Langdon Bay (Kent)

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Langdon Cliffs to South Foreland Lighthouse

Langdon Bay is a bay in east Kent, England. It is two miles east of the town of Dover, and is named after the nearby villages of Langdon, East Langdon and West Langdon. The cliffs around it are known as the Langdon Cliffs. A prominent zig-zag path down the cliff-face is visible from the sea but no longer connects the beach with the cliff-top, the only means of exit from the beach being a return on foot to St Margaret's Bay.

History[edit]

The bay is known for the Langdon Bay Hoard - a collection of Bronze Age scrap metal found nearby in 1974. This includes bronze axes of a French type and is thought to represent the cargo of a boat that was caught in a storm just after leaving the English coast, either jettisoned to lighten and save the boat or sunk with it (if there was a wreck, it is now lost). This demonstrates that cross-channel trade was already occurring in the Bronze Age, if not earlier. It is owned by the British Museum but on long-term loan and display in Dover Museum in Market Square, Dover.

Three searchlight batteries - known as the Langdon Lights - were built into the base of the bay's cliffs during World War II, so that any ship trying to enter the bay could be illuminated while it was checked, though one has been destroyed by a cliff fall.[1]

The area above the cliffs is now a chalk downland nature reserve owned by the National Trust, looking down on Dover Harbour and the Channel, and centred on the 'Gateway to the White Cliffs' Visitor Centre. Large parts of this reserve, and of this section of clif ftop in general, is an SSSI, AONB and Heritage Coast.[2] Another nearby historic site is the South Foreland Lighthouse, also an NT property.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Langdon Lights
  2. ^ National Trust website

Coordinates: 51°08′01″N 1°21′04″E / 51.1336°N 1.3510°E / 51.1336; 1.3510