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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dover Breakwater

The Dover Southern Breakwater was constructed at the beginning of the 20th Century, and with the Eastern Arm and Admiralty Pier, it forms an enclosed harbour. It was built using large granite blocks and it extends nearly three quarters of a mile in length and is about twenty feet wide. At the far East and Western ends, a large number of rooms provided accomodation for the hundreds of troops who manned the guns, unfortunately they are currently in a very dilapidated state, with no signs of future restoration. There are also casemates, which served as magazines for the guns, which still have shell hoists in place at the extreme ends. There are searchlight emplacements , which can be seen on the Breakwater's south face, these however are no longer accessible.

The Breakwater is currently owned by Dover Harbour Board, and used by the Dover Sea Angling Association.

The outside of the Breakwater, showing one of the searchights

Looking East from the middle

Looking towards the Eastern end

Entrance to the fortified end

Gun ports in the wall

Looking towards the Eastern end and South Foreland

A Lancaster Bomber comes over the Breakwater

The later concrete buildings

The original buildings

The forified Eastern end

Inside one of the rooms

Inside another

Another room, with old light still in place

Inside one of the other rooms

This room is used to store the bikes for cycling along the Breakwater

Old lamp post base, dated 1908

The middle of the Breakwater

Base of the lighthouse in the middle

Looking up to the lighthouse

Looking along the Western end

Looking back from the Western end

Looking back to Dover harbour


Anonymous said...

top stuff mate

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the other name for Dover southern Breakwater please?

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I cannot answer your question, but perhaps you or someone else can help me find out about a photo I have of my great grandfather who was part of the breeches buoy detachment when the breakwater was being built. In the photo my great granddad and 3 others are wearing sailors caps 4 are in full waterproofs and 2 are wearing cork life jackets. In front of the group is a written placard with the words breakwater life savers breeches buoy detachment , the remainder I can only make out is probably board. Any help please George Dean 1518 hrs. 14 4 2016.

Anonymous said...

My grandad was supposed to have laid the first brick of the breakwater, im also trying to find any pictures

Unknown said...

I've been in Dover since 1980.This should be opened up for visitors as it's an important part of Dovers history.

Anonymous said...

My great-grandfather came down from Northumberland when my grandad was still a little boy of four. He was an engineer and helped build the breakwater etc. My grandad followed in his footsteps and worked at the port, although I am not sure what he did, and later became Mayor of Dover during the war years.
On another point, I'm so pleased to see the clock tower and old Customs House are being preserved amongst all the Western Docks Regeneration. The new public access will be very enjoyable once finished I think. I do hope the Harbour Board will preserve the Admiralty Pier, Eastern Arm and the Breakwater which, along with the white Cliffs, Castle, Pharos and Drop Redoubt are iconic landmarks which give Dover a special place in England's history...and still more being discovered as time goes on!

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm aware it has always been called The Breakwater, along with The Eastern and Western Arms; Admiralty and Prince of Wales Piers also.

Unknown said...

I remember fishing the breakwater back in the 70s more so the 3 day festival.good days

Anonymous said...

I fished Dover breakwater with my father in the 70’s. I remember being told about the dangerous tides and “don’t fall in the drink!”. But is there anywhere or source I can locate how it was built?

Given the dangerous waters and currents it must have been risky for construction gangs to take out and lay granite blocks and concrete?! How was the sea bed levelled off? Did they send down men in diving bells??

Such a shame that a marvel of British civil engineering and military history can’t be preserved by English Heritage (whilst still allowing angling to happen in moderation) or otherwise.

Michael said...

I was brought up in Dover in the late 40s, and the Breakwater was always known as the “Detached Mole”. Hope this helps. Michael.

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Anonymous said...

It was built of concrete blocks and faced with granite blocks.

Anonymous said...

Yes please

Anonymous said...

I worked for the Harbour Board in the late 1970s and one of my roles was to accompany the fishermen to the Breakwater. We would board the boat from the Prince of Wales Pier. Happy Days.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know about this in Dover however my Great Grandfather was Coxwain of Littlestone Lifeboat and they wore Cork life jackets, so possible something to do with life saving,

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