The Victorian Gorely House Almshouses, Cowgate Hill, Dover, Kent, UK

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John Latter on October 23, 2009

Gorely House of Cowgate Hill, Dover, is the oldest almshouse building owned by the Municipal Charities of Dover and currently consists of 24 one bedroom flats.

The original dedication stone above the centre of the building states:

Alms Houses Erected and Site presented by Mrs Susan Gorely 1877.

Tucked away at the bottom of page 658 of the October 23rd 1880 edition of the British Medical Journal is the following snippet:

BEQUESTS.- Legacies have been left by the late Mrs. Susan Gorely of Dover to the following medical charities :- To the Margate Sea-Bathing Infirmary, GBP 5,000; the Dover Hospital, GBP 1000; the Hospital for Diseases of the Throat, Golden Square, GBP 500; the Kent County Ophthalmic Hospital, GBP 1000; King's College Hospital, GBP 5,000; the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, GBP 2,000.

A paraphrased extract from page 6878 of the December 21st 1880 edition of The London Gazette:

Susan Gorely (late of Maison Dieu) died on the 26th day of September, 1880, and her will was proved on the 29th day of October, 1880, in the District Registry at Canterbury of the Probate Division of the High Court of Justice by Edward Ferrand Astley, of Marine Parade, Dover aforesaid, Doctor of Medicine, and Henry Johnson, Manager of the London and County Bank, Croydon, the executors therein named.

Doctor Edward Ferrand Astley was the chap who donated The Astley Drinking Fountain of Connaught Park Pond, Dover, UK.

A later memorial stone visible on the right-hand side of the above photo is inscribed:

This addition was erected out of a legacy of GBP 1000 bequeathed to the Gorely Almshouse Charity by the will of the late Henry Hobday Esq. of Dover who died on the 13th May 1921.

The road in the bottom-right of the photo is Cowgate Hill leading up to the Main Entrance of the Victorian Cowgate Cemetery.

The garden wall at the rear of Gorely House runs parallel with the lower (east) boundary wall of Cowgate Cemetery, with a narrow lane between the two. This lane doesn't appear to have been named, and as it will be referred to in several photographs, I've taken the liberty of calling it "Cowgate Lane". Lets hope its not a hanging offence :)

Photo taken on Tuesday, 13th of October, 2009, from Cowgate Hill at the northern end of Gorely House.

John Latter / Jorolat

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 14, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/10/13 11:21:15
    • Exposure: 0.005s (1/200)
    • Focal Length: 20.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash