Clock Tower and Beach Panorama, Dover Regatta 2011, Dover Castle, Kent, UK

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John Latter on July 5, 2011

The western end of Dover Harbour's pebble-strewn beach on Sunday, 3rd of July, the second day of Dover Regatta 2011.

The photo was taken 1200 yards away from the Saluting Platform above Long Gun Magazine near the Victorian Officers New Barracks of Dover Castle at 10.52 am - a bit early to see much activity, and a day too late to see any of the traditional Chinese Dragon Boats!

Not a very good photo (the zoom lens bought from a charity shop is "so old it was made for black and white") but I hope any Dovorians who see it will agree the viewpoint is a "bit out of the ordinary".

Beneath its difficult-to-see Union Jack flag at top-left is the Clock Tower at the entrance to the Prince of Wales Pier (out-of-shot to the left). The clock itself is showing 6 o'clock - it only ever works for a few days at a time!

Behind the Victorian Clock Tower are boats and yachts in the Tidal Harbour with the Tug Haven on the far side (the bow of Dover Harbour Board's DHB David Church dredger, IMO 9112193, just making it into shot).

The single-storey building to the right of the Clock Tower was Dover's first Lifeboat Station, or Lifeboat House. Further to the right, on the other side of the Tidal Harbour, is Dover's current RNLI Lifeboat Station on Crosswall Quay (Royal National Lifeboat Institution). The distinctive orange-coloured Dover Lifeboat, the RNLB 17-09 City of London II, is moored against a floating pontoon below the station house. Beyond Crosswall Quay is the non-tidal Granville Dock (part of Dover Marina) with the A20 Limekiln Street dual carraigeway somewhere above it.

Sue’s Seafood Stall and Takeaway and the King Charles II Commemorative Walk are at the bottom of the ramp below the Clock Tower. Here, the unseen Union Street heads off across the Wellington Swing Bridge (out-of-shot to the right) and the Promenade begins to follow the beach all the way down the seafront to the Eastern Docks.

The road running alongside the promenade is sometimes marked Esplanade, or Waterloo Crescent at this end of the harbour, but its usually called Marine Parade (that's the postal address for Harbour House, anyway).

The building on the beach right-of-centre is the Beach Restaurant and Sea Sports Centre. To its right are two white marquees and various other bits and bobs to do with the regatta. Next to the Sea Sports Centre is the walled Art Deco-styled West Promenade Kiosk.

There are two sailing dinghies with blue and white sails in front of the sports centre partially obscured by a small silver helicopter (it may be white); below the promenade kiosk there's a black helicopter facing up to the first (see the Dover Regatta 2009 helicopter).

A group of swimmers wearing red and yellow bathing caps are in the sea at bottom-left and there are a number of people with sail-boards at the water's edge, others are just sun-bathing.

There's a chap wearing a blue hoodie walking alongside the nearest groyne at bottom-right and that's about all this picture has to say :)

The Clock Tower and Wellington Dock (along with its Fairbairn Crane, out-of-shot to the right) are Dover Listed Buildings. The listing text for the Clock Tower is appended below, that for Wellington Dock can be seen at Panorama of Wellington Dock at Sunrise, Dover Marina.

Click to see all Dover Panorama photos.

The Clock Tower and Old Lifeboat House are a Grade II Listed Building group.

The following extracts are © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence (PSI licence number C2010002016):

List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: CLOCK TOWER AND FORMER LIFEBOAT HOUSE

List Entry Number: 1393606

Location

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Dover

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Dover

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 16th of December, 2009

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 507157

Asset Groupings

This List entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List Entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The Clock Tower and former Lifeboat House at the Western Docks, Dover are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

The Clock Tower has special architectural interest as an unusual and distinguished design by an influential C19 (19th Century) English architect.

The former Lifeboat House has special historic interest as a relatively early example of this building type and as an evocative reminder of the altruism and charity which established the RNLI.

The buildings are two of the few remaining buildings in the Western Docks area which reflect the C19 development of this nationally important harbour.

The buildings have group value with the other designated assets within the Western Docks.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

DOVER

685/0/10034 Clock Tower and former Lifeboat House

16-DEC-09

II

Clock tower, 1876-7 by George Devey (1820-1886) and former Lifeboat House, 1866 with late 1870s and C20 (20th Century) alterations.

MATERIALS: Rough faced snecked ragstone (rag-stone) with dressed stone details. The Clock Tower has metal-framed casement windows, the Lifeboat House has timber framed casement windows.

PLAN: The Clock Tower has a square plan with four stages and an off-set hexagonal stair tower to the north west corner. The former Lifeboat House has a rectangular plan and is single storey.

EXTERIOR: Each face of the tower bears a circular clock-face beneath a projecting modillion cornice with parapet above. On the roof of the tower is a flag pole with a weather vane. Above the stair tower is a lead-covered hexagonal roof with ball finial, supported on shaped columns. Two doors to the first stage give access to the base of the stair tower and an electricity sub-station in the base of the main tower. The principal entrance to the building is on the second stage, accessed via a flight of stone steps with solid stone balusters. The door surround is of dressed stone with a four-centred head and stop-moulded jambs. Fenestration is irregular and sparse, generally comprising small rectangular openings surrounded by dressed stone. On the second stage of the east elevation is a canted oriel window with mullioned lights.

The former Lifeboat House is set at an angle to the north west of the Clocktower. The roof is pitched with gable end parapets to the east and west, a parapet to the north and eaves to the south. There is a central pitch-roofed half dormer to the north with a central louvred oculus and a pair of casement windows beneath, these are flanked by two casement windows. To the west the lifeboat doors have been replaced with a simple timber shop-front comprising a half-glazed door to the left and a shop window to the right. A continuous hoodmould runs around the timber lintel over the shop-front and continues along the length of the north elevation. Above the shop-front is a stone mullioned window with three six-light casements with an infilled oculus above the central casement. A hoodmould runs over the window. The west gable is topped with a ball finial.

INTERIOR: The Clock Tower contains a stone spiral staircase. The clock mechanism is contained in the fourth stage.

The Lifeboat House has a modern commercial interior that is not of special interest.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The buildings are linked by a short section of decorative cast iron railing.

HISTORY: The Lifeboat House was built in 1866 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which had taken over the lifeboat service from the Dover Humane and Shipwreck Institution in 1855. The building was modified in the late 1870s to accomodate a bigger lifeboat.

The Clock Tower was built in 1876-7 to the designs of George Devey (1820-1886). The work was commissioned by the Dover Harbour Board, and following the completion of the Clock Tower, Devey was further commissioned to design a marine bathing establishment and to lay-out some adjacent building land. The building work was undertaken by a local builder, W.J. Adcock. The Clock Tower is all that remains of Devey's work, the rest being destroyed by shelling in World War II.

The Lifeboat House was originally orientated with its doors to the north, and Devey located the Clock Tower to the east of the Lifeboat House and linked the two buildings to the north with an archway. Devey created both a stylistic as well as physical link between the two buildings, giving the appearance of a complex, rather than two isolated structures. In 1892, construction started on the new Prince of Wales Pier so the Clock Tower and Lifeboat House, in the way of the new pier approach, were both carefully taken down and re-erected a very short distance away, but on a different alignment with one another. The connecting archway was lost at this time.

George Devey was born in London in 1820. During the latter part of his formal education, between 1832 and 1835, he attended King`s College School (KCS), London, where he was taught drawing by John Sell Cotman. A skilled draughtsman, he was articled to, and later employed by, architect Thomas Little in Northumberland Street, London, who appreciated his talent for drawing. It was not until 1846 that Devey set up an architectural practice by himself. As well as designing new houses, much of Devey's work was remodelling older houses and designing estate buildings. It was through these more modest buildings that he revealed most clearly his understanding of, and sympathy for, vernacular building. Devey is now recognised as a pioneer of the interest in English vernacular architecture in the late C19. He enjoyed the patronage of a number of Liberal politicians, and it was Devey's friendship with Lord Granville (Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville), Liberal statesman and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, that brought him the commission for the Clock Tower at Dover Harbour.

SOURCES

J Allibone, George Devey: Architect 1820-1886, (1991) p61-63, 171

English Heritage, Dover Harbour, Notes on Historical and Engineering Interest, (2008)

Dover Terminal 2 Historic Environment Baseline Report, Maritime Archaeology Ltd (2008)

Reasons for Designation

The Clock Tower and former Lifeboat House at the Western Docks, Dover, are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

The Clock Tower has special architectural interest as an unusual and distinguished design by an influential English architect.

The former Lifeboat House has special historic interest as a relatively early example of this building type and as an evocative reminder of the altruism and charity which established the RNLI.

The buildings are two of the few remaining buildings in the Western Docks area which reflect the C19 development of this nationally important harbour.

The buildings have group value with other designated assets within the Western Docks.

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

End of Listed Building Entry

Source: English Heritage

(1) Grade II: buildings that are "nationally important and of special interest".

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 September 6, 2011

Also see:

Harbour House and the Tonkin Liu Artworks at Sunrise, Dover Seafront

Geology

A pebble is a clast of rock with a particle size of 4 to 64 millimetres based on the Krumbein phi scale of sedimentology. Pebbles are generally considered to be larger than granules (2 to 4 millimetres diameter) and smaller than cobbles (64 to 256 millimetres diameter). A rock made predominantly of pebbles is termed a conglomerate. Pebble tools are among the earliest known man-made artifacts, dating from the Palaeolithic period of human history.

A beach composed chiefly of surface pebbles is commonly termed a shingle beach. This type of beach has armoring characteristics with respect to wave erosion, as well as ecological niches which can provide habitat for animals and plants.

(Wikipedia entry for Pebble)

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Photo taken in Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover, Kent CT16 1HU, UK

Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 5, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/07/03 10:52:08
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/160)
    • Focal Length: 0.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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