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St Mary's Church, Dover

4.6
#4 of 11 in Historic Sites 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.
The 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).
In 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
47 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The venerable church is worth seeing. At the entrance we were greeted by very lovable old ladies who reported with pride and joy about their church and the many encounters with tourists. Admission is free of charge.
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  • It is said that this church was originally built in 1100 AD. It's been closed and reopened and rebuilt over the years. It was damaged in WW2 but survived where as much of Dover was destroyed by the Ge...  more »
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  • I received such a warm welcome when I visited this church. People have worshipped here for over 800 years and it has been part of the spiritual and civic life of Dover. It is a beautiful church and with so many special windows which commemorate special occasions in our history. I had the pleasure of hearing the bell ringers when I was there.
  • It is a lovely little church. Spring flowers all around it. There is a WW1 War Memorial in honour of many locals who died for freedom
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