Geosite tags

Dover’s history has always been determined by its crucial location on the English Channel, just over twenty miles away from France and continental Europe.

Nearest train station
Dover Priory

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Dover’s history has always been determined by its crucial location on the English Channel, just over twenty miles away from France and continental Europe. From Bronze Age boats to Caesar’s Romans, the Battle of Britain and cross-Channel ferries, the separation of Dover from Europe by the Channel is a fundamental part of the town’s history. You can discover all of this and more at the Dover Museum, situated in the heart of the town in Market Square.  

Probably the most famous exhibit in the Dover Museum is the Bronze Age Boat Gallery, containing a boat found during excavations for the A20 road through the town.

The Dover Bronze Age Boat is one of the oldest largely intact boats ever discovered in the world, and is evidence that cross-Channel trade was taking place at Dover over 3,500 years ago. 

Just a ten-minute walk through the centre of Dover takes you from the Museum to the Maison Dieu, which for many years served as Dover Town Hall. The Maison Dieu is an extraordinary building made with a significant amount of flint which has been ‘knapped’ to produce a flat external edge. Flint has been widely used as a building material in the Cross-Channel Geopark over the centuries due to the fact that it can be so easily found within the Chalk. The Maison Dieu is currently undergoing a multi-million pound restoration which will see it reopen to the public on a permanent basis in 2025.  

Find out more about Dover MuseumFind out more about Maison Dieu

About Geosites

Geosites are sites of geological interest across the aspiring UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark, where people can visit and interact with our geological heritage. This wide range of sites will offer varying opportunities and values including cultural, heritage, scientific, educational, and aesthetic.

Folkestone pebbled beach, blue sea and clear skies, with cliffs in the distance.

Geopark logo on white background

About the aspiring UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark

Hundreds of thousands of years ago a catastrophic flood swept away the chalk ridge connecting Dover and Calais, carving out the white cliffs of Dover and starting Britain’s history as an island.

Did you know the Kent and French coasts are actually still connected today by the layer of chalk which runs below the Channel?

In celebration of the chalk and the channel, we are working to secure UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark status for the Kent Downs National Landscape together with our neighbouring protected landscape in France; the Parc Naturel Regional des Caps et Marais d’Opale.

The Geopark will include both the protected landscapes and the Channel connecting them, recognising and celebrating the geological connection between us.

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