
Postcard of Dover Western Docks
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Postcard of Dover Western Docks
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Postcard of Dover Western Docks
Photographic version of card above
 
 
Postcard of Dover Western Docks
 
 
Postcard of Wellington Dock, Dover Western Docks
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Postcard of Granville Dock, Dover Western Docks
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Postcard of Granville Dock, Dover Western Docks
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The old Lord Warden Hotel at Dover Marine, still used as offices.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2005
 
 
The passenger entrance Dover Marine Station - it now gives access to the Admiralty Pier
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2005
 
 
Passenger walkway at Dover Marine Station - now gives access to the Admiralty Pier
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2005
 
 
Dover Cruise Terminal - previously Dover Marine Station
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Dover Prince of Wales Pier
 
The Prince of Wales Pier was named after Edward VII who, when Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone in 1892. The Prince of Wales Pier was opened in 1902. The pier had a stone outer end with shipping berths connecting to land by a cast iron section. In 1905 a railway track was laid along the pier to connect with the berths. These berths were capable of accommodating some of the largest ships then afloat as they had a depth of 40 feet even at low tide. Liners of Norddeutsche Lloyd and the Hamburg America Line called here for a short period 1903-1906. The building of the outer harbour caused complications, since the gap between the Southern Breakwater and the Admiralty Pier was narrowing, The currents through the newly formed western entrance made handling these large vessels difficult. On one occasion the Hamburg-Amerika line's Deutschland crashed into the pier. The cast iron section was boxed in with concrete when the Western Docks Hoverport was built in 1978. The harbour to the west of this section was reclaimed for the building of the new hoverport, which opened in 1978. In 1993 a catamaran berth was built alongside the pier as part of the Hoverport complex.
 
 
The Prince of Wales Pier with a large steamer.
The exposed nature of the pier before additional breakwaters were built is obvious.
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The Deutschland (3) of Hamburg America Line at the Prince of Wales Pier.
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The Amerika of Hamburg America Line at the Prince of Wales Pier.
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The Pennsylvania of Hamburg America Line at the Prince of Wales Pier.
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Entrance to the Prince of Wales Pier
 
 
Stern of SECR turbine and the Prince of Wales Pier
 
 
SECR turbine leaving Dover and passing the Prince of Wales Pier
 
 
Prince of Wales Pier at Dover
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Prince of Wales Pier at Dover
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Prince of Wales Pier at Dover
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Prince of Wales Pier at Dover
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Dover Southern Breakwater
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Dover Promenade Pier
 
The Promenade Pier was opened in Dover in May 1893. This was a typical seaside pleasure pier rather then a pier for shipping. Unfortunately a ship ran into it the following November, and a year later a 100 foot section was swept away in a storm (the Admiralty Breakwaters which would have protected it were not completed until 1909). The pier did not reopen until August 1895. In 1899 a pavilion opened. The pier was acquired by the Admiralty in 1913. After WW1, the pier was leased for use as a pleasure pier again, but by 1927 it had become dilapidated and was demolished.
 
 
Promenade Pier with pavilion in the early 1900s.
 
 
Promenade Pier, posted 1927.
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The Parade, Dover, showing the landward end of the Promenade Pier.
 
 
View towards the Castle from the Promenade Pier.
 
 
View from the Promenade Pier, showing the Burlington Hotel (also now lost).
 
 
View from the Promenade Pier, showing the Burlington Hotel
 
 
View from the Promenade Pier, showing the Dover promenade and site of later Eastern Docks
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dover Eastern Docks
 
 
Postcard of showing the two first car ferry berths at Dover Eastern Docks.
Note the submarine pens behind the berths. The dock area out to beyond these pens was subsequently reclaimed.
 
 
Dover Eastern Docks
Work is just starting on the reclamation of land adjacent to the first two berths.
The Prince of Wales Pier in the background retains its cast iron section.
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Dover Eastern Docks
Land has been reclaimed for vehicle marshalling, the Hoverport and a third ro-ro berth.
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Dover Eastern Docks
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Dover Eastern Docks
The original two berths, plus submarine pens
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Dover Eastern Docks
The original two berths, plus submarine pens
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Dover Eastern Docks - still just 3 ro-ro berths
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Dover Eastern Docks
4th ro-ro berth now added
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Dover Eastern Docks
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Dover Eastern Docks in 2006
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Dover Excursion Vessels
 
 
Southern Queen
 
Southern Queen operates harbour trips in Dover at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 in good weather during the summer (weekends only: April, May, September, October). For full details see the larger image of the the brochure.
 
Graham Thorne writes:- Southern Queen was built as the Heart's Content for Charles Cload. Charles Cload was a Ships Chandler in Plymouth who had dealings with the Mevagissey herring fleet. As a result, during the 1930s he ordered a series of wooden launches from legendary Cornish builder, Percy Mitchell of Porthmellon, near Mevagissey. They were the Sweet Content (1934), Heart's Content (1935), Good Intent (1937) and Content (1939). These big open launches of 45-50 feet in length, with Kelvin diesel engines, ran from Plymouth to Bovisand and Cawsand right up to the 1960s.

Heart's Content seems to be the only one still in public service. By 1977 she was with Ridalls on the Dart where she gained a raised wheelhouse and covered deck area. In 1991 she went to Saundersfoot as Caldey Queen and then to Tenby in 1996. She has been at Dover as Southern Queen since 2001.
 
 
Postcard of Southern Queen passing the end of the Prince of Wales Pier.
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Brochure for Southern Queen
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st May 2005
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2007
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Dover Tugs
 
DHB Dauntless
 
DHB Dauntless
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005
 
 
DHB Dauntless
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005
 
 
DHB Dauntless
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005






DHB Doughty
 
DHB Doughty
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005
 
 
DHB Doughty
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005
 
 
DHB Doughty passing Constellation of Celebrity Cruises
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005
 
 
DHB Doughty passing Saga Ruby of Saga Cruises
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005
 
 
DHB Doughty passing Saga Ruby of Saga Cruises
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005
 
 
DHB Doughty
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005
 
 
DHB Doughty
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th May 2005






Dover Fortifications

Dover Castle

Dover Castle in 2010
Photo: Ian Boyle, 12th June 2010
DOVER CASTLE - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 12th June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 12th June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 12th June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk




Dover Castle in 2011
Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle
DOVER CASTLE - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 3rd February 2011 - www.simplonpc.co.uk DOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk






Dover Castle Land Trains

Dover Castle land train in 1997
Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle
DOVER CASTLE - Photo: 1997 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk




Dover Castle land train in 2012
Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle
DOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.ukDOVER CASTLE - Photo: 2012 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk








Dover Modern Fortifications


Dover Admiralty Pier gun emplacement in 2011
This fortification was originally at the end of the pier.
When the pier was extended, the emplacement was left untouched, including the huge gun inside it, originally manoeuvred by steam

Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle
DOVER ADMIRALTY PIER - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk








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