Indian Mutiny War Memorial, Charles Dickens, Roman Empire, Dover, Kent, UK

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John Latter on April 7, 2009

In the left foreground stands Dover's War Memorial erected shortly after the Indian Mutiny (alt. Indian Rebellion, also Sepoy Mutiny).

On the north face, the main inscription reads:



The other sides of the memorial are inscribed:

ROHILCUND (alt. Rohilkhand, Rohilkhund) (West) DELHI - CELER ET AUDAX ('Swift and Bold') (South) OUDE (alt. Oudh) (East)

The Rifle Brigade Memorial webpage shows a postcard of how the memorial looked in 1912.

From Wikipedia:

The King's Royal Rifle Corps was a British Army infantry formation, originally raised in colonial North America as the Royal Americans, and recruited from American colonists. Later known as the 60th Rifles, the regiment served for more than 200 years throughout the British Empire. In 1956 the regiment became part of the Royal Green Jackets.

On the left of the above photograph is an end view of Camden Crescent where Charles Dickens stayed for three months in 1852. It was here that he continued to write "Bleak House" (which he had begun in Tavistock House in London). A Dover - Lock and Key of the Kingdom webpage states:

He is said to have frequented the Pilot Field, the high ground behind Snargate Street, lying on his back in the sun, planning his work.

Pilot Field is more properly known as "Pilot's Meadow" (see Charles Dickens and Pilot's Meadow, Adrian Street photo) and has certainly changed since Victorian times as it is now a collection of allotments at the top of Adrian Street, close to Cowgate Cemetery.

Also, the western end of Pilot's Meadow is literally only yards from Dover's 'Lost Castle' of the Court's Folly, which today is completetly hidden by undergrowth on the cliffs of the Western Heights.

Since putting photos and a video slideshow of the Court's Folly (youtube, google) on the internet in June, 2007, probably more people outside of Dover have heard of this miniature castle than those who live in it. In 1852 the Court's Folly would still have been both visible and accessible and I quite like the idea of having played as a child where Charles Dickens must surely have walked as a man.

The Waiting Miner photo shows there are only four buildings remaining of Camden Crescent (the rest were probably destroyed during World War II). Charles Dickens' stayed at No. 10 Camden Crescent (see The Letters of Charles Dickens), but unfortunately this was at the end, or near it, of the houses that were demolished (the 'far end' can be seen in the Rifle Brigade Memorial webpage).

As an aside, I lived at 10 Queen Street (where the rocking horse and armchair photos were taken) until I was 3. It used to be a pub called 'The Ordnance Arms' (at 4 Queen Street, prior to renumbering) and in 2007 I looked at a 1953 edition of Kelly's Directory and other documents to find out, amonst other things, the full name of the lodger we had then who I had only known as Charlie: it was another 'Charles Dickens'! - OK, OK, I know that's got nothing to do with anything, but after all, it is my webpage - and I have a history, too! :)

Right, back to the photo at the top of this page:

Charles Dickens visited Dover on a number of occasions and the town featured in some of his works. For example, in the 'Comment' to the The Market Square and Castle Street photo, it says:

To the left of the covered fountain, the 'Dickens Corner' tea-rooms and cafe are so named in order to continue the tradition begun by the bakers Igglesden and Graves who used to own the premises. They placed a plaque on the wall of the building to record that this is where "the Charles Dickens character David Copperfield is reputed to have sat on the steps while searching for the home of his Aunt Betsy Trotwood." [From Dover Past and Present].

At the end of Camden Crescent stands the now-derelict 'skyscraper' (by Dover standards, anyway) of Burlington House which is part of the proposed Dover Town Investment Zone (DTIZ)

Next to Burlington House, about a third of its size and pretty much in the centre of the image, is Dover's County Hotel on Townwall Street:

We have 79 fully serviced, comfortable and tastefully decorated bedrooms. You can also enjoy our indoor heated swimming pool which is the perfect place to relax, and the Health Club (opening soon) for those who wish to keep in trim.

That's for rich people only, of course.

In the mid-distance, in line with the top of the County Hotel the rear of some of the houses in Victoria Park can be seen. A tourist information plaque in the Market Square reads:

Looking up Castle Street, you can see Victoria Park mansions below the Castle. This crescent of fine Victorian town-houses was built in 1834 as residences for "Military, Naval and Other Gentlemen". Castle Street itself was only begun in 1830 and not opened up into the Market Square until 1837.

Behind the 'leafless tree', and extending to the far right of the photo, is an end view of the Gateway Flats in front of which (out of shot on Marine parade) are statues of Charles Stewart Rolls (commemorating his non-stop flight across the English Channel and back on June 2nd, 1910) and Captain Matthew Webb (the first recorded person to swim the English Channel on August 25th, 1875). Photos of other Dover statues can be viewed by clicking on the statue tag.

The central Keep of Dover Castle dominates the skyline between Burlington House and the 'leafless tree'. Below the Keep the massive walls of the Inner Bailey disappear on the left behind the collection of towers that form Constable's Gate (alt. Constable's Gate or Gateway).

On the other side of the 'leafless tree', halfway to the right-hand edge of the photo, is the single tower of Colton Gate:

A Norman tower built on a Saxon or even earlier base. The entrance though which Romans, Saxons and probably their Iron Age predecessors once entered their respective fortifications.

On the extreme right of the skyline are a tower, a red roof, and a slightly taller tower. The red roof and taller tower are the Saxon church of St Mary-in-Castro:

The church of St Mary-in-Castro is a very curious building. The foundations under the actual tower, for example, are continuous, with the walls of the transepts and chancel being built onto the tower, rather than having been bonded in. This indicates the original tower was perhaps a donjon (an earlier word for keep) with solid walls.

The lines of the whole building, as Canon Puckle noted, "were so curiously set out for working, that there is not a true right angle among them; no two walls are perfectly parallel with one another. Also the two noble arches of the nave and chancel... will not centre together; and neither member can be made to range evenly co-ordinate with the rest".

The shorter of the two towers is the East Roman Pharos (see all Pharos photos):

[The Pharos is a] Roman lighthouse, one of a pair constructed during the reign of Emperor Claudius in AD 46 on the headland flanking either side of the major Roman port of Dubris (the remains of the other are known as the Bredenstone, located in the Drop Redoubt on the Western Heights). The lighthouse survives within Dover Castle and comprises an octagonal stepped tower approximately 19 metres and four storeys high. The fourth storey was reconstructed between 1415 and 1437 when the lighthouse had been adapted for use as a belfry to the church of St Mary-Sub-Castro [St Mary-in-Castro].

NB All photos of the Keep and other parts of Dover Castle are also appended with historical info.

The photo was taken on Sunday, 22nd of March, 2009, at 9.48 am.

This is the Images of Dover website.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 29, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/03/22 21:48:38
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 38.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash