Lower 64 Steps, Cowgate Cemetery, Western Heights, Dover, Kent, England, UK

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Comments (2)

John Latter on November 22, 2010

The 64 Steps, a substantial structure in their own right, may not make a picture exciting to look at (particularly when it's raining, as it was when the above photo was taken), but their location is interesting enough. They also form part of the North Downs Way:

The North Downs Way National Trail offers walkers 153 miles of spectacular scenery, picturesque villages and glorious rolling countryside. But then you would expect nothing less from a route that passes through both the Surrey Hills and Kent Downs' Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). Short sections are open to horseriders and cyclists too.

At the top of the 64 Steps, or "Sixty-Four Steps", is a track leading to an entrance into the Drop Redoubt moats (1), part of an extensive Napoleonic and Victorian defence system embedded into the Western Heights. The 64 Steps stairway was built to provide access to these fortifications.

To the left is Pilot`s Meadow (now allotments) where in 1852 Charles Dickens is said to have laid "on his back in the sun, planning his work" (ie Bleak House).

On the right is the southern boundary wall of Cowgate Cemetery (now a nature reserve) the layout of which is attributed to Stephen Geary, the Victorian architect who designed London's Highgate Cemetery.

Nearby is the Court`s Folly, a 200 year-old miniature 'lost castle' hidden by undergrowth on the Western Heights cliffs.

Behind the viewer, the Lower Path leads down to Cowgate Lane, which seperates the eastern side of Cowgate Cemetery from the Gorely House Almshouses.

I made a video of Cowgate Cemetery in 2009.

(1) The Drop Redoubt is an English Heritage site which also contains the Bredenstone ruin (originally a Roman watchtower, or lighthouse, and a twin to the East Roman Pharos which still stands in the grounds of Dover Castle adjacent to the Saxon church of St Mary-in-Castro; Dover Castle is usually described as 12th Century Norman).

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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

John Latter on November 22, 2010

Also see the The 64 Steps from the Upper Path photo.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 10, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/12/09 10:54:06
    • Exposure: 0.025s (1/40)
    • Focal Length: 38.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.500
    • ISO Speed: ISO800
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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