Dover Museum
Dover Museum
A museum tracing the story of Dover from prehistoric times to the present day. Exhibits cover Dover town and port, and include Roman history, Dover's role as a member of the Cinque Ports, Napoleonic and Victorian Dover, and the history of Dover during both World Wars.
Perhaps the most intriguing historic artefact on display is the so-called 'Dover Bronze Age Boat', an ancient boat that is probably the oldest seagoing vessel anywhere in the world. The boat which was discovered in Dover in 1992, dates from over 3550 years ago. The boat is the centrepiece of an award-winning gallery showcasing local archaeology, and including Bronze Age finds from across Kent.

There are plenty of hands-on activities and audio-visual tools for capturing children's imaginations.

Dover Museum is among the oldest museums in Kent. It was built in 1836, and rehoused in 1991 in a completely new building hidden behind the original Victorian facade.

Visiting Dover Museum
It is easy to find the museum; it is located on one side of the Market Square, and is very well signposted (look for the 'Bronze age Boat' brown tourist signs). There is a paid parking area about 5 minutes level walk - also very well signposted. Its worth noting that when we visited there was a half-price deal for English Heritage members, so that was handy.

The Bronze Age Boat
Though the exhibits offer a very enjoyable look at Dover over the centuries, it is the Bronze Age Boat exhibit that really is the star of the show. I was honestly unprepared for just how impressive the boat is. The more I looked at it the more awed I became; the skill of construction and size of the vessel is simply incredible. There were very interesting displays showing how the vessel was built and how archaeologists think it looked. You can even try your hand at tying a special knot that the builders used to keep the timbers tight. We were fortunate enough to arrive at the boat exhibit during a talk given by an expert to a local group of visitors, and it was fascinating to eavesdrop and get a better sense of why and how the boat was built, and realise just how amazingly well it was preserved through the centuries by being encased in mud. I highly recommend taking the time to visit the museum and the boat exhibit.

The Bronze age Boat
The Bronze age Boat
end view
Bronze Age Boat side view
Bronze Age Boat side view
showing rounded cleats used to tie
the timbers together