Until the 19th century Folkestone remained a small fishing community with little respite from storms, making boat landings difficult. The harbour was built in 1820, providing a safe haven for boats and trade and the population increased as a result. In the 1840's the South Eastern Railway Company bought the harbour and constructed a rail line down to the pier. The principle use was servicing cross channel steamers plying between Folkestone and Boulogne. In the panorama shot below (stitch of four images), you can clearly see the railway viaduct. Tide was out, but I reckon that adds character to the shot.
[ISO 100, 1/100s, f8; panorama stitched from 4-images using Photomerge in Photoshop CS2]