Friday, 11 November 2011

Unitarian Church Listed Building at Sunrise, Adrian Street, Dover, Kent, UK

A post-sunrise view of the octagonal Georgian (1) Unitarian Church on Adrian Street seen from the A256 York Street central reservation at 6.53 am on Monday, 29th of August, 2011 (2):

Georgian octagonal church built 1819 by Thomas Read, architect. Vestry. First Dover Sunday School. Free Christian Church, Baptists. Memorial plaque to congregation members who died in World War I.
(Click this Unitarian Church text link to see the largest size)

The A256 dual carraigeway runs between York Street roundabout to the left, and the Folkestone Road roundabout (fronted on the east by the Dovorian Restaurant and the Golden Lion pub) to the right. Ye Olde Bicycle in the bottom right-hand corner is mine!

Behind the church on the left are part of the Western Heights hills (below the Drop Redoubt and above Cowgate Cemetery).

Abridged from the Dover Unitarian Church website (3)

The Unitarian & Free Christian Church in Dover has been Unitarian since 1828. Freedom of belief and the form of worship was unanimously agreed by the membership in 1916 and this liberal tradition is upheld today.

We meet as a group of friends seeking truth, freedom and tolerance in rational worship and fellowship on the first and third Sunday of every month at 3pm.

The Church was founded in 1643 by a dissenting group who refused to subscribe to unreasonable beliefs. They were persecuted and some were imprisoned in Dover Castle.

In the early 1800's these 'General Baptists' became Unitarian (asserting the Oneness of God). They questioned belief in a Trinity and considered the religion of Jesus (Love God and your neighbour) more important than a religion about Jesus. They rejected Original Sin, the Virgin Birth, and the condemnation of non-believers.

The first Sunday school in the town of Dover opened at this church in 1803. The present Chapel, built in 1820, is a grade II Listed building and participates each year in Heritage Open Days.

Abridged from The Unitarian Heritage (4)

Dover Unitarian Church, Adrian Street. Kent. 1819. One of the oldest General Baptist foundations (1643); Captain Taverner of Oliver Cromwell's Roundhead army was a founder-member. Second chapel built 1745, enlarged 1793. Recent chapel built to house large following of Benjamin Martin (Benjamin Marten?), disciple of Universalist Williarn Vidler.

Yellow brick, octagonal. Two matching venetian windows on opposite sides wlth pediments over; slate roof, formerly with bellcote. Plain arched wlndows of good proportions. Interior: original plain box-pews; pulpit moved to one side when semi-circular organ chamber added late 19th century. Rear curving gallery supported on four iron pillars. Architect Thomas Read. Meeting hall of 1971, built as compensation for road encroachment (Unitarian Church Hall). Small garden.

Abridged from A new history of Dover (1828) (5)

The foundation stone of a new and elegant chapel, designed by Mr. Thomas Read, was laid, on the 15th of February, 1819, by Mr. Sampson Kingsford, elder of the Baptists' church at Canterbury.

1820 Georgian Unitarian Chapel by architect Thomas Read is located above Fivepost Lane, Adrian Street, Kent, UK. Baptists. A Grade II Listed Building. Wood-cut engraver G. W. Bonner of London, W. J. Linton apprentice.
Woodcut Engraving of Dover Unitarian General Baptists Chapel*

This chapel, which is situated above the Fivepost Lane, leading from Snargate Street, was opened for public worship on the 2nd of May, 1820. Several vaults, with entrances from the adjoining cemetery, were constructed in the basement.

Mr. Benjamin Marten's long and zealous ministry was drawing to a close; and only three years were allowed him to officiate in this new structure.

Mr. George C. Pound, after officiating as a minister of this society fourteen years, was chosen pastor on the demise of Mr. Marten; and is assisted in his charge, by Mr. John Marten, son of the late pastor. The present deacons are Messrs. John Igglesden, John Marsh, John Tilly, and William Kingsford, esq.

Of late years, most of the members appear to have embraced the Unitarian doctrine; but we are informed that this does not affect the denomination, as General Baptists. Their Sunday school consists, at present, of about 120 children.

*The woodcut illustration was designed and engraved by wood engraver, George Wilmot Bonner (1796–1836) of London. It was made before 1837 and probably after 1828, thereby missing the first edition of A new history of Dover; William James Linton (1812 - 1897) was Bonner's apprentice during this period. The work was commissioned by the Unitarian Church congregation.

World War I

A Dover Memorial marble tablet was unveiled by the Reverend C. A. Ginever (an ex-Minister of the Unitarian Church) on the 3rd of April, 1920, following a service led by the Reverend John Yeoman (an ex-Chaplain to the Forces). The service commemorated four members of the church's congregation who had died of wounds received during the First World War (6) (7).

The inscription reads (7):

In Proud and Loving Memory of

Albert Edward Amos, RGA. Fell in action at Bray, Somme, 13 October 1916, age 22

Arthur Robert Igglesden. Fell in Action Vimy Ridge, France, 10 April 1917, age 25

John William Blatchford, MGC. Fell in action St Quentin, France, 22 September 1918, age 25

Owen Chitty, 3rd City of London Yeomanry. Invalided from the army and died from heart disease 24 August 1919, aged 43

The above members of this congregation volunteered for service 1914-1918 and died for their country

Greater service can no man render

A Kent Fallen ( document states (6):

AMOS, ALBERT EDWARD. Gunner, 52863. 25th Siege Battery. Royal Garrison Artillery. Died at Bray-sur-Somme, France on 14 October 1916. Aged 22. Born Peckham, Surrey. Enlisted Dover, Kent. Resided River, Dover, Kent. Buried Grove Town Cemetery. Meaulte, Somme, France. Grave Ref: I. L. 45.

IGGLESDEN, ARTHUR ROBERT. Lance Corporal, 435252. 50th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment). Died at Vimy Ridge, Neuville-St-Vaast, Pas de Calais, France, 10 April 1917. Aged 26. Born Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 13 November 1891. Enlisted Calgary, Alberta, Canada 31 May 1915. Son of Robert W. Igglesden, and Mary E. Igglesden of "The Beacon," Chilton Avenue, Kearsney, Dover, Kent. Buried Canadian Cemetery No 2, Vimy Ridge, Neuville-St-Vaast, Pas de Calais, France. Grave Ref: 2. C. 21.

BLATCHFORD, JOHN WILLIAM. Private, 56192. 74th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Died 22 September 1918. Aged 25. Enlisted Herne Bay, Kent. Son of James and Ann Eliza Blatchford of 7, Maison Dieu Place, High Street, Dover, Kent. Buried Ronssoy Communal Cemetery, Somme, France. Grave Ref: B. 11. Formerly Trooper, 2170, Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles.

The above are commemorated on the Dover Civic War Memorial.

CHITTY, OWEN. 3/1st City of London Yeomanry. Died 24 August 1919. Aged 43. Owen was invalided out of the army and died from heart disease. He is regrettably not commemorated on Dover, Kent civic war memorial. Of even more concern it would appear that he was not commemorated by the then Imperial War Graves Commission (now Commonwealth War Graves Commission), despite dying well before 31 August 1921, it being the official cut-off date for Great War related deaths.

The source further states:

As Owens' regimental details are not strictly correct it seemed prudent to point out same should family members or other interest parties view his commemoration here." (more)

The Dover Unitarian Church is a Grade II Listed Building group (8)

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

List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List Entry Number: 1343832



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: Kent
District: Dover
District Type: District Authority
Parish: Dover
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Grade: II
Date first listed: 17th of December, 1973
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: LBS
UID: 177719

Asset Groupings

This List entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List Entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


ADRIAN STREET 1. 1050 Unitarian Church and Vestry adjoining TR 3141 2/29

Dated 1819. Architect Thomas Read. An irregular octagon in shape. 2 storeys yellow brick with 4 brick pilasters, Slate roof and wide bracket cornice. The front elevation has a pediment set in brick arcading with a round window in its tympanum, 1 large Venetian window under tile pediment and the other windows are round-headed sashes. Single round-headed doorcase approached up a flight of steps having a cast iron handrail. Adjoining to the north side is a building of 2 storeys and 1 window which contains the Vestry.

Listing NGR: TR3189241281

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

National Grid Reference: TR 31892 41281

Unitarianism (9)

Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being.

For most of its history, Unitarianism has been known for the rejection of several orthodox Protestant doctrines besides the Trinity, including the soteriological doctrines of original sin and predestination, and, in more recent times, biblical inerrancy. In J. Gordon Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions it is classified among "the 'liberal' family of churches".

The first Unitarians, although not called Unitarians initially, were found in Poland and Transylvania from the 1540s onwards, though many of them were Italians. In England the first Unitarian Church was established in 1774 on Essex Street, London, where today's British Unitarian headquarters are still located (Essex Hall). The first official acceptance of the Unitarian faith on the part of a congregation in America was by King's Chapel in Boston, from where James Freeman began teaching Unitarian doctrine in 1784, and was appointed rector and revised the Prayer Book according to Unitarian doctrines in 1786.


(1) From the wikipedia entry for Georgian architecture:

Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover - George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United Kingdom, and George IV of the United Kingdom - who reigned in continuous succession from August 1714 to June 1830.

Ex- Builder's Yard, now 6 apartments owned by Southern Housing Group (SHG housing association). Once rife with anti-social behaviour and psychological violence. Here I research specific areas of Evolution and Psychology.
Robsons Yard Flats

(2) Cycle route begins at Robsons Yard Flats in the Tower Hamlets area of Dover, then: Athol Terrace (Eastern Docks) - Seafront Promenade - Prince of Wales Pier (Western Docks) - Robsons Yard.

This is where I do my Evolution and Psychology research! (archive)

(3) Dover Unitarian Church website
(4) The Unitarian Heritage: An Architectural Survey (1986)
(5) A new history of Dover. To which is added A new Dover guide, by William Batcheller (first published 1828)
(6) Dover, the Unitarian Church
(7) The Unitarian Church, Adrian Street, War Memorial
(8) Source: English Heritage. Designation: Grade II: buildings that are "nationally important and of special interest". Click to see photos of all Dover English Heritage sites.
(9) Wikipedia entry for Unitarianism

The main photo was originally uploaded to:

Dover Unitarian Church Listed Building at Sunrise, Adrian Street, Dover, Kent, UK

Other Dover Church images include:

See all Dover Architecture, Listed Building, and Urban photos.

A British Army, History, and World War I photo.

More Sunrise views.

Clickable thumbnails of all church- and urban-related photos on the main Panoramio Images of Dover website are available on this blog at Church and Cemetery Page and Urban Page (also linked to below the blog title).

The Panoramio photos are each accompanied by a Google Earth satellite map. However, the images are smaller than those on the Images of Dover Blog and the captions are less well formatted.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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