History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 13 February 2011



Dover Part 13: Churches of Dover & Buckland

St Peter & St Paul Charlton-in-Dover

St Peter & St Paul Charlton-in-Dover is on a large site on the southern side of St Alphege Road at Charlton Green in Dover. The earliest reference to a church here dates from between 1147-1182, referring to the dedication of a chapel to St Peter at Charlton. Details of this early building are unclear until 1827 when it was rebuilt as it was too small. How much of the 1827 building contained original elements is not known, but by the end of the century it was also too small.

St Peter & St Paul Charlton-in-Dover

By the time this was realised, Charlton had been incorporated into Dover. The present church was built alongside the old one and was consecrated in 1893 (both are shown here about 1894). The old church was demolished in 1895, and a stone in the churchyard marks the site of the old high altar. The new church was damaged during the Second World War when a shell exploded under the foundations on 15 September 1944. Repairs were completed in 1952.

London Road Methodist Church

London Road Methodist Church is on the south-east corner of Beaconsfield Road and London Road. The site was purchased in 1898 by Primitive Methodists and the church opened on New Year's Day 1902. Bombed in the Second World War, half the building nearest London Road was demolished. In 2003, the church absorbed the members of Tower Hamlets and St Columba churches, and was renamed The Beacon Church & Christian Centre (Methodist/United Reformed).

Shooter's Hill Methodist Chapel

Shooter's Hill Methodist Chapel sits on the south-west corner of Shooter's Hill, overlooking London Road. Buckland Wesleyan Methodist Church was built opposite the site in 1810, and was still in existence in 1839 when this church opened. It apparently closed in 1964 and nothing remains of it today. When Shooter's Hill ceased to be a church, it housed the Sea Cadets, became a bingo hall, and was then derelict until it became the privately owned King's Hall in 1998.

Dover Apostolic Church

Dover Apostolic Church occupies the north-west corner of London Road and Erith Street. The church was founded in the 1970s, and the building shown here served until the start of the 1990s. Then, church members met in the Dover South Kent College until 1996, when The Ark, on Noah's Ark Road in the Tower Hamlets district of Dover, was purchased. The Erith Street building was taken over by MH Community Care which provides personal care services in the region.

St Barnabas Church Buckland

St Barnabas Church Buckland occupied a site on the south-east corner of Barton Road and Cherry Tree Avenue. The church was built in 1901 to meet the needs of the expanding parish of Buckland in Dover. A memorial stone was laid in front of the chancel by Robert Hesketh Jones JP on 9 October 1901. Initially only the nave and north aisle were built (both of which can be seen here about 1925), which gave this finely-built Early English-style church seating for about five hundred.

St Barnabas Church Buckland

R W Paramore handled the work on part of Barton Meadow. The church had a corrugated iron annexe as a parish hall, which was intended to be made permanent when funds permitted. A turret and vestry were added as part of the original scheme for a permanent building and dedicated in November 1930. The church was severely damaged by enemy bombing in 1940. It was never used again and was demolished after the war's end. The site is now playing fields.

Buckland Church of St Andrew

Buckland Church of St Andrew is within a large, heavily tree-lined site on the southern side of Crabble Meadows. The first church here in 'Bocheland' is thought to have been Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was probably a simple timber structure or one built of chalk and flint from the adjoining hillside, and it still existed in 1087, alongside a well-established yew tree. The present church was built by the monks of St Martin's Priory in about 1196 and the original fabric is still visible.

Buckland Church of St Andrew

On 8 May 1774, the spire was struck by lightning. The church underwent restoration and enlargement work in 1851 and was greatly extended in 1880. Between 24 February to 5 March 1880, the old yew tree, which was thought to be a thousand years old, was moved twenty metres (yards) to the west by William Barron of the firm of Barron & Son of Borrowash near Derby, to make way for the extension. Tickets were sold at two shillings and sixpence to an eager crowd.

Two photos on this page contributed by Dover History Scrapbook.

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