Thursday, 6 October 2011

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

A view of St Edmund's Chapel taken on Saturday, January 8th, 2011, from above the chapel forecourt on Priory Road:

Consecrated by St. Richard of Chicester in 1253. Dedicated to St. Edmund of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1254. Dissolved in 1544, restored 1967-1968. Ex-Royal Navy, ex-blacksmith's forge. Listed Building.
(Click this text link to see the largest size)

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 was subsequently put to various uses "including a victualling store for the Navy, a store room, and a (blacksmith's) forge".

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 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 (World War II) and demolished. One of the buildings used to be "Bicknell's" (H. R. Bicknell), a newsagent and tobacconist.

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 (St Mary-in-Castro), 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* Dover Listed Building: "Particularly important buildings of more than special interest".

More information, including sources used, listed building text, and a Google Earth satellite map, can be found on the photo's original webpage at:

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

Also see:

The Unique St Edmund's Chapel of 14 Priory Road, Dover
The Unique Medieval St Edmund's Chapel at Night, Priory Road, Dover

Links to the main Images of Dover website:

All St. Edmund's Chapel photos first appear under the Dover Church tag.

A Dover Architecture and Urban Dover medieval history photo.

More Dover at Night photos.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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