Night View of the Unique St Edmund's Chapel, 14 Priory Road, Dover, Kent, UK

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John Latter on January 9, 2011

A view of St Edmund`s Chapel taken on Saturday, January 8th, 2011, from above the chapel forecourt (where Bicknell's the newsagent and tobacconist used to stand before it was restructured during an early attempt at globalization - see below).

This 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 (Edmund Rich, or Eadmund of Canterbury, consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury on 2 April 1234).

The Chapel was consecrated by St. Richard of Chicester on March 30th 1253, dissolved in 1544, and subsequently had various uses "including a victualling store for the Navy, a store room, and a forge" (see below).

St. Edmund's chapel was restored during 1967-1968 and Saturday morning Eucharists are held there.

The pathway on the right is "St Edmund's Walk" which connects Priory Road (where the photo was taken from) to the shopping precinct in Biggin Street.

Two Priory Road houses in front of the chapel were hit by shell-fire in 1943 during the Second World War and demolished. One of the buildings used to be "Bicknell's" (H. R. Bicknell), a newsagent and tobacconist, and the shop can be seen on the right-hand side of the Old Dover: The Town Hall in Biggin Street from Priory Road photo (part of the Old Dover set).

A plaque in the forecourt of St Edmund's Chapel states:

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.

Maison Dieu is now part of the Town Hall.

Prior to its restoration, I'm sure the building had a connection with the Reverend/Chaplain Philip Tubby Clayton's organisation, "Talbot House" (alt. Toc H)

Extract 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.

St Edmund's Chapel is a Grade II* Listed Building (1).

The following is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence (PSI licence number C2010002016):

Building Details:

Building Name: ST EDMUNDS CHAPEL Parish: DOVER District: DOVER County: KENT Postcode:

Details:

LBS Number: 177813 Grade: II* Date Listed: 17/12/1973 Date Delisted: NGR: TR3165641661

Listing Text:

DOVER

685/2/27A PRIORY STREET 17-DEC-73 (Northeast side) ST EDMUNDS CHAPEL

GV II*

Dates from the Cl2 (ie 12th Century). This was originally the Chapel of the Cemetery of the Poor, attached to the Maison Dieu and used as a pilgrims' chapel. It was dedicated to St Edmund of Canterbury. 1 storey flint-faced. The interior has a restored king-post roof with some tie-beams reused from another Mediaeval building. 2 lancets. In 1544 the chapel was dissolved and the building had varied uses including a victualling store for the Navy, a store room and a forge. It has recently been restored for ecclesiastical purposes.

Listing NGR: TR3165641661

Source: English Heritage. Click to see photos of Listed Buildings and English Heritage locations in the town of Dover, England.

(1) Grade II*: "Particularly important buildings of more than special interest".

Click to see more Dover Churches.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

John Latter on January 15, 2011

Click to see a three-quarters view of St Edmund`s Chapel showing part of St Edmund's Walk.

John Latter on January 16, 2011

Also see the three-quarters view after dark:

The Unique Medieval St Edmund`s Chapel at Night

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 9, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/01/08 19:08:20
    • Exposure: 30.000s
    • Focal Length: 18.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/22.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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