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.Before you head to Dover, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Dover road trip planner , to make sure you see all that Dover has to offer, including St Mary's Church.
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.
Tours to St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church Reviews
Die altehrwürdige Kirche ist sehenswert. Am Eingang wurden wir von sehr liebenswerten alten Damen empfangen die mit Stolz und Freude über ihre Kirche und die vielen Begegnungen mit Touristen berichtet... more »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.
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 »
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
Places to stay near St Mary's Church
Plan your trip to Dover
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Side trips from Dover
Hidden gems in Dover
Historic Sites in Dover
Nearby attractions in Dover
Plans to St Mary's Church by other users
10 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Brighton and Hove, Southampton & Dover BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 45 days in England BY A USER FROM ROMANIA November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 3 days in Kent BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 24 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 40 days in Scotland, England & Wales BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium