Saints and Stones: The Dover Boat

In September 1992, archaeologists from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust working alongside contractors on a new road link between Dover and Folkestone discovered the remains of a large wooden prehistoric boat thought to be some 3,000 years old, belonging to a period known to archaeologists as the Bronze Age.

The Dover Boat is dated from the Bronze Age, a period when metal was first used in Britain. The boat is around 3,550 years old (from radiocarbon dating some of the boat timber). A total of over 30 feet of the boat has been recovered. This represents at least half, but possibly as much as two-thirds of the original. It is almost eight feet wide. Upper planks and part of the end were removed, perhaps for re-use, in the Bronze Age, when the boat was abandoned. The boat was made up of at least six oak timbers lashed together with yew wood, with all the joints reinforced with a thin lath of oak, covering moss pushed into the joint. The two central planks are joined by the use of wedges pushed through a central rail and a series of cleats.

A boat of this size would have been capable of crossing the channel, carrying a substantial cargo of supplies, livestock and passengers. It was probably propelled by at least 18 paddlers.

About the Dover Boat

Dover Museum: The Dover Boat
Wikipedia: Dover Bronze Age Boat
Megalithic Portal: Dover Museum

Journey to the Dover Boat

The Dover Boat is located in the Dover Museum in the seaport city of Dover in Kent in southeast England.

Ordnance Survey Map (TR3148741956)

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the Dover Museum website. For general tourism information on the Dover area, visit the White Cliffs Country website. For general tourism information for Kent, visit the Visit Kent website.

Additional Photos of the Dover Boat

The Bronze Age Dover Boat
Replica of the Dover Boat

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