The New International Encyclopædia/Dover (Kent)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

DO′VER. A Parliamentary and municipal borough of Kent, England, on the Strait of Dover, at the mouth of the Dour. 66 miles east-southeast of London (Map: England, H 5). It is the headquarters of the southeastern district of the British Army, and is not only a charmingly situated watering-place, but, being the nearest point of the English coast to France, 21 miles distant, is a seaport of importance. Among the noteworthy buildings in Dover, aside from its fortifications, are the two ancient churches of Saint Mary and Old Saint James; the Maison Dieu, founded in the thirteenth century as a pilgrims' hospital, but now used for municipal purposes as a part of the new town hall; and the remains of Saint Martin's Priory, incorporated as a part of Dover College. The fortifications are very extensive. On the chalk cliffs to the east of the town rises Dover Castle, founded by the Romans and fortified and enlarged by the Saxons and Normans. It contains the remains of a Roman pharos, and an old fortress church, a unique specimen of Roman-British architecture. To the north of the castle is Fort Burgoyne, a drop redoubt, the north centre bastion and citadel. On these heights are large barracks, the ruins of another pharos, and a circular church of the Knights Templar.

In 1891 it was decided to form an enormous harbor by building out the Admiralty Pier to form the western boundary, and erecting a new pier east of the castle as the eastern boundary. The harbor facilities include two large docks. The corporation owns its water-supply and owns and operates electric street railways. It maintains public baths, markets, and a technical school. Dover returns one member to Parliament. The United States is represented by a consular agent. No special trade is attached to the town, which transacts a miscellaneous maritime business with the French and Belgian ports in the import of woolen and silk goods, lace, feathers, skins, artificial flowers, leather goods, wine, metal ores, and timber and in the export of wearing apparel, cotton yarn and manufactures, machinery and mill work, silverplate and plated ware, books, etc. The total value of exports and imports in 1900 exceeded £11,111,800 ($55,559,000). Dover offers excellent harbor accommodation for every variety of shipping. Population, in 1901, 41,800. In Roman days Dover was known as Dubris; the Normans called it Dovore; the French, Douvres. Fortified and walled by William the Conqueror, during whose reign it was nearly burned down, noted as the place of King John's submission to the Pope, besieged by the French, held during the Civil War by the Parliamentarians, threatened by the first Napoleon, and long celebrated as the headquarters of the lord wardens of the Cinque Ports. Dover holds a distinguished place in English history. Consult Statham, History of Dover, with a bibliography (London, 1899).