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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

Dover Harbour - The Prince of Wales Pier

The Prince of Wales Pier was named after Edward VII who, when Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone in 1892.  The landward end of the  pier was a lattice work of iron, as is commonly associated with  Victorian seaside piers, this connected with the seaward end which was built of stone and provided with berths for shipping on either side.  These berths were capable of accommodating some of the largest  ships then afloat as they had a depth of 40 feet even at low tide. The pier opened in 1902 and in 1905 a railway track was laid along it  to connect with the berths. For a brief period (1903-1906) Dover was a port of call for German liners on their way to New York. Unfortunately  as the outer harbour was nearing completion, and the gap between the Southern Breakwater and the Admiralty Pier was narrowing, the  currents through the newly formed western entrance made handling  these large vessels difficult. On one occasion the Hamburg-Amerika  line's "Deutschland" crashed into the pier.  It was after this mishap  that the German liners stopped calling at Dover. In the mid-1970's work started to replace the open ironwork section  with a solid pier. The harbour to the west of this section was reclaimed for the building of the new Hoverport, which opened in 1978. In 1993  a catamaran berth was built alongside the pier as part of the Hoverport complex.  The new proposals for the redevelopment of the Western Docks will  see major changes to the pier.  The pier closed to the public at the  start of 2016 when work commenced.
The Prince of Wales Pier c.1905.  A liner is docked at the pier and to the right of the picture the railway line running on to the pier can be seen. A South Eastern and Chatham train crossing the swing bridge c.1905.  The caption states that it is bringing passengers to the SS Deutschland. The SS Deutschland docked at the pier c.1905.  The station can be seen behind the lighthouse to the left of the liner. The SS Pennsylvania at the Pirince of Wales Pier c.1905. The station platform can be clearly seen. Back to Harbour Index