Home Kent News The little known ship wrecks that lay beneath Dover’s most famous cliffs

The little known ship wrecks that lay beneath Dover’s most famous cliffs

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Original article from Kent Live

The White Cliffs of Dover have carried a powerful symbol for decades upon decades.

They sit in the backdrop the bustling Port of Dover, overlooking the world's busiest shipping lanes.

In their time, they've housed wartime soldiers defending the country, and they've also been emblazoned with messages amid the Brexit transition period.

Read more: We visited Dover beach and it is surely the most under-rated in Kent

Residents can even walk across them – in what KentLive believes to be one of the most stunning walks in the south east.

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Among their beauty and the panoramic views they offer, is a slither of history that not everyone will have been aware of.

At two differing points, along the foot of the sprawling white cliffs, walkers may catch a glimpse of two shipwrecks which have different, tragic stories.

It may not appear so obvious at first, and many will have looked out across the sea, from a safe viewpoint, and completely bypassed it.

But The National Trust has said it's just a case of looking in the right place and being knowing what to look for.

The wreckages are more evident at low tide.

The stories behind the shipwrecks

An information board at Langdon Hole gives walkers some details on what they're looking at

The trust, who is responsible for maintaining the Dover beauty spot, has shed some light on why the shipwrecks lay on the shoreline.

The first, it says, is visible from the viewpoint at Langdon Hole, at Langdon Cliffs.

It is the remains of the iron screw steamer, The SS Falcon.

It rusty carcass was once owned by the General Steam Navigation Company and was carrying a cargo of hemp and matches when it met its tragic fate.

The vessel caught alight and ran aground in 1926, and its charred and disintegrating shell has not moved since.

The shipwreck of the SS Falcon grounded in 1926

A report from the time said it was bound for London from Ostend, Belgium, but that flames began ripping through the vessel as it passed between Dover and Deal.

The crew were able to escape the inferno by disembarking into a lifeboat, and were rescued by another boat.

Attempts were made to tow the boat back to shore, but the fire ravaged through any ropes that secured it.

The last anyone saw was the ship, in flames, drifting towards the Goodwin Sands.

The trust says the thick steel hull and ribs can still be seen, and people can also walk among them.

The other can be seen from merely walking across the cliffs and is just off the shores of Fan Bay.

It is named the Preuβen and was a German trade vessel, dubbed the largest five mast, full rigged ship ever built at the time in 1910.

Due to a miscalculation of speed, it collided with the RMS Brighton.

It's not clear exactly where this crash took place and how the Preuβen came to rest at the foot of Fan Bay.

Original Article