Date: 19 January 1881
Extract from an article in The London Standard, 19 January 1881:
Dover - a furious gale has been raging here all day, the violence of which it is said, has not been equalled on the south-eastern coast since 1837. Shortly before midnight on Monday a strong wind sprung up from the south and gradually veered round to about east-south-east where it has remained all day. Throughout the morning it was blowing nearly a hurricane and showed no signs of abatement until after high water at one o'clock. It is blowing very heavily this evening, but the fury of the gale is considerably abated. The extent of the damage occasioned by the gale is not known, but it is very great and the shipping interest especially has suffered. The docks were a scene of such commotion as has not been witnessed here for many years. Several vessels broke from their moorings and sustained considerable damage. Two fishing luggers were sunk in the harbour and so heavy was the sea in dock that in less than twenty minutes after the vessels had sunk a great portion of them was was washed up on to the quay in the shape of matchwood. The property in the vicinity of the harbour is flooded. Towards high water time the whole of the sea front, and the Admiralty Pier and the neighbourhood of the Lord Warden Hotel, was a scene of confusion and disaster. Houses were unroofed, windows broken by stones hurled up by the sea, and basements flooded. In some instances the spray of the sea was washed over the highest house on the Esplanade. The sea rushed through the openings into the docks in a perfect torrent. On Marine Parade the iron standards and lamp posts have been destroyed, and in some places the promenade has been torn up, while blocks of granite and huge layers of boulders are everywhere to be seen. The amount of damage to the Admiralty Pier has not yet been ascertained, but it is certainly severe. A great number of iron stanchions have been broken off short by huge masses of stone being hurled against them, and many of the lamps have shared the same fate. The whole of the substantial iron gates at the entrance to the pier have been carried away, while not a vestige remains of the gate house and telegraphic box, which even defied the disastrous gale three years ago, when a great portion of the pier was washed away. A great deal of damage has been done to the promenade of the pier, where huge masses of flag stone weighing a ton have been displaced and carried away by the sea. The Channel service has been stopped.