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River Dour Island, Pencester Gardens, Dover, Kent, United Kingdom (2)

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Comments (3)

John Latter on March 23, 2007

The River Dour Island on the north-eastern side of Dover's Pencester Gardens. Small boys often fish for brown trout from the bridge behind where this photo was taken.

Patience and a quiet day are usually needed to see other wildlife. Waterfowl such as ducks are more plentiful between here and the Bowling Green (see tags list)

John Latter on December 14, 2010

Standard Info for Pencester Gardens Click to see all photos of Pencester Gardens

Pencester Gardens are bordered to the north and north-east by the River Dour and to the south-west by a children's play area (including a popular bicycle/bike 'adventure training area' or "skate park"). To the south-east Dieu Stone Lane provides the boundary. To the north-west is Pencester Road itself which was laid out in 1860.

Pencester Gardens hosts Fairs and other events throughout the year when the pavilion is often used as a stage/bandstand.

A Timeline Pathway, in which the history of Dover is engraved in 100 flagstones, connects the pavilion to the other pathways at the centre of the park.

A Dover Town Council webpage (under 'History and Heritage') states:

"Pencester Gardens may never have been built if some of the proposed schemes for this area had come to fruition.

When Pencester Road was laid out in 1860, it was intended to build a street, to be called Neville Road, from Pencester Road to Eastbrook Place but this never happened. About 1880 the land was acquired with the intention of using it for a Dover station in connection with the Channel Tunnel, which was then being planned to run from St Margarets.

When that project failed it was suggested that it be used for building a new Town Hall but in the end facilities were improved at the Maison Dieu instead. Other plans included a recreation ground and a relief road to ease congestion in Biggin Street. In its later years the site was used as a timber yard.

In November 1922 the land was purchased by the Corporation and the new gardens were laid out. Pencester Gardens opened in 1924, as well as the usual lawns and flowerbed there as also a play area for children and a miniature golf course. The gardens have been a pleasant green space in the centre of the town since then, and have provided a venue for many fetes and funfairs.

In 2000 a pavilion for band concerts and other performances was built to commemorate the new Millennium."

Dover in World War Two: 1942 (1) is a ten minute British Ministry of Information film, released by the US Office of War Information, and narrated by the American journalist, Edward R. Murrow.

Towards the end, the video contains a short clip of Pencester Gardens in which a local resident (accompanied by her father) is interviewed.

Click to see a blurry still from the video showing the central section of Pencester Gardens.

(1) Original titles: Dover (1942) or Dover Front Line.

Pencester Gardens is the most central of Dover's major parks: Connaught Park is located on the upper (but terraced) slopes of the Eastern Heights, and the Zig Zags Ornamental Gardens are just below the Castle.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any red or blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

John Latter on December 14, 2010

The River Dour and the origin of "Dour"

Extracts from Brythonic Languages:

The Brythonic or Brittonic languages (Welsh: ieithoedd Brythonaidd/Prydeinig, Cornish: yethow Brythonek/Predennek, Breton: yezhoù Predenek) form one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic language family, the other being Goidelic.

The Brythonic languages derive from the British language, spoken throughout Britain south of the Firth of Forth during the Iron Age and Roman period.

The Brythonic branch is also referred to as P-Celtic (like Gaulish).

The modern Brythonic languages are generally considered to all derive from a common ancestral language termed Brittonic, British, Common Brythonic, Old Brythonic or Proto-Brythonic, which is thought to have developed from Proto-Celtic or early Insular Celtic by the 6th century BC.

The number of Celtic river names in England generally increases from east to west, a map showing these being given by Jackson ("Language and history in early Britain: a chronological survey of the Brittonic languages, 1st to 12th Century AD"). These names include ones such as Avon, Chew, Frome, Axe, Brue and Exe.

Also river names containing the roots "der-/dar-/dur- " and " -went" E.G. "Derwent, Darwen, Dart, Deer, Adur, Dour, Darent, Went". The Celtic origins seem likely, the meanings more controvertial: Some associate "Der-/Dar-" with the Brythonic word for "OAK(S)" ("derv/dervenn" in Breton, "derow/derowenn" in Cornish, "derw/derwen" in Welsh. Possible but there would have been a lot of oaks around; maybe there was.

As to "-went" some claim this to be a word for "valley" or associated with the Celtic word "nant" for river (like in Welsh). This seems a very unlikely derivation, as there is no known initial consonantal changes from "n-" to "w-". More likely is that the "Der-/Dar-/Dur-" means "water" (c.f. "Dour" in Breton, dowr in Cornish, Dŵr in Welsh) and "-(g)wen(n)(t)" means white/pure.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 23, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/03/22 09:52:31
    • Exposure: 0.010s (1/100)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash