Medieval St Edmund's Chapel, Priory Road, Dover, Kent, England, UK

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Comments (7)

John Latter on March 31, 2007

This small 13th century building, some 28 feet by 14 feet, may not be the world's smallest church but it is the only one dedicated by one English saint (St. Richard of Chicester) to another English saint (St. Edmund of Abingdon).

Located in Priory Street, just behind Dover's main shopping precinct, the building has survived all planned ("Let's get rid of the traffic and all these old buildings, including the pubs") and unplanned (eg impersonal attentions from Zeppelins and Doodlebugs) development schemes - although in order to do so it has been used variously as a store, farm barn, old forge, blacksmith and workshop. Perhaps the two feet thick walls helped.

St. Edmund's chapel was restored during 1967-8 and Saturday morning Eucharists are held there.

A plaque on a nearby wall reads:

Saint Edmund's Chapel

This Chapel is the property of the Saint Edmund of Abingdon Memorial Trust

This Chapel was consecrated by St. Richard of Chicester on March 30th 1253. It is the first and only chapel ever dedicated by an English saint to the honour of an English saint and the first building ever dedicated to St. Edmund of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury 1234 - 1240.

On March 30th 1253, St. Richard preached his last sermon and said his last mass here. He died in the Maison Dieu, Dover on April 3rd, 1253. Laus Deo.

Prior to its restoration, I think the building had a connection with the Reverend/Chaplain Philip 'Tubby' Clayton's Talbot House organisation ('Toc H') - any info would be welcome

Serkan GÜRKAN on April 12, 2007

This small 13th century building, some 28 feet by 14 feet,... very cute..

John Latter on April 25, 2007
John Latter on October 16, 2007

From "The History of the Castle, Town and Port of Dover" by Reverend S. P. H. Statham, Rector of St Mary-in-the-Castle (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), page 209:

A Wayside Chapel.

The remains of a very interesting thirteenth century chapel are still to be seen hemmed in by the shops in Biggin Street and Priory Road. It is a small building some twenty-eight feet in length by fourteen broad. The walls, which are fairly intact, are built of rubble masonry two feet thick, with Caen stone quoins and dressings. The west doorway is plain pointed with roll mouldings. The north and south walls are pierced by two lancet windows each, widely splayed, and a moulded string course ran round the interior below their sills. The roof was of a good pitch, and had tie-beams, collars and struts. The chapel is now entirely given up to trade purposes and is difficult of access. We conjecture that it was erected by the canons of St. Martin's and St. Mary's Priory, and was used as a wayside chapel, although it is not impossible that it may be the remains of the Hospital of St. Bartholomew's Chapel.

[Journal of the British Archaeological Association, xl.]

John Latter on October 13, 2009

John Latter, on March 31, 2007, said:

Located in Priory Street...

It should be Priory Road, not Street.

John Latter / Jorolat

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John Latter on January 6, 2011

An updated view taken with a higher resolution camera:

The Unique St Edmund`s Chapel of Priory Road, Dover

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 31, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/03/31 16:26:18
    • Exposure: 0.017s (1/60)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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