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The town of Dover is a major ferry port in Kent, directly across from France across the Strait of Dover, which is the narrowest part of the English Channel. It is also home to the chalk cliffs, which are more commonly called the White Cliffs of Dover. The Romans erected a stone fort in order to protect the harbor, and a settlement cropped up around it. Two lighthouses were also built by the Romans, on either side of the harbor. One of those lighthouses, the Pharos, is still standing. The Romans left Dover around 407 AD as their empire was collapsing.

 The Romans were replaced by the Saxons. In about 1000 AD, the Saxons built the famous Church of St Mary in Castro. The church still stands today and still holds worship services. The Saxons remained until 1066, when the Normans invaded Dover, sacking and then burning the settlement. The citizenry rebuilt and soon recovered from the disaster.

William I, also commonly known as either William the Conqueror or William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, ruling from 1066 to 1087.

The 1580 Dover Straits Earthquake is believed to have been one of the largest in the recorded history of England, Flanders, or France. It happened on April 6 of 1580 and was felt as far away as London. The belfry of Notre Dame de Lorette as well as several nearby buildings collapsed.

Again, Dover was revitalized, and the settlement was prosperous for the rest of the 16th century into the 18th century. Paved streets were provided by the so-called Paving Commissioners, who also hung oil lamps along those streets, thanks to an Act of Parliament in 1778.

Largely due to its channel port, Dover continued to prosper, even as most of England suffered declines. In the 18209s, passengers were carried across the Channel in Dover’s steam ships. In 1861, the railroad connected London and Dover. A car ferry was established in 1928, and a train ferry followed in 1936. And hovercraft flew passengers from Dover to France in 1968.


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