Nesting Mute Swan, Kearsney Abbey, Dover, Kent, England, United Kingdom

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (1)

John Latter on May 5, 2007

A nesting pen mute swan (1) on one of the islands formed by the River Dour between the boating lake and the far eastern end of Kearsney Abbey's parkland.

This is a beautiful area of the Abbey that visitors often miss and is officially* only accessible by a footpath at the northern end (ie same side as the billiard room/cafe) of the boating lake.

*Sometimes stepping stones formed of rocks and/or tree stumps magically appear across the River Dour to allow access from the southern side.

Extracts from the plaque inside the Abbey grounds

Kearsney Abbey, on the opposite side of the Alkham Road to the Manor House, was built in 1820-22 by John Minet Fector, son of Peter. It incorporated many remnants of medieval Dover, such as parts of the town walls and churches, which John had collected during redevelopment of the town. Because of its mock medieval appearance the house and grounds were given the title Kearsney Abbey even though there had never actually been such an abbey.

...During the Second World War (1939-45) the house was commandeered as an army headquarters after which the house and grounds were purchased by Dover District Council as a public park.

...A phased programme of demolition began in 1959 and sections disappeared until only the west wing containing the billiard room (now the cafe) remained.

More information, including historical details from the Norman Conquest onwards, can be found here.

From the wikipedia entry for Kearsney Village:

Kearsney is a village in Kent, although at one time it would have been called hamlet due to there being no church in the village. The name is taken from an old Saxon name for a place where watercress grows. Kearsney is situated between the parishes of River and Ewell. Being an administrative part of Dover borough it was part of the parish of River.

The River Dour flows through Kearsney from west to east to form the central lake.

Also see Connaught Park and Pencester Gardens.

(1) "Mute swans rarely nest in colonies. Nest sites are selected and breeding begins in March or early April. These swans either build a new nest or use a previously constructed mound, such as a muskrat house. The nest is large, made of aquatic vegetation, and lined with feathers and down. It is built well above the normal water level in swampy places near a pond or lake. It is possible for clutches of 5 to 12 to occur, but 5 to 7 is most common. The eggs are pale gray to pale blue-green. Incubation lasts 36 to 38 days. The chicks are brownish gray (gradually turning white within the next 12 months) and only remain in the nest for one day. The male may often take the first-hatched cygnet to the water while the female continues to incubate the remaining eggs. They are able to fly in about 60 days. Chicks can ride on the backs of their parents or under their wings. By the following breeding season the parents drive the young away."

Sign up to comment. Sign in if you already did it.

Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 2, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/05/01 13:48:39
    • Exposure: 0.013s (1/80)
    • Focal Length: 17.40mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • Flash fired

Groups