Monday, 12 December 2011

Constable's Gate, Entrance to Lock and Key of the Kingdom, Dover Castle, Kent, UK

The classic view of Constable's Gate, today's pedestrian entrance to Dover Castle and what Matthew Paris (1), a medieval Benedictine monk and English chronicler, once famously described as the "Lock and Key to the Kingdom of England":

Constable's Tower built by John de Fiennes under William the Conqueror. Rebuilt as Constable's Gateway by Henry III after 1216 siege. Now Deputy Constable of Dover Castle residence. English Heritage Listed Building.
(Click this Constable's Gate of Dover Castle text link to see the largest size)

The approach to the drawbridge doorway on the Western Outer Curtain Wall of this 12th century Norman castle is via Constable's Road, a junction on Castle Hill Road above Connaught Park and the Zig-Zags Park (both Victorian).

The entrance for vehicular traffic lies further south at Canons Gate, or Canons Gateway.

Constable's Tower was built by John de Fiennes (John de Fienes) under William the Conqueror (2) and for this reason was once known as Fiennes' Tower.

In the 1216 Great Siege of Dover Castle during the First Barons' War against King John (3), the Dauphin Prince Louis, later Louis VIII of France (4), son and heir-apparent of Philip Augustus (one of the most successful medieval French monarchs), unsuccessfully besieged Dover Castle.

The importance of Dover Castle to the Dauphin's campaign is reflected in this 1784 account (5):

Friday, 9 December 2011

Netherlands 918 Combat Boat 90 Fast Assault Craft Stern, Dover, Kent, UK

A Dutch Combat Boat 90, pennant number 918, berthed against Crosswall Quay in the Tidal Harbour of Dover Marina:

CB90, pennant number 918: modified Strb 90 H built by Dokstavarvet Shipyard in Sweden. On 6 month trial with Royal Netherlands Navy, Royal Navy has one. Crosswall Quay (Lifeboat Station), Dover Marina. Royal Marines.
(Click this Combat Boat 90 Stern text link to see the largest size)

Soon after the shot was taken, two Royal Marines (1) arrived and were taken onboard by a member of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps (2).

The Dutch boat can carry 18 amphibious troops and has rails fitted on the stern deck to hold a vehicle.

This Dover Harbour photo was taken during a cycle ride (3) at 2.20 pm on Thursday, 3rd of February, 2011, from in front of Dover Lifeboat Station (home to the Dover Lifeboat, RNLB City of London II).

The caption to the first photo of the vessel, Bow view of Netherlands 918 Combat Boat 90 Fast Assault Craft in Dover Harbour, has a different video and secondary photo to those below.

In 2010, Sweden's Dokstavarvet Shipyard successfully modified 2 Combat Boat 90's to be lifted into davits of LPD's ("landing platform dock") of the Royal Netherlands Navy (4) and the UK's Royal Navy (5).

During trials scheduled to last 6 months, the two boats and a full Swedish boat squadron were embarked on, and deployed from, a Dutch Navy LPD as a fully integrated element of the amphibious forces (6) aboard.

On the 9th of May, 2011, the Royal Navy subsequently announced (7):

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

MS Maasdam Cruise Ship after Sunrise, Western Entrance, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

A view of the MS Maasdam in early morning sunlight as it begins reversing towards CT1 (Cruise Terminal 1) of the Admiralty Pier in the Western Docks of Dover Harbour:

MS Maasdam arriving from Copenhagen (Denmark). Going on transatlantic cruise to Boston, USA. Holland America Line (HAL). Call sign PFRO, IMO 8919257, MMSI 244958000. Also DHB Dauntless bollard-pull tug.
(Click this MS Maasdam Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)

The bow of the Maasdam is pointing towards the open waters of the Straits of Dover and the English Channel through the harbour's Western Entrance. This 245 yard-wide gateway into the Port of Dover is bounded by the Admiralty Pier, behind and to the right of the ship, and the out-of-shot Southern Breakwater further to the left. Also on the right is the bow of the Norwegian Sun cruise ship that berthed alongside Cruise Terminal 2 (CT2) just a few minutes earlier.

The DHB Dauntless tug belongs to Dover Harboard Board of Harbour House.

This post-sunrise photo of the Maasdam was taken at 6.33 am on Tuesday, 3rd of August, 2010, from the lighthouse and Harbour View cafe end of the Prince of Wales Pier while on a morning cycle ride (1) (see all lighthouse photos).

The Maasdam passenger ship left Boston (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA) on a transatlantic cruise that began on Saturday, July 17. Before arriving in Dover Harbour the ship called at the following ports along the way:

St Pierre (Territorial Collectivity of St Pierre and Miquelon, France), St. Johns (Newfoundland, Canada), Qaqortoq (Danish: Julianehåb, Greenland), Isafjordur (Ísafjörður, Iceland), Akureyri (Iceland), Aalesund (Ålesund, Norway), Bergen (Norway), Oslo (Norway), and Copenhagen (Denmark).

The Maasdam left Dover later in the day (5.11pm) on an 18-day "Voyage Of The Vikings" cruise back to Boston. Itinerary (schedule):

Sunday, 27 November 2011

MS Prinsendam Cruise Ship in Fog, Southern Breakwater, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

A grainy, yet atmospheric, zoomed photo of 1600 yards showing the MS Prinsendam crossing Dover Harbour from east to west in front of the Southern Breakwater on Sunday, 6th of June, 2010:

MS Prinsendam  enroute from Fort Lauderdale (USA) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). Holland America Line (HAL). Call Sign: PBGH, IMO: 8700280, MMSI: 244126000. Ex-Royal Viking Sun, Seabourn Sun.
(Click this MS Prinsendam Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)

The Prinsendam is on its way to berth at Cruise Terminal 2 on the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks. Previously, the passenger ship had left Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA, on Monday, 17th of May 2010, and then made a transatlantic crossing to Le Havre, France, arriving on June 5th.

This was not a good weekend for taking cruise ship photos (even without the fog!) owing to the Prince of Wales Pier - the usual vantage point - being closed in preparation for firework displays commemorating the centenary of Charles Stewart Rolls' non-stop return flight across the English Channel on Thursday, June 2nd 1910 (1).

Unable to get any nearer to the ship, this distant view was taken from the Clock Tower end of Dover's seafront promenade, near the King Charles II Restoration of the Monarchy memorial, at 7.20 am while on a morning cycle ride (2).

The Prinsendam stayed until about 5.30 pm and then sailed for Amsterdam (Holland/Netherlands) via IJmuiden and the North Sea Canal. The ship subsequently called at Travemünde (Travemunde, Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), and Tromsø (Tromso, Norway).

Video - An advertiser has added an opening and closing credit to what is otherwise an official Prinsendam video:

Friday, 25 November 2011

MV Spirit of Adventure at Sunrise, Western Entrance, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

A post-sunrise view of the MV Spirit of Adventure in Dover Harbour, her bow pointing through the Western Entrance towards the open waters of the Straits of Dover and the English Channel beyond:

MV Spirit of Adventure cruise ship came from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, going to Bergen, Norway. Owner: Saga Cruises. Ex-Berlin, Princess Mahsuri, and Orange Melody: Callsign 9HA2295, IMO 7904889, MMSI 248277000.
(Click this MV Spirit of Adventure text link to see the largest size)

The Western Entrance is formed by the Admiralty Pier behind the ship and the Southern Breakwater, out-of-shot to the left.

The passenger ship is shown manouevring into position prior to reversing towards CT1 (Cruise Terminal 1) on the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks.

The photo was taken while on a cycle ride (1) at 5.34 am on Wednesday, 23rd of June 2010, from the lighthouse end of the Prince of Wales Pier.

A little earlier, at 5.21 am, the Spirit of Adventure had entered Dover Harbour through the Eastern Entrance at the end of a 14-night round-trip "Britain and Irelands Garden Coast" cruise that had begun on the 9th of June with the following itinerary (schedule):

St Peter Port (Guernsey, Channel Islands), Dartmouth (England), Tresco (Isles of Scilly), Dublin (Eire/Ireland), Holyhead (Anglesey, Wales), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Oban (Scotland), Portree (Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides of Scotland), Stornoway (Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides of Scotland), Scrabster (Thurso Bay, Scotland), Kirkwall (capital of Orkney, Scotland), and Newcastle-upon-Tyne (England).

The Spirit of Adventure left Dover later in the day at 4.34 pm on a 7-night "Norway's Choral Symphony" cruise. Itinerary:

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

MS Ryndam Cruise Ship before the Southern Breakwater, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

A view of the MS Ryndam heading for the Eastern Entrance of Dover Harbour and English Channel beyond at 5.12 pm on Sunday, 1st of May, 2011 (1):

MS Ryndam heading for Eastern Entrance and English Channel with 2 tugs, DHB Dauntless, DHB Doughty. Call sign: PHFV, IMO 8919269, MMSI 245026000. From Zeebrugge (Belgium) going Rotterdam (Netherlands)
(Click this MS Ryndam Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)

The passenger ship is accompanied by two tugs, DHB Dauntless (left) and DHB Doughty (right), owned by Dover Harbour Board whose offices, located in Harbour House of Waterloo Crescent, overlook the harbour.

Behind the ship is the Southern Breakwater and the Dover Breakwater West End Light (2)

To the right of the lighthouse is the Western Entrance that lies between the breakwater and the Admiralty Pier (out-of-shot to the right: part of the Western Docks).

Cruise ships berth alongside the Admiralty Pier and then usually leave the Port of Dover by the Western Entrance. On this occasion strong winds have caused the Ryndam to opt for the same route a sister-ship, the MS Eurodam, took the previous year.

The photo was taken from the Prince of Wales Pier just as the Ryndam was passing the wreck site of the Spanish Prince (ex-Knight Bachelor), a World War I blockship scuttled/sunk in 1915.

Earlier in April, the Ryndam left the Gulf of Mexico by sailing south of the Florida Keys and then called at Cherbourg (France) and Zeebrugge (Belgium). The passenger ship is now beginning a 21-day Mediterranean Medley cruise and returned to Dover on Saturday, 21st of May, before the voyage finally ended in Rotterdam on the 22nd. Cruise itinerary (schedule):

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Canons Gate and Rokesley Tower, Western Outer Curtain Wall, Dover Castle, Kent, UK

The Canons Gateway, located at the southern end of the Western Outer Curtain Wall, is the vehicular entrance to Dover Castle:

Canons Gate entrance to Dover's 12th Century Norman Castle built by Colonel William Twiss during Napoleonic Wars. Rokesley's Tower and Garderobe (medieval toilet) on left. English Heritage Listed Building.
(Click this Canons Gate of Dover Castle text link to see the largest size)

The bridge entrance is accessible from Canons Gate Road, a turning off of Castle Hill Road not far from the Victoria Park junction. The pedestrian entrance to the castle is via Constable's Gateway to the north.

The tower on the left of the Canons Gate entrance is Rokesley's Tower, a D-type mural tower complete with Garderobe (a medieval latrine, or toilet).

Further to the left, Fulbert's Tower lies 80 yards north of Rokesley's Tower; out of view to the right is the Tudor Bulwark.

The photo was taken at 11.40 am on Easter Sunday, 12th of April, 2009.

Abridged excerpt from a Georgian book published in 1828 (1)

The following account refers to the original and now demolished "Canon, or Monk's Gate", once located out-of-shot to the right, and to the "New Entrance" - the Canons Gateway shown in the photo:

Thursday, 17 November 2011

MS Grand Mistral Cruise Ship at CT1, Admiralty Pier, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

An early morning view of the MS Grand Mistral berthed alongside CT1 (Cruise Terminal 1) of the Admiralty Pier, part of the Western Docks of Dover Harbour:

Grand Mistral at CT1, ex-Dover Marine Railway Station, Western Docks. View from Prince of Wales Pier. Ex-Mistral of Festival Cruise Line. IMO 9172777, Callsign CQNK, MMSI 255803860, Flag Portugal. Ibero Cruises.
(Click this MS Grand Mistral Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)

The red-bricked structure to the right of the passenger ship is the Cruise Terminal 1 building, previously Dover Marine Railway Station (partial view) and Dover Western Docks Railway Station. Above the CT1 building are the Western Heights with the stern of the vessel obscuring Shakespeare Cliff (part of the White Cliffs of Dover.

The photo was taken on a cycle ride (1) at 6.22 am, Tuesday the 7th of September, 2010, from near the end of the Prince of Wales Pier. The foreground structure on the left-hand side of the photo is the lighthouse (2) with the roof of the Harbour View Cafe at top-right.

The passenger ship is on a Northern European tour. It has just arrived from IJmuiden, (Holland, Netherlands) and left Dover later in the day for Le Harve (France) before ending its journey at Bilbao (Northern Spain).

MS Grand Mistral and Ibero Cruises (3) (4)

The MS Grand Mistral is a cruise ship currently sailing for Ibero Cruceros (Ibero Cruises website) and was formerly owned by Festival Cruise Line (Festival Cruises).

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

MS Costa Atlantica Cruise Ship just after Daybreak, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

A view of the MS Costa Atlantica reversing towards CT2 (Cruise Terminal 2) on the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks, her bow pointing in the direction of the Western Entrance and English Channel beyond:

Costa Atlantica on transatlantic cruise from Copenhagen (Denmark) to New York (USA) via Halifax (Canada). Owner: Carnival Corporation PLC, Operator: Costa Cruises. IMO 9187796, MMSI 247645000, Callsign IBLQ, Flag: Italy.
(Click this MS Costa Atlantica Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)

This Dover Harbour photo was taken on a cycle ride (1) at 6.05 am on Tuesday, 7th of September, 2010, from the Prince of Wales Pier whose lighthouse can be seen just left of midships (see all lighthouse photos).

The passenger ship is part-way through a 17 Days Copenhagen to New York Transatlantic Cruise which began on September 4th. Itinerary:

Copenhagen (Denmark), Bremerhaven (Germany), Dover (England), Le Havre (France), Sydney (Cape Breton Island, Canada), Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada), Bar Harbor (Maine, USA), Boston (Massachusetts, USA), Newport (Rhode Island, USA), New York (USA).

The MS Costa Atlantica first called at Dover on Wednesday, 19th of May en route from New York to Copenhagen (Denmark). The ship then spent the summer season on a series of 7-night European Cruises calling at:

Hellesylt (Norway; Technical Call), Geiranger (Norway), Flam (Flåm, Norway), Stavanger (Norway), Oslo (Norway), Warnemünde Germany), before returning to Copenhagen.

A Costa Atlantica video with Italian sub-titles:

Monday, 14 November 2011

Old St James Church Ruins and White Horse Inn, St James Street, Dover, UK

The ruins of 'Old' St James the Apostle Church, Dover, England, showing the west door entrance to the nave:

St James the Apostle Church and ex-City of Edinburgh pub are both Listed Buildings. Saxon church is Dover's Tidy ruin, destroyed World War II and now a memorial. Pub originally built reign of Edward III (1312-1377).
(Click this Old St James the Apostle Church text link to see the largest size)

This ancient house of religion was destroyed during World War II and is now a memorial to the people of Dover "who suffered between 1939 and 1945" (see below).

The remains of the north wall of the church's square tower are behind and to the right of the doorway.

On the other side of Hubert Passage to the left of the church is The White Horse Inn, ex-The City of Edinburgh public house. An information board once outside the pub stated:

Said to have been erected in the reign of Edward III (1312-1377). In 1365 the premises was occupied by the Verger of St James' Church which stood next door. With the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, the house was no longer connected to the Church.

The houses in the background front onto Castle Hill Road that leads up to Dover Castle.

The photo was taken from St James Street. Running along the bottom is Maison Dieu Road to the left of the junction and Woolcomber Street to the right.

Old St James the Apostle Church (1)

St James' Church, known locally as 'the Tidy Ruin' was founded in Saxon times and is probably one of the Dover churches mentioned in the Domesday Book:

Norman or Saxon church ruins in St James Street, Dover, Kent, UK. Destroyed in World War II, now a memorial. Grade II Listed Building. Wood-cut engraver G. W. Bonner of London, W. J. Linton apprentice.
Georgian Woodcut Engraving of Old St James Church, Dover