Maritime Index.

Harbour Lights

  Dover Harbour is probably the busiest ferry port in the world, with ferries sailing for France and Belgium every few minutes, 24 hours a day, and freighters bringing fruit and other imported goods from around the globe.

Add to this the yachts and pleasure craft using the Marina, it is vital to control the flow of vessels in and out of the two harbour entrances.

This picture shows the lighthouse and the "traffic lights" on the end of the Admiralty Pier - the western arm of the harbour.

There are 4 lighthouses on the harbour walls, all circular in shape and, with the exception of the on on the Prince of Wales Pier, constructed from iron

The western entrance is mainly used by the cruise liners that visit the terminal at the Admiralty Pier, the freighters and the small vessels using the marina; it was formerly used by the hovercraft and the Seacat high speed ferries that operated from the International Hoverport.

The picture above shows a Hoverspeed Seacat leaving harbour via the western entrance.  This service has now been withdrawn.
This is a closer view of the lighthouse on the other side of the western entrance (above).  The large notice on the side reads:



During the Second World War, block ships were scuttled in the harbour entrance to prevent enemy submarines from entering the harbour and attacking the ships at anchor.  During the 1950s and 1960s, divers were constantly employed in removing as much of the debris as possible, but there are still some submerged hazards which vessels using the entrance must be careful to avoid.  The Cardinal Buoy marks the safe passage.


  This view, from the top of the cliffs above the Western Docks, shows the entrance to the inner harbour, with the Prince of Wales Pier on the left and the Admiralty Pier on the right.
  Unlike the lights on the outer walls, the Prince of Wales lighthouse is built of stone.
The third light on the outer walls is on the Southern Breakwater.  It is on the "knuckle" of the wall, towards the eastern end.  It shows a red light inside the harbour and a white light outside.


There are no lights on the eastern entrance, but there is a similar set of "traffic lights" to control the constant stream of ferries in and out of the roll-on-roll-off terminals at the Eastern Docks.

The Port Control building stands close to the end of the Eastern Arm.


Ferries entering and leaving the eastern entrance