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Market Square and Cannon Street, Dover, Kent, England, United Kingdom

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John Latter on April 6, 2009

Looking across the Market Square to where it joins the southern end of Cannon Street [1]. Towards the bottom right of the photo there is a mosaic cube which is used to cover the Market Square fountain during the winter months. This photo shows how the fountain looks when it is working.

In front of the base of the covered fountain lies the long low structure of a horse trough that was once sited at the junction of Folkestone Road (Maxton) and Elms Vale Road. The inscription reads:


This is one of the Eight Beatitudes of Jesus. Although there is some variation in different bibles, it is usually written, "Blessed are the meciful...". This beatitude is found in St Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 5, Verse 7.

Cannon Street ends, and Biggin Street begins, where the buildings at the far end of Cannon Street angle to the left. At this point, the church of St Mary the Virgin is on the right (but out of shot) and the entrance to New Street (where the Roman Painted House is located) is on the left.

Halfway down on the left-hand side of Cannon Street, a metre-high dark blue windbreak delimits the outside seating area of The Eight Bells public house. This pub derives its name from the number of bells in St Mary the Virgin's belfry.

Also on the left, the white-sided building shows the entrance to the now-truncated Market Street where this view of the Roman Painted House was taken.

Out of shot to the left a short access road leads to Dover Public Library, part of the Discovery Centre. As you climb the steps to the library, the ruins of St. Martin-le-Grand church can be seen on the right. Castle Street enters the Market Square from the right (also out of shot).

There is a photo of the Old Market Hall (Museum), The Ellie Cafe Bar and the Discovery Centre which line the south side of the Market Square behind the viewer.

[1] From Street Name Origins:

Cannon Street There was a Cannon Ward in the earliest days of the Dover Corporation, and was the portion of the town under the control of the Canons of St Martin-le-Grand. It has been argued that the street takes its name from this ward and is thus misspelt. However, the street never bore this name at the time of the canons. A more likely explanation is that Captain Henry Cannon, who was Deputy Governor of Dover Castle during the Commonwealth, owned property in the street.

The above photo was taken on Sunday, 22nd of March, 2009, at 9.36 am.

Standard Info:

The following paragraphs are taken from plaques located in the Market Square.

In ancient times the Market Square area stood at the mouth of the River Dour, then a wide tidal river. During the Roman period Dover (Portus Dubris) became an important port and garrison for the Roman fleet, known as Classis Britannica. The Romans built a fort below the Western Heights slopes, a little to the west of here, in the 2nd Century AD. In the late 3rd Century this was replaced by a larger garrison fort, built against Saxon invaders.

As the river began to silt up and more land was reclaimed, the old Roman quay and fort which the Romans had abandoned in the 5th Century fell into disuse. In the 7th Century Widred, King of Kent, built a Saxon church, dedicated to St Martin on the west side of the square. This was burnt down by William the Conqueror during his march from Hastings to London in 1066. The church was replaced by a much larger Monastery and Church built by Odo, the Constable of the Castle and Earl of Kent. St. Martin is the Patron Saint of Dover.

The Norman church of St. Martin-le-Grand was so large and important that it embraced three seperate parish churches within its walls. During Henry VIII's Reformation the church was closed and finally destroyed in 1535. Most of the remains were removed in 1892; the last remnants, demolished in 1955, were incorporated into the front wall of the bank [1] on the west side of the Square.

A fair or market has been held in the Market Square since at least 1160, the most important being the annual St Martin's Fair. Dover's Guildhall was built in the centre of the Square in 1605 on wooden pillars, replacing the old Market Cross. The Market was held beneath it. The Guildhall was used as a council chamber and a museum. It was demolished in 1861.

The old Market Hall, the facade of which still stands, was built in 1846 to provide a new Museum and covered market. The building was badly damaged by bombs and shells during the Second World War and was closed down, the museum moving to the Town Hall. The Market Hall building is on the site of the original Town Gaol built in 1746, rebuilt in 1820, and then moved to the Town Hall in 1834.

In the Market Place, Dover Corporation had its instruments of punishment and correction - the stocks, pillory and whipping post. It is recorded that in 1588 pick-pockets were taken to the Market Place, had one ear nailed to the pillory and a knife placed in their hand. The pick-pocket could then decide whether to stand and be jeered at, or to free himself by cutting off his ear.

Looking up Castle Street, you can see Victoria Park mansions below the Castle. This crescent of fine Victorian town-houses was built in 1834 as residences for "Military, Naval and Other Gentlemen". Castle Street itself was only begun in 1830 and not opened up into the Market Square until 1837.

[1] The National Westminster Bank (NatWest)

This is the Images of Dover website.

John Latter on September 15, 2009

John Latter, on April 6, said:

...In front of the base of the covered fountain lies the long low structure of a horse trough that was once sited at the junction of Folkestone Road (Maxton) and Elms Vale Road...

The Old Dover set at my Jorolat Flickr website now contains a photo of the Horse Trough in its original location:

Old Dover: The Horse Trough at the Elms Vale Road and Folkestone Road junction (UK).

John Latter / Jorolat

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John Latter on December 9, 2012

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 25, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/03/22 21:36:28
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 31.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash