Statue of Charles Stewart Rolls, Marine Parade, Dover Harbour, Kent, England

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Statue of Charles Stewart Rolls (co-founder of Rolls Royce motor cars) commemorating his non-stop flight across the English Channel and back 2nd June 1910. Located Dover seafront (UK) facing the beach and harbour. Nearby statues and memorials: Captain Matthew Webb, Merchant Navy War Memorial, Channel Dash War Memorial. Background: Gateway Flats. Skyline: Roman Pharos and Saxon church of Dover Castle.

Show more
Show less
Save Cancel Want to use bold, italic, links?

Comments (5)

John Latter on October 30, 2012

The plaque inscription reads:





Charles Stewart Rolls and Frank Hedges Butler, along with Frank's daughter, Vera, were founder members of the Aero Club of the United Kingdom. On behalf of the Club, Alexander Duckham presented the Louis Bleriot Memorial after Bleriot's first cross-channel flight on Sunday, 25th July, 1909. The Bleriot memorial is located in Northfall Meadow behind Dover Castle.

Click to see a 2007 close-up of the Charles Stewart Rolls statue.

Structures of Dover Castle visible on the skyline include: the Saxon and Norman composite tower of the Colton Gateway (alt. Colton Gate, Colton Tower), the Pharos (a Roman watchtower, or lighthouse), the Saxon church of St Mary-in-Castro, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Fire Beacon, the Victorian-built Officers New Barracks (alt. Victorian Officers Mess), and part of the Western Outer Curtain Wall in the vicinity of Canons Gateway (alt. Canons Gate)

The Indian Mutiny Rifles Monument, Dunkirk War Memorial, Ray Smith's "On the Crest of a Wave" and Tonkin Liu "Lifting Wave, Resting Wave, and Lighting Wave" artworks are also located on, or near, the seafront.

A Dover Aviation, History, Seafront, and Statue photo.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

John Latter on October 30, 2012

Charles Rolls

Charles Stewart Rolls (27 August 1877 – 12 July 1910) was a motoring and aviation pioneer. Together with Frederick Henry Royce he co-founded the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing firm. He was the first Briton to be killed in a flying accident, when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke off during a flying display near Bournemouth, England. He was aged 32.

Early Career

Rolls graduated from Cambridge University - where he won a Half Blue at cycling - in 1898, and began working on the steam yacht Santa Maria followed by a position at the London and North Western Railway in Crewe. However, his talents lay more in salesmanship and motoring pioneering than practical engineering; in January 1903, with the help of GBP 6,600 provided by his father, he started one of Britain's first car dealerships, C.S.Rolls & Co. based in Fulham, to import and sell French Peugeot and Belgian Minerva vehicles.

Rolls was a tall man, standing at about 1.95 m (6 feet 5 inches).

Partnership with Royce

Rolls was introduced to Frederick Henry Royce by a friend at the Automobile Club, Henry Edmunds, who was also a director of Royce Ltd. Edmunds showed him Royce's car and arranged the historic meeting between Rolls and Royce at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on 4 May 1904. In spite of his preference for three or four cylinder cars, Rolls was impressed with the two-cylinder Royce 10 and in a subsequent agreement of 23 December 1904 agreed to take all the cars Royce could make. These would be of two, three, four and six cylinders and would be badged as Rolls-Royces.

The first Rolls-Royce car, the Rolls-Royce 10 hp, was unveiled at the Paris Salon in December 1904, although in the early advertising it was the name of Rolls that was emphasised over that of Royce. In 1906 Rolls and Royce formalised their partnership by creating Rolls-Royce Limited, with Rolls appointed Technical Managing Director on a salary of GBP 750 per annum plus 4% of the profits in excess of GBP 10,000. Rolls provided the financial backing and business acumen to complement Royce's technical expertise. In 1907 Rolls-Royce Limited bought out C.S. Rolls & Co.

Rolls put much effort into publicising the quietness and smoothness of the Rolls-Royce, and at the end of 1906 travelled to the USA to promote the new cars. The company was winning awards for the quality and reliability of its cars by 1907. But by 1909 Rolls' interest in the business was waning, and at the end of the year he resigned as Technical Managing Director and became a non-executive director.

Pioneer Aviator

Rolls was also a pioneer aviator and initially, balloonist, making over 170 balloon ascents. He was a founding member of the Royal Aero Club in 1903 and was the second person in Britain to be licensed to fly by it. In 1903 he also won the Gordon Bennett Gold Medal for the longest single flight time.

By 1907 Rolls' interest turned increasingly to flying, and he tried unsuccessfully to persuade Royce to design an aero engine. In 1909 he bought one of six Wright Flyer aircraft built by Short Brothers under licence from the Wright Brothers, and made more than 200 flights. On 2 June 1910, he became the first man to make a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel by plane, taking 95 minutes – faster than Blériot. For this feat, which included the first East-bound aerial crossing of the English Channel, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club. There is a statue to commemorate the flight in Monmouth and another in Dover.


On 12 July 1910, at the age of 32, Rolls was killed in an air crash at Hengistbury Airfield Bournemouth when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke off during a flying display. He was the first Briton to be killed in an aeronautical accident with a powered aircraft, and the eleventh internationally. A statue in his memory, in which he is seen holding a biplane model, was erected in Agincourt Square, Monmouth. A further memorial to him is situated in the bottom playing field of St Peter's School, which was built on the site of Hengistbury Airfield.

His grave lies at the Monmouthshire church of Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, where many of the Rolls family lie buried in various family tombs. His grave is just below Llangattock Manor and bears the inscription:

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God

Source: Wikipedia (Charles Rolls)

lizab on November 10, 2012

Excellent photo, i like!!


Sign up to comment. Sign in if you already did it.

Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 30, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: Canon EOS 600D
    • Taken on 2012/10/14 15:29:42
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 18.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash