History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 9 May 2010



Dover Part 7: Churches of Walmer

St Mary's (New) Church

St Mary's (New) Church sits majestically on the green at the lower end of St Mary's Road in Upper Walmer, with St Clare Road on its eastern side. As time passed, the original parish church, Blessed Mary of Walmer, became unsuitable and inconvenient for the growing population. For about twenty years, efforts were made to raise funds for a new church, and due to the generosity of several local families the architect Arthur Blomfield was appointed to design and build it.

St Mary's (New) Church

The foundation stone of the new building was laid in 1887 and the church was completed a year later, dedicated by Archbishop Benson on 5 April 1888. The tower, with a peal of eight bells, was not built until 1893 and has been left unfinished without the spire that was originally intended for it. The church is a fine example of Victorian Gothic revivalism in the 'Decorated' style. The main fabric of the building, built of Kentish Rag with Bath stone, is unchanged since it was built.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is on Gothic Close, a sort of driveway which serves a couple of houses on the southern side and the church on the northern side, situated west of the Dover Road, midway between Walmer Castle Road and Church Street. Typically, there is no information available on the history of the building or the site, but the church building appears to date to the 1990s at the earliest. Whether it replaced an earlier building is unknown.

Walmer Baptist Church

Walmer Baptist Church occupies the north-west corner of Dover Road and Kelvedon Road in Lower Walmer. It was in February 1899 that the members of Victoria Baptist Church in Deal resolved at their annual church meeting to start working to establish a church in the fast- expanding adjacent residential district of Lower Walmer. By April the following year 800 was raised at a magnificent supper and part of The Great Field was secured and presented to the church.

Walmer Baptist Church

In June 1901 an informal dedication service was held on the site and the foundation stone was laid in August 1903. The building was opened on 21 July 1904 and is cruciform in shape, with shallow transepts, chancel with choir stalls and a fine off-set tower on the front elevation (undergoing restoration in 2010). It seats 500 with a gallery behind the nave and an open baptistery. The organ was built by the local firm of FW Browne, although it no longer works.

Royal Marines Chapel, North Barracks

The Royal Marines Chapel, North Barracks lay on the northern side of Canada Road in Lower Walmer, serving one half of Deal Barracks. Much of the chapel was destroyed by the IRA bomb which exploded in the barracks on 22 September 1989, killing eleven young bandsmen and wounding several others. The music school was closed in 1996 and the site, with the remains of the chapel, is now a permanent memorial garden to those who were killed in the bombing.

In Depth
In Depth


Images and text copyright all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.