Plum Pudding Hill from the Outer Bastion, Western Heights, Dover, Kent, UK

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John Latter on November 23, 2009

A Western Heights view of Plum Pudding Hill taken from near the Outer Bastion (1) and the Second World War pillbox (2) above what used to be the Buttercup Meadow end of Westbury Crescent and Westbury Road.

Folkestone Road (3) runs through the Maxton district from left to right across the bottom of the photo (Dover is to the right).

To the right of the allotments behind the small terrace with the orange roof (bottom centre) is Lascelles Road and then (most of) Malmains Road (3).

Above Malmains Road, Elms Vale Road (3) arcs around the far side side of Plum Pudding Hill. Just below the distant skyline, Whinless Down, with its flattened Round Barrows out of view to the right, looks down on Elms Vale Road.

Opposite the building with the orange roof are the first few houses of Maxton Road (3) before it disappears from view beneath the straw in the immediate foreground

The Dover War Memorial Project website states:

On 3 October 1943, three boys were injured by a bakelite grenade, which they had found on Plum Pudding Hill. Donald Smith was then 16; he sadly lost one hand, with the other being seriously injured, and there was damage to his eyes. He lived at 185 Folkestone Road. John Earl, from 48 Longfield Road, then 14, and Peter Bocutt, then 13, of 30 Longfield Road, were injured in their faces, arms, and bodies.

The WPA Film Library has some footage whose caption reads:

Motor powered truck drives up steep "Plum Pudding Hill" in a Dover park. Crowd gathered on hill to watch; houses below in BG (Background). 1920's.

The 1892 History book, "Landmarks in Ancient Dover, New Hampshire" by Mary Thompson, says:

Plum-Pudding Hill is said to be the high ground between Lexington and Arch streets, in Dover city.

I had to smile at the use of 'ancient' in the book title, but I do like the idea of some long-forgotten emigrant from this Dover looking at a hill in New England and saying, "This reminds me of home..."

(1) The Outer Bastion (an English Heritage site) is part of an extensive Napoleonic and Victorian defense system embedded into the top of the Western Heights. The western end of a pre-Napoleonic Earthwork abuts a flanking moat of the Outer Bastion, close to where this photo was taken from.

(2) The pillbox has Monument No. 933173 on English Heritage's Pastscape website.

(3) The Streets of Dover website has the following entries:

Elms Vale Road:

The name Elms has for long been attached to this thoroughfare and the valley leading up to Hougham, and some fine elm trees are still to be seen along the valley at Chilverton Elms. A name plate on the flint cottage at the Folkestone Road junction still designates it as Elms Road. At the other times it has been known as Elms Bottom. After the dissolution of the Priory of St. Martins some of the corn lands in Elms Bottom passed through various owners until they became attached to the Manor of the Elms. Until late in the 19th.century there were only two properties in the valley, a farmhouse at the corner of the Stebbing Down footpath and Mr Henry Adams dairy farm further up the valley.

Folkestone Road:

Dover does not abound with roads, which give no obvious indication of their direction - there is no Canterbury Road or Deal Road . As a main route Folkestone Road is not ancient although there is a track to the Elms valley. As the main outlet to Folkestone it was formed in 1762 under the Turnpike Acts. The toll house stood near the existing flint cottages at the junction with Elms Vale Road and for some years before it’s demolition in 1877 was a lollipop shop kept by George Rummery.

Malmains Road:

The Malmains were a well-known Kentish family whose name appears in the old records of many parishes around Dover and further afield. They possessed many manors in Kent including Waldershare, Alkham, Elvington and Lenacre Court Whitfield. The original Manor house at Waldershare some distance from the present mansion was known as Malmains. A member of the family came over with William the Conqueror and his descendent William de Malmains was buried in St. Radigund’s Abbey in 1224. Other owners of Lenacre Court included the Monins who gave their name to another road in the Maxton district.

Maxton Road:

Takes its name from the Manor of Maxton. In the 13th century the Lord of the Manor was a William Archer the chief of the 21 Dover Master Mariner's who provided the 21 ships for the Kings Service and worked the channel passage.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 16, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/11/09 11:37:42
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 31.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/10.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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