Plum Pudding Hill from North Centre Bastion, Western Heights, Dover, Kent, UK

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John Latter on November 16, 2009

An Autumn 2009 view of Plum Pudding Hill taken from near the North Centre Bastion (1) on the hills almost directly above Belgrave Road.

The area in shadow on the left is part of the northern slopes of the Western Heights (1).

The road entering from the bottom centre of the photo is Westbury Crescent which only has houses on its left-hand side at this western end.

The 6 houses forming a "T" with the end house of Westbury Crescent are a relatively new development occupying what was once Buttercup Meadow.

To the right of Westbury Crescent, but at a lower level, the double row of houses belonging to Westbury Road disappear into the bottom right-hand corner.

There are three blocks of houses above the 'white house' on the left-hand side of Westbury Road: I used to live in the middle block, in the corner house nearest to the camera (77 Westbury Road).

To the right of Westbury Road is Longfield Road (2). At right-angles to Longfield Road are, from right to left, Church Road (2), Malmains Road (2), and Lascelles Road who all join Folkestone Road (parallel to Longfield Road, but not in view).

Elms Vale Road (2) arcs around behind Plum Pudding Hill on the centre right-hand edge of the photo; Whinless Down is above Elms Vale Road.

Click to see a view of Plum Pudding Hill from the Outer Bastion.

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) More specifically, the above photo was taken from the outer moat encircling the North-West Caponier, part of the Detached Bastion which is connected to the North Centre Bastion proper by the South Caponier. The North Centre Bastion is part of an extensive Napoleonic and Victorian defense system (an English Heritage site) embedded into the top of the Western Heights. The eastern end of a pre-Napoleonic Earthwork is close to where this photo was taken from.

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

Church Road:

At Maxton was so named when this area began to develop at the end of the last century and St. Martin’s Church was built to serve the new area. The name was chosen despite the fact that there then existed a Church Street a Church Court and a Church Place in the centre of the town.

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.

Longfield Road:

There appears to be no other reason for this name than there may in years gone by have been a meadow here under the hills, which was known as the Long Field. A little further on behind Maxton and Farthingloe the hill is known as Long Hill.

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.

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 11:55:33
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 50.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash