Prince of Wales Pier from the Lighthouse, Dover, Kent, United Kingdom

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Comments (3)

John Latter on May 17, 2007

This is the first in a sequence of three photos of the Prince of Wales (POW) Pier all of which look back towards Dover Beach (other pics are available via the "Prince of Wales" tag on the right).

The Prince of Wales Pier is over 500 yards long and the above photo was taken near the seaward end of the pier, just in front of the cafe and lighthouse, and it is a zoomed shot: the large white buildings on the right, for example, look larger/nearer in this photo than they do in the third photo in the sequence which was taken 250 yards nearer the beach.

The 'road surface' of the pier above appears to end in front of some small light-brown structures (with windows) towards the left of the photo.

These are the 'Porthole Shelters' (second photo in the sequence) which mark the spot where the pier does a short z-turn to the right before continuing in a straight line to the shore. The third photo was taken on the far side of these shelters.

On the skyline (or just below), right of center and also a quarter of the way in from the lefthand side), are two small brown/grey areas of brickwork from the Drop Redoubt - one part of the Napoleonic defenses embedded into the Western Heights and interconnected by over 4 miles of dry moats.

At the bottom of the cliffs various pastel-coloured buildings of Snargate Street can be seen. Left of center is a reddish-brown building with lots of 'sticks' in front of it. These are the masts of yachts moored in Wellington Dock.

On the lefthand side of the pier the overhead walkway and gantry of the ex-hoverport can be seen.

Standard Info

1) Background

An article in the Illustrated London News of July 22,1893, titled, "The new Harbour works at Dover", describes the proposals for constructing the Prince of Wales Pier, extending the Admiralty Pier, and 'moving' the Granville Clock Tower:

"The scheme of the Dover Harbour Board, for the accommodation of commercial shipping east of the Admiralty Pier, is being carried into execution by Messrs. Coode, Son, and Matthews, engineers, successors to the late Sir John Coode, by whom the works were designed. There will be a new pier, starting from an open iron viaduct. 1260 ft. long, forming an agreeable marine promenade, which will be approached from the esplanade near the Granville Clock-tower. This involves the removal and rebuilding of the clock-tower. The solid pier, at the end of the iron viaduct, will be of concrete blocks faced with granite, equal in height to the Admiralty Pier, and 1500 ft. in length; its direction at first will be south-easterly, but its outer portion will curve to the south-south-west, approaching the end of the Admiralty Pier, to which an extension of 580 ft. will be added."

From "The History of Dover Harbour" by Alec Hasenson (also the source for Dover Port):

"The works marking the beginning of the Harbour Board's new east pier were given a royal inauguration on Thursday, July 20th, 1893, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) laying the first stone of the intended pier in high wind and driving rain. the start of the ceremony two large sealed bottles containing some newspapers and various coins of the realm were placed in the foundations of the approach road...

...That done, an ornate silver trowel was handed to the Prince who solemnly adjusted the foundation bed, after which the stone itself, consisting of Cornish granite, was placed on top. Two or three taps with an ivory mallet and the stone was declared well and truly laid. The east pier now became known as the Prince of Wales Pier."

"The first steamer berthed alongside the Prince of Wales Pier in July, 1902. Others followed at irregular intervals, but not until 1904 was the pier ready to play its full part in Dover in providing for ocean liners and their passengers."

An area between the Prince of Wales Pier and the Admiralty Pier has subsequently been reclaimed, first for the use of cross-channel hovercraft, and then for the Seacat catamaran (Seacat Photo 1, Seacat Photo 2).

Click to see a 360-degree rotating panorama view from the Prince of Wales Pier located by the lighthouse (provided by the BBC).

2) Lighthouse Info (from Lighthouse Depot Online)

Tower Height: 46 Height of Focal Plane: 46 Characteristic and Range: Very quick flashing green. Description of Tower: White conical tower. This light is operational Date Established: 1902 Date Present Tower Built: 1902 Current Use: Active aid to navigation. Open To Public? Grounds only.

Lighthouse Photo

3) Fishing

From World Sea Fishing (abridged):

"This pier produces throughout the full flood and ebb tide, though many anglers prefer to fish from high water down to low. The inshore end is favoured in rougher weather and coloured water. Towards the café anglers aim their casts towards the breakwater for the best results, with the Seacat gate mark good for the pollack and flounders.

A good tip when fishing here is to vary your casts and try and locate the deeper gullies sucked out by the dredger as these tend to hold the bulk of the bottom fish.

Although a safe venue in rough seas and high winds the pier can be an uncomfortable place to be."

Dover Sea Angling Association's Prince of Wales Pier Discussion Forum.

4) Other Links

The Dover - Port, Piers and Shipping webpage

"This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the port of Dover, its piers and ships."

"The Prince of Wales Pier was opened in 1902. This had a stone outer end connecting to land by a cast iron section. Liners of Norddeutsche Lloyd and the Hamburg America Line called here for a short period. This was before the completion of the Admiralty Breakwaters and the pier proved to be too exposed for the large liners in bad weather. The cast iron section was boxed in with concrete when the Western Docks Hoverport was built in 1978."

Hoverline International

Photos of the 'Prince of Wales' hovercraft from The Hovercraft Museum

John Latter on October 27, 2009

The light blue building nestled at the foot of the Western Heights cliffs near the centre of the photo is the Masonic Hall, also featured in the Snargate Street from the Seafront Clock Tower photo.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 17, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/05/15 06:22:40
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 17.40mm
    • F/Stop: f/9.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash