White Cliffs of Dover

Cliffs of Dover 400
White Cliffs of Dover
Photo by: Ian Wilson, Creative Commons

White Cliffs of Dover form the part of the British coastline that faces the Strait of Dover and France. The cliff is part of the North Downs formation. The chalk like façade consists of pure white calcium carbonate. A black flint accentuates this facade. The cliff spreads across the east and west from the town called the town of Dover located in the country of Kent. Kent is known as ancient but still an important port in England.

The cliff is composed mainly of soft white limestones, coccoliths, plates of calcium carbonate, which is formed by coccoliths, single celled planktonic algae and etc. Flints and quartz are found in this chalk as well. The cliff is located along the coastline. On a clear day, the cliffs can be easily spotted from the French coast.

The cliff indeed has inspired many people including artists. Way back in 1877, Matthew Arnold created a poem pertaining to the Dover Beach. He said that the cliffs are signs of reassuring strengths. The cliffs are an iconic reference in the World War II song sung by Vera Lynn entitled “There’ll Be Bluebirds Over.”

In Ian Fleming’s third James Bond novel edition known as the Moonraker, a chapter was set at the cliffs of Dover wherein the villain tries to assassin James Bond by bombing the cliffs. Guitarist Eric Johnson wrote a composition known as the Cliffs of Dover, which won a Grammy award. EPMD made the White Cliffs of Dover as their reference in their 1992 hits known as the Crossover. In 2005, Radio Times readers named the cliff as the third greatest natural wonder of Britain. Lastly, there’s Jamaica Kincaid who made references to the Cliff of Dover in her essay with the catchy line in “On Seeing England for the First Time.”

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