"The Cinque PortsDover is, or..." Dover Things to Do Tip by Geoff_Wright

Dover Things to Do: 154 reviews and 222 photos


<div id='layer1'style='position:static;background-color:yellow'><hr color=blue width=330><center><font color=blue size=+2>The Cinque Ports</font></center><hr color=blue width=330></div>
<font color=green size=+1>Dover is, or was, the chief member of an association of maritime towns in Kent and Sussex, which were formed to provide ships and men for the King's service, and until the 14th century, continued to provide the permanent nucleus of the Royal Fleet. They originally numbered five, hence 'Cinque Ports', the others being Hastings, Romney, Hythe and Sandwich. The association was informally organized in the 11th century, during the reign of Edward the Confessor for the defence of the coast and cross-channel passage, and a formal charter was drawn up in the 13th century. In the 12th century, Winchester and Rye were added to the association with privileges and duties similar to those of the other members. Later more neighbouring towns were added. The Cinque Ports reached the peak of their significance during the Anglo-French struggle in the 14th century. After this time they began to lose their monopoly, and although they continued to contribute to the navy, this function became less important by the time of the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada in 1588. Their decline was hastened by the encroachment of the sea on the coastline and by silting at other places. Today only Dover remains a major port of importance.</font>

Directions: <font color=green size=+1>The map here shows the general area of the Cinque Ports, with Rye at the bottom left-hand corner. Sandwich is off the map, above Dover.

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  • Written Aug 25, 2002
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