Victorian Coastguard Cottages, Broadlees Bottom, White Cliffs of Dover, Kent, UK

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John Latter on December 25, 2010

This is a view of the eight ex-coastguard cottages set at right-angles to the cliff-edge of the White Cliffs of Dover immediately above the Eastern Arm Pier and Eastern Docks, the ferry terminal area of Dover Harbour.

To the right, the ground rises to Langdon Cliffs (a chalk downland nature reserve owned by the National Trust) where the modern Coastguard Station is located (photo not yet available).

To the left, the ground drops away to the Jubilee Way bypass in Broadlees Bottom, and then rises again to the Eastern Heights which is occupied by Dover Castle (12th Century Norman, built upon earlier Saxon, Roman, and Iron Age fortifications).

Behind the viewer, the cottages overlook the English Channel.

The terrace of coastguard cottages are considered to be late Victorian, "of brick construction under a high pitched slate tiled roof and accessed via an unadopted road" (1), with the one nearest the camera once occupied by the "Chief Coastguard".

Former Coastguard rank structure (2):

Chief Coastguard

Chief Officer (Chf Officer)

Chief Boatman (Chf btman / Chief Bn / Chief Boatn)

Commissioned Boatman (Comd Bn / Comd Btman)

Boatman (Boatn)

Permanent Extraman (Permanent Extraman)

Temporary Extraman (Tempo Y Exta)

Early Coastguard History (2):

In 1809 the Preventative Water Guard was established and can be regarded as the immediate ancestor of HM Coastguard. Its primary objective was to prevent smuggling, but it was also responsible for giving assistance to shipwrecks.

Each Water Guard station was issued with Manby`s Mortar which was invented by Captain George William Manby. The mortar fired a shot with a line attached from the shore to the wrecked ship and was used for many years.

In 1821 a committee of enquiry recommended that responsibility for the Preventative Water Guard be transferred to the Board of Customs. The Treasury agreed and in a Minute dated 15 January 1822, directed that the preventative services, which consisted of the Preventative Water Guard, cruisers, and Riding Officers should be placed under the authority of the Board of Customs and in future should be named the Coast Guard.

In 1829 the first Coast Guard instructions were published and dealt with discipline and directions for carrying out preventative duties.

(1) Property sales description at Globrix (2) Wikipedia entry for Her Majesty`s Coastguard

John Latter / Jorolat

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John Latter on December 25, 2010

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 25, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2010/05/12 12:23:58
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 26.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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