Places Of Interest

Dover Museum And The Bronze Age Boat Gallery

Dover Museum and the Bronze Age Boat Gallery tell the story of the town and the port of Dover since its prehistoric times.

The archaeology gallery shows Dover’s history as a Roman port and fortress, and also includes finds from the nearby Buckland Anglo-Saxon cemetery, one of the largest and most important found in Britain.

The top floors covers Dover’s history from 1606 to present days and include six large scale models of the town through the centuries, Cinque Ports History, Victorian objects and displays on the First and Second World Wars.

The Bronze Age Boat Gallery houses the world oldest known sea-boat. The permanent exhibition has won two awards in Great Britain.  Found in Dover in 1992, the boat is a remarkable survival from the Bronze Age.  It is 3,550 years old, older than Tuntankhamon.  This unique traditional treasure was saved for posterity by the Dover Bronze Age Trust.  After 7 years of conservation, fundraising and research, the boat is now on display in the gallery. As well as the boat and a large collection of other treasures from the Bronze Age, the Gallery includes a full-scale Bronze Age home, a film show, and an interactive section: puzzles, games, video microscopes and a range of touch screen multimedia computers to bring the visitor back to the Bronze Age.

Crabble Corn Mill

The Crabble Corn Mill in Dover is one of Britain’s finest working mill. It is currently run by a handful of volunteers. The water mill on the Dour River is surrounded by wild gardens. The volunteers propose a visit of the mills (guided or not) from the 6th to the 1st floor.

The Mill

Britain’s finest working 19th century water-mill with its award winning tours explains the history of milling, and the story of Crabble Corn from King Henry III’s charter to the Monks of St. Radigund’s Abbey in 1227 to the present mill. It was built in 1812 to produce flour on an industrial scale for the British troops stationed on the Kent coast ready to repel the French forces under Emperor Napoleon.

Nowhere else can be seen such a complete system of ingenious machines dating back to the start of the Industrial Revolution, simply powered by river water.  Full-scale models portray life, work and tragedy in the mill. The visitors have the opportunity to see the machinery working as the waterwheel turns.  Millers give regular demonstrations producing the Mill’s organic stone-ground flour just as millers did in Georgian and Victorian times.

Other Places Of Interest (Historic Town Trail)

Market square (+ Museum & Bronze Age Gallery): Dover corporation kept its instruments of punishment here – stock, pillory and whipping post.

St Mary’s Church: Parish Church founded c 1100 AD, rebuilt in 1843 because of unsafe foundations due to the number of burials under the floor.

Roman Painted House: Exceptionally well-preserved town house, with extensive intact paintings and elaborate under-floor heating.

St Edmund’s Chapel: St Richard, Bishop of Chichester died here in 1253.  His internal organs were buried in a crypt under the chapel altar.

Dover Priory (Dover College): Founded in 1130 as a monastery. King Stephen allegedly died here in 1154.

Pencester Gardens:  Stephen de Pencester became constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in the 13th Century.

Maison Dieu Road: Victorian residential street. The steep stairs of Harold Passage lead directly up to Dover Castle.

Laureston Place:  Turnpike: This was the main road into Dover, used by stagecoaches travelling from Deal. A French invading army camped here in 1216.

Old St James’ Church: founded in Saxon Times, and used not only as a church but also by the Barons of the Cinque Ports for several official courts until 1851.

Moat Bulwark & East Cliff:  Remains of fortifications built in 1540 during the reign of Henry VIII.

Marine Parade:  The centre of the seafront promenade, fashionable during Victorian times.

Waterloo Crescent:  A row of elegant houses built between 1830 -1838. Before World War II they extended along the seafront.

Western Docks:  This area has seen a number of important and famous people leave and arrive the shores of England: Henry V returning from Agincourt in 1415, Charles II returning from Exile in 1660, Henry VII on his way to France in 1520.

Newbridge:  This area was developed as town houses for the gentry and Charles Dickens lived here temporarily.

Grand Shaft:  A unique 140 feet triple spiral staircase dug through the cliff between 1806-1809 to get troops from the Western Heights down to the Harbour very quickly.

Blériot Memorial: Marks the steep spot where on 25 July 1909, Louis Blériot landed his aircraft after making the first crossing of the Channel by aeroplane.

The Port

Dover is the busiest passenger port in the world. There are two leading activities: cross-channel and cruises. Sea France, P&O and Norfolk lines operate the cross-channel lines. There are 2 cruise terminals and 400 berths in the 3 marinas.

At the same time the number of staying trips in the entire White Cliffs Country (Dover + Deal + Sandwich) is 453,000, and the number of day visitors is 3.25 million.  This is far below the 15 million passengers arriving in the port of Dover each year.

The decrease in number of passengers during the last few years is due to the competition of Eurotunnel and low cost air companies.

Actually, this port is the main gateway to the United Kingdom. This is a chance for the town, but until now this potential has not been exploited.  People arriving at the port tend not to stay in Dover and prefer to continue their way to other places in England (such as Canterbury or London) or to the Continent.  The aim of the various Town Council is to work together with all the other appropriate bodies to attract visitors to stay and enjoy the benefits available.