What
  • Daymarks
  • Fog signals
  • Lighthouse Service
  • Lighthouses
  • Lightvessels
  • Museums
  • Points of interest
  • Shore stations
Where
Dover Harbour Lighthouses

Dover Harbour Lighthouses

Dover Harbour has four lighthouses guarding one of the busiest ferry ports in the world. It is the nearest port to France, which is just over 20 miles across the English Channel.

Dover Castle, with its Roman Pharos lighthouse, overlooks the harbour from the clifftop. South Foreland Lighthouse is visible just along the coastline at the top of the White Cliffs.

The port of Dover is separated into two docks. The Eastern Docks serve cross-channel ferries, and the Western Docks has a cruise terminal, a marina for yachts and a cargo facility.

Dover Harbour

Admiralty Pier Lighthouse

Admiralty Pier Lighthouse is located on the western arm of the harbour. The lighthouse is a lattice tower with port control entry lights.

Dover Admiralty Pier Lighthouse
Admiralty Pier Lighthouse with West Head Breakwater Lighthouse behind
Dover Admiralty Pier 1952
Dover Admiralty Pier 1952
Photo: John Frost Collection

The hovercraft and high-speed Seacat ferries formerly used Admiralty Pier.

The lighthouse was built in 1908. The cast-iron tower replaced an earlier light built in 1876. It is at the end of the pier, which encloses the western side of the harbour.

Southern Breakwater

The Southern Breakwater was designed to protect the harbour, providing a refuge for the British fleet. It was designed by Coode, Son and Matthews and built between 1898 and 1909.

The Southern Breakwater is built of large granite blocks. During both the First and Second World Wars, it formed part of the defences for the port. Gun and searchlight emplacements, barracks and magazines were housed within the breakwater.

Dover Breakwater 1952
Dover Southern Breakwater in 1952
Photo: John Frost Collection

During the Second World War, the harbour entrance was blocked by ships scuttled to prevent enemy ships from entering the harbour. Most of the debris was cleared during the 1950s and 1960s, but there are still deepwater hazards.

A cardinal buoy marks the safe water channel.

There are two lighthouses located on the South Breakwater.

Dover West Head Breakwater Lighthouse
West Head Lighthouse and Dover Knuckle at the far end of the Southern Breakwater.

South Breakwater West Head Lighthouse

The West Head Lighthouse marks the western entrance of Dover Harbour.

Dover Harbour Southern Breakwater

The lighthouse at the end of the Southern Breakwater was built in 1909. It is a cast-iron lighthouse and with the Admiralty Pier guard the entrance to Dover Harbour.

Dover Knuckle Lighthouse

On the outer wall of the Southern Breakwater is the Knuckle Lighthouse, at the eastern end. It displays a white light outside the harbour and a red light inside the harbour.

Dover Knuckle Lighthouse
© Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

A set of port lights are on the eastern entrance for the roll-on-roll-off ferries at the Eastern Docks. The Port Control building is close to the end of the eastern arm.

Dover Prince of Wales Pier Lighthouse

The Prince of Wales Pier Lighthouse was built in 1902 and is at the end of the pier separating the outer and inner harbours. It is the only one of the Dover Harbour lighthouses to be made of stone.

Dover Harbour Prince of Wales

A cast-iron pier connected it with the land, and ships were able to berth alongside. The pier was named after Edward VII, who, as Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone in 1892. The pier opened in 1902. A railway track was laid in 1905.

Dover Prince of Wales Pier 1952
Dover Prince of Wales Pier 1952
Photo: John Frost Collection

The cast-iron section was filled with concrete in 1978 as part of the Western Docks Hoverport.

Dover Harbour Lighthouses

Dover Admiralty Pier Lighthouse

  • Established: 1908
  • Height of tower: 22 metres
  • Elevation: 21 metres
  • Character: Fl W 7.5 s
  • Range: 20 miles
  • Not accessible

Dover West Head Lighthouse

  • Established: 1909
  • Height of tower: 21 metres
  • Elevation: 15 metres
  • Character: Oc R 30s
  • Range: 18 miles

Dover Knuckle Lighthouse

  • Established: 1909
  • Height of tower: 16 metres
  • Elevation: 15 metres
  • Character: Fl(4) WR 10s
  • Range: W 15 miles, R 13 miles

Dover Prince of Wales Lighthouse

  • Established: 1902
  • Height: 14 metres