Last year our first donation drive was a complete success,
thanks to some wonderful people who helped us gain a security certificate and meet
some of the increasing web hosting costs. This year, that certificate needs to be
renewed and another round of hosting costs need to be supplimented. As the History
Files is a non-profit site it still needs your help. Please click anywhere inside
this box to make a small donation via PayPal so that we can continue to provide
highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. If every visitor
donated just a penny then we'd cover a year's running costs in a day! Your support
is highly appreciated.
Christ Church once stood on the southern side of
the Folkestone Road, opposite the site of Wesley Hall (see below) and next
to the Renaissance Public House (formerly the Alma). Land was surrendered
from a garden (forming nearly an acre of ground) and the foundation stone
was laid on 2 August 1843. The church was built between 1843-1844, and
consecrated on 13 June 1844. The etching here was created soon afterwards,
while the church gained a parish from St Mary's.
The building of the church, near one of the city's
former medieval city gates, opened up the area for speculative builders
eager to cash in on supplying a congregation, but that congregation did
not remain. Probably due to falling numbers, the church was closed in 1973,
demolished in 1977, and by 2010 no sign of its existence remained. A block
of flats was subsequently built on the site (further back from the boundary
wall shown here). Only the pub survives.
Wesley Hall Folkestone Road stands on the
northern side of Folkestone Road at the junction with Priory Road. It
was opened as a Methodist chapel in November 1910 to replace Snargate
Street Chapel and Buckland Church, on part of the site of St Martin's
Priory. In 1917 it was badly damaged in an air raid. Rebuilt in 1920 it
was again bombed on 2 October 1941. By 1949 it had been restored, but
closed in 1981. The building is now used by Dover College as the
Dover Tabernacle stood on on Priory Road (shown
here), although exactly where is unknown. The tabernacle's Baptist members
formed their church in 1873. They initially held Sunday services and a Sunday
School in Wellington Hall, with weeknight services in the Gospel Hall at the
rear of a house in York Street. Then they moved to this Priory Road building.
It later passed to the Salvation Army, who in turn sold it for demolition in
1913 for a post office (now gone).
St Edmund's Chapel stands on the eastern side of
Priory Road, backing onto Biggin Street as the two streets converge. It was
the first and only chapel ever dedicated by an English saint to an English
saint. It was also the first chapel to be dedicated to St Edmund of Abingdon,
archbishop of Canterbury between 1234-1240. It was built by Bishop (later
Saint) Richard of Chichester in 1253, when invited by the monks of the
Maison Dieu, in their cemetery for the poor.
The chapel, built in rubble masonry and dressed
in Caen stone, was surrendered to Henry VIII on 11 December 1544.
Over subsequent centuries other buildings were erected around it,
and it was forgotten until 1884. When rediscovered, hemmed in by
shops and a blacksmiths, it was surprisingly intact. It was fully
revealed when enemy shells destroyed two of the shops on 24 August
1943. The ruins were cleared and a small garden was created in front
of the chapel.
Dover College Chapel was built as a guesthouse,
well within the grounds of St Martin's Priory. The monks moved here
from St Martin-le-Grand soon after 1140 where they built the priory and
remained here until the Dissolution. Afterwards, the guesthouse served
as a barn before falling into disuse and disrepair. Dover College was
founded in 1871, so the building was renovated and consecrated as the
chapel, one of three original priory buildings still in use.
Salem Chapel stood on the north-east side of
Biggin Street, opposite Priory Street. It was erected in 1840 by dissatisfied
members of the Pentside Chapel, who formed Salem Baptist Church. The
chapel stood about four metres (yards) back from the street behind a small
burial ground. This was built over when the chapel was enlarged in 1879.
Renovated in 1900, in 1969 the members moved to the larger premises of
Dover Baptist Church. Boots the Chemist now stands here.
St James (New) Church stood on Maison Dieu
Road, but its exact location is unknown. A best guess would be the
corner of Pencester Road, opposite St Paul's Catholic Church. The
church was constructed as a replacement for the ancient church of St
James, which was sited much closer to the waterfront. That was found
to be too small for the burgeoning population of Victorian Dover, so
a new church was needed, and a site on Maison Dieu Road was selected.
The new church was built between 1860-1862, mostly by
W Moxon who withdrew due to financial problems before it was fully
completed. When it opened it became the main parish church. The old
church was used by a group of French Protestants for a few years and
was eventually restored in 1869. The new St James Church survived the
Second World War relatively unscathed, but much of the parish it served
lay in ruins and it was declared redundant and demolished.
Four photos on this page kindly contributed by Dover