Harbour View Cafe and Prince of Wales Pier Lighthouse, Dover, Kent, UK

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Comments (2)

John Latter on July 12, 2010

The current Lighthouse Cafe looks more like a bomb-shelter than a place of refreshment when compared to the elaborate two-storey structure (adorned with its own ship's figurehead) that once stood here, but it is still an amenity very much appreciated by those who use the pier. Unfortunately, it doesn't look as if the café itself will open for the 2010 summer season (but check later comments for any updates) although the separate toilet facilities are still in use.

The proper name for the lighthouse behind the cafe is the "Prince of Wales Pier Light" (see the Prince of Wales Pier Lighthouse from the Admiralty Pier photo). It was built in 1902 and is a 46 feet high stone tower with a very quick flashing green light, ie 100+ flashes per minute. Operator: Dover Harbour Board. (1)

The height of the focal plane is given as 46 feet, but as this is the same height as the tower it is more likely to be c. 43 feet. ARLHS ENG-214; Admiralty A0902; NGA 1268 (1) (2)

Halfway down on the right is the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks. This is where Dover's Cruise Terminal is located and the walkways around the Prince of Wales Pier cafe and lighthouse are where I've taken the majority of my cruise ship photos from.

The seaward end of the Admiralty Pier is indicated by the top of the Admiralty Pier Light above the cafe roof. Interestingly, the weather vanes of the two lighthouses are pointing in completely opposite directions!.

The Prince of Wales Pier divides Dover Harbour into the smaller Inner Harbour (ex-Commercial Harbour) to the right and the larger Outer Harbour (ex-Admiralty Harbour) out-of-shot to the left. Part of the Western Entrance (and English Channel beyond) is visible on the left of the photo.

This Dover Harbour photo was taken at 7.28 pm on Thursday, 27th of May, 2010.

Historical notes:

An article in the Illustrated London News of July 22,1893 described 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. (3)


The Prince of Wales Pier was named after Edward VII who, when Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone in 1892. The Prince of Wales Pier was opened in 1902. The pier had a stone outer end with shipping berths connecting to land by a cast iron section. In 1905 a railway track was laid along the pier to connect with the berths. These berths were capable of accommodating some of the largest ships then afloat as they had a depth of 40 feet even at low tide. Liners of Norddeutscher Lloyd and the Hamburg America Line called here for a short period 1903-1906. (4)

Click to see the Dover Breakwater West End Light and all Lighthouse photos.

(1) Lighthouse Depot entry for Prince of Wales Pier Light (2) Lighthouses of Southeastern England (3) The new Harbour works at Dover (4) Dover Prince of Wales Pier

John Latter / Jorolat

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 12, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2010/05/27 19:28:32
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/320)
    • Focal Length: 55.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/10.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash