Open main menu

The New International Encyclopædia/Dover, Strait of

DOVER, Strait of. A strait separating England from France, and connecting the English Channel with the North Sea (Map: England, H 6). On the English coast its limits are defined by the promontories of Dungeness and South Foreland, and on the French coast it extends from Cape Gris-Nez to Calais. It is 20 to 27 miles wide and 1 to 20 fathoms deep. The Ridge Shoals near the middle of the strait are over 8 miles long, and have a depth of 10 to 24 feet. Both the English and French shores are formed by chalk cliffs. The strait has been carefully surveyed by engineers with a view to bridging or tunneling it. There is great opposition in England, on military grounds, against the construction of a tunnel. It is, perhaps, the most frequented maritime route in the world. Captain Webb, of the British mercantile navy, in August, 1875, swam the strait in 21¾ hours.