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There's been industry here too

From Mills to Mawson

Many of Dover's early industries harnessed the power of the River Dour. The river played a significant role in the town's industrial heritage with no less than 13 water-powered paper and flour mills along its banks. The first recorded mill in Britain was a corn mill on the Dour in 762AD .

Of these mills, only Crabble Corn Mill which lies just downstream of Kearsney Abbey still exists. Built in 1812, it is one of the most complete working examples of a Georgian watermill in Europe, and is open as a visitor attraction most weekends during the summer.

The remains of River paper mill can still be seen today in the grounds of Kearsney Abbey where they are known locally as "the ruins".

The wealth created by this industry also had a major influence on the development of the Kearsney Parks as the grand country houses and estates of local businessmen.

Quality paper … and beer!

The River Dour's water quality was also important, none more so than for the production of high quality paper. The famous Conqueror brand of business stationery was made in Dover until 2000 when Buckland Paper Mill closed. This excellent water quality was also favoured by the brewing industry, in particular for the production of pale ale. Leney's Phoenix Brewery was the largest in Dover.

The Bronze Age boat

The Dour is inextricably linked to Dover's topography and history. The development of Dover as a settlement was largely influenced by its sheltered location in the valley cut by the river. In 1992, a 3,500 year old Bronze Age boat was discovered close to where the Dour meets the sea.

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