Panorama of Coastguard Cottages at Broadlees Bottom, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

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John Latter on January 13, 2011

This is a panoramic view (see a larger size) of the eight red-bricked old coastguard cottages set at right-angles to the cliff-edge of the White Cliffs of Dover immediately above the Eastern Docks, the ferry terminal area of Dover Harbour on the south-eastern coast of England.

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 on the right-hand end once occupied by the "Chief Coastguard": click to see the close-up Victorian Coastguard Cottages, Broadlees Bottom above East Cliff photo.

To the right of the cottages, the ground rises to Langdon Cliffs (a chalk downland nature reserve owned by the National Trust) where the modern Dover Coastguard Station is located.

To the left, the ground drops away to the Jubilee Way bypass (2) and then rises again to the Eastern Heights which are occupied by the out-of-shot Dover Castle (12th Century Norman, built upon earlier Saxon, Roman, and Iron Age fortifications).

Beginning at the Whitfield Roundabout, the A2 Jubilee Way bypass subsequently emerges from the lowest point in Broadlees Bottom to sweep over the landward end of the Eastern Docks before curving back on itself to "touch down" at a roundabout (out-of-shot to the left) where it meet the A20 at the ferry terminal entrance.

On the skyline above the cottages are the two remaining masts of the Second World War ex-RAF Swingate Chain Home Radar Station.

The photo was taken 1900 yards away from near the lighthouse end of the Prince of Wales Pier at 11.22 am on Sunday, 9th of January, 2011, during the arrival of the P&O Ferries MS Spirit of Britain 49,000 ton super-ferry.

Former Coastguard rank structure (3):

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 (3):

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 A2 road (Great Britain):

The A2 is a major road in southern England, connecting London with the English Channel port of Dover in Kent. This route has always been of importance as a connection between the British capital of London and sea trade routes to Continental Europe. It was formerly known as the Dover Road.

The original A2 roughly followed the route of a Celtic ancient trackway which the Romans later paved and identified as Iter III on the Antonine Itinerary. The Anglo-Saxons named it Wæcelinga Stræt (Waecelinga Straet) which developed into the modern Watling Street. It was one of the most important Roman roads in Britain, since it linked London with Canterbury, and from there to three Channel ports: Richborough (Rutupiae); Dover (Dubris) and Lympne (Lemanis).

(3) Wikipedia entry for Her Majesty`s Coastguard

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 January 23, 2011

The whole of the two remaining masts of the Second World War ex-RAF Swingate Chain Home Radar Station are shown in a similar view:

World War II Swingate Chain Home Radar Station Masts from Dover Harbour

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 13, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/01/09 11:22:45
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 0.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash