In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Dover like this:
Dover, parl. and mun. bor., market town, and the chief of the Cinque Ports, E. Kent, on the Strait of Dover, 76 miles SE. of London by rail -- bor., 1317 ac., pop. 30,270; C. P. (with Corporate and Non-Corporate Members), 14,063 ac., pop. 76,478; 2 Banks, 4 newspapers. Market-days. Wednesday and Saturday. ...
D. is the terminus of the London, Chatham, and Dover and the South-Eastern Ry. systems, and is also a port for the mail and packet service to the Continent, Calais being distant 22 miles and Ostend 68 miles. On the Continental service its trade chiefly depends, but it has also attractions as a seaside resort; and it has shipbuilding, rope and sailmaking, fisheries, and coast traffic, besides the supply of ships' stores. The harbour has been greatly improved in recent years. The Admiralty Pier (commenced in 1848) runs more than one-third of a mile into the sea; it forms the W. arm of a harbour of refuge which, when completed, will enclose the whole bay. On the extremity of the Admiralty Pier is a flashing light seen 6 to 7 miles, and on the North Pier is a fixed light seen 3 miles. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) As the nearest landing-place from the Continent, D. has from the earliest times been a place of considerable importance; it contains many antiquities, the chief of which is Dover Castle, situated on NE. side, on a chalk cliff nearly 350 ft. high. Within its walls are the Roman pharos, the Romano-British fortress church, some remains of the Saxon fort, and the Norman keep. Dover returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members until 1885.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Dover in Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd March 2017
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