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St Mary's Church, Dover

4.8
#16 of 48 in Things to do in Dover
The Church of St Mary the Virgin is a Grade II* listed Anglican church, a parish church in Dover, Kent, and is situated on Cannon Street in the town centre. There was a church on this site in Saxon times. It was largely rebuilt in the 19th century.Early historyThe church stands on the site of Roman baths; it is thought there was originally a Saxon church here. Three churches in Dover are mentioned in the Domesday Book, and it has been supposed that these are St Mary's, St James' and St Peter's. The oldest parts of the existing building are the tower and three bays of the arcades, which are Norman architecture of the early 12th century.From 1230 the church was controlled by Maison Dieu, which was built in Dover in 1203 to accommodate pilgrims from overseas visiting Canterbury Cathedral.The church was closed in 1537, at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, but opened in 1544 as a parish church, after a petition of the townspeople. From 1581 it was the official church of the Mayor and corporation instead of St Peter's Church (which stood on the northern side of the market square and was in disrepair; it was demolished soon afterwards).RebuildingIn 1843–1844, during the incumbency of Canon John Puckle, the church, except for the tower, was rebuilt in Early English style. The work was carried out by J. C. & C. Buckler. The church was enlarged and clerestory windows were added. The tower was restored in 1897.
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St Mary's Church Reviews
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  • August 17, 2017
    If you have to wait on the ferry and you walk the streets of Dover, to get this church without saying. Visit and read the (Dutch-speaking) explanation of this church once. Educational!
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  • August 8, 2017
    The church was cool - especially the bell tower that we built during Norman times. The best part was the volunteer - he had lots of great history and let one of our group ring the church bell which ma...  more »
  • July 29, 2017
    This Historic Anglican church is located in the town of Dover. It is an easy walk from town centre to the church. The architecture and amazing stone construction is very impressive.  more »
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  • Strangely peaceful feeling when you enter this particular Church.
  • God bless

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Where to stay in Dover

Boutique hotels and guesthouses are tucked among Victorian homes in the shadow of Dover Castle. Consider lodging next to the striking white cliffs of Dover with a view over the water. Cottages and inns farther inland give access to the surrounding countryside and offer comfortable accommodations at lower prices.
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