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Dover Harbour - The Admiralty Pier

The foundation stone of the Admiralty Pier was laid on 2nd April  1848 as the first stage in the proposed harbour of refuge for the  Royal Navy. The first section of pier was 800 feet long and  completed in 1854, when another contract was awarded for a further 1000 feet. From 1851 cross-channel steamers were using the pier regularly. In  1860 the South Eastern Railway started running its trains along the  pier to connect with the railway owned steamers. The SER’s rival,  the London Chatham and Dover Railway, followed suit in 1864.   The 1000 foot extension started in 1854 was to be completed by  November 1864, but by 1864 a decision had still not been reached  on how to terminate the pier. In 1871 it was finally decided to add a  further 300 feet terminating in a substantial pier-head. The work  was completed in 1875 and in the late 1870s it was decided to build  the Pier Turret on the pier head for defence. In 1899 work started on extending the pier again as part of the new  Admiralty Harbour, and in 1900 the extension of 2,000 feet was  completed bringing the total length to 4,140 feet. In 1909 work  started at the landward end of the pier to reclaim land for the  building of the new Marine Station, which was completed in 1921.   In 1981 a special berth was constructed for the Jetfoil service to  Ostend in Belgium.  In 1988 a new train ferry berth was opened  which replaced the old Train Ferry Dock.   In 1994-96 the old Marine Station was converted into the new Cruise Liner Terminal, and in 1998-2000 second cruise terminal was  constructed, involving the widening of the pier extension.
Admiralty Pier c.1859.  This engraving is dated 1869 but there are no signs of the railway tracks on the lower section, whcih were laid in 1860. Admiralty Pier c1886.  A wonderfully clear photo showing a London Chatham & Dover Railway train at the platform and one of the same company's paddle-steamers 'Maid of Kent' built in 1861 tied up alongside. Admiralty Pier c.1905.  The gantries for the construction of the extension can be seen at the far end of the pier. The area of water in the centre of the picture was reclaimed during the construction of the Marine Station. A cruise liner at the Admiralty Pier 2009.  Fred Olsen Lines 'Braemar'. Back to Harbour Index