History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 9 May 2010



Dover Part 5: Churches of Deal

St Leonard Deal

St Leonard Deal is on the south-east corner of Manor Road and Rectory Road. The church was built around 1100 as the parish church for the old agricultural community of Deal, now known as Upper Deal, a mile from the shore. For centuries it was the town's only church, and may have originated as a Saxon building, although no evidence remains of this. It was dedicated to St Leonard of Limoges, an abbot who lived in Gaul (France) during the sixth century.

St Leonard Deal

The nave and chancel are the oldest surviving sections, with a tower being added around 1200. The chancel was remodelled in the thirteenth century, and the narrow north and south aisles were enlarged. The church fell into disrepair prior to the Reformation, and the tower collapsed in the mid-seventeenth century, taking the steeple with it. The present tower was completed in 1686. Today St Leonard's remains the senior perish church for Deal.

Hamilton Road Cemetery Chapel

Hamilton Road Cemetery Chapel lies along most of the southern side of Hamilton Road, just to the west of the railway line. The cemetery is operated by Dover District Council and was opened in May 1856 as a combined municipal and military burial ground at a time when Deal's general population was growing rapidly, and the previous arrangements for the deceased, which were often makeshift, were no longer working. In 2010 it was still open for burials.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses lies on the western side of Mill Hill, midway between Manor Road and Freemen's Way. While Deal is mentioned in Domesday Book, a large extent of Upper Deal is relatively new, only being built up in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, well after Deal had grown from a fishing village to a flourishing business (and smuggling) port in the seventeenth century. The Jehovah's Witnesses building appears to be Late Victorian.

Deal Pentecostal Church

Deal Pentecostal Church is on the south-east corner of Mill Hill and Freemen's Way, almost opposite the Jehovah's Witnesses. The church had its beginnings with a healing crusade in 1927, and a church building was secured on Western Road (now apparently demolished), before the church moved to the present site in 1989. This building was originally Glynn Vivian Miners Mission, also started in 1927, to support the newly opened Kent coal mines at Betteshanger.

Catholic Church of St John the Evangelist

The Catholic Church of St John the Evangelist occupies a site on the southern side of St Richard's Road, some metres west of the Marlborough Road junction and with a school on its immediate western flank. The church was founded as a mission for the newly-created Catholic parish church of St Thomas of Canterbury in 1926, initially as part of the Miners' Mission on Mill Hill. In 1934 St John's gained its own parish of Mongeham, which is on Deal's western edge.

In Depth
In Depth


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