St John Mariner Church, circa 1841 engraving
(compare with circa 1860 woodblock)
St John Mariner's Church was in Blenheim Square, standing at the south east corner facing Middle Row, a lane which led to Seven Star Street. The church passed through many phases. It was built by a Mr Iggulden for a congregation of Wesleyan Dissenters, in 1822.
It was later in the hands of Independents and then the incumbent of Holy Trinity Church took it for an evening service until his own church was completed. Then Miss Marryatt, sister of Captain Marryatt, author of "Midshipman Easy", took it over and Mr Richardson of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion (sic) was appointed to conduct services, especially for Mariners. It was evidently not successful and she abandoned her efforts. The Revd William Yate then commenced ministry there in 1846, when it became an additional Anglican church for the parish of St Mary. Revd William Yate, who founded the Dover Sailors' Home, nearby in Elizabeth Square, ministered at St John Mariner church for 31 years. It had not been in use for some years before demolition in connection with the major Pier (housing) Improvement Scheme.
St John Mariner church - interior view of part of the church,
towards the end of its life.
St John Mariner Chapel:
Woodblock circa 1860
St John Mariner church pictured in
Sale of Church 1908
"DOVER PROPERTY SALE: A Church brought to the Hammer
"Mr Henry Hayward of the firm of Messrs. Worsfold and Hayward, had a good company before him in the large room at the Metropole Hotel, Dover, yesterday, when he had to offer several interesting lots, including St John's Mariners' Church, near the Dover Sailors' Home, the organ of the same, which was recently repaired at considerable expense at the charge of the late Dr. Astley ....."
"In proceeding to the sale of the church, Mr Hayward said that he had never, in the course of his experience, before had to offer a church for sale. This particular church was said in the particulars ot have been founded by the Revd William Yate, who founded the Dover Sailors' Home. That was as far as his memory went but a gentleman connected with the church had told him it was built in the 1820s for another religious body, and that Mr Yate took it over in 1846. The building was in excellent condition; it had seats in it for 500 persons; and it had accommodated at a push as many as a thousand persons. The organ in the church did not belong to the trustees, therefore it would be sold separately. With regard to the church, the auctioneer said it was well adapted for a place of worship, or it might very well be used for a factory. It was very near where the Pier viaduct would be constructed and might possibly be wanted in connection with the contemplated improvements. None of these more or less probable possibilities attracted a bidder, so it was withdrawn. Mr Hayward remarking that he would be pleased to treat with anyone privately.
"It being intimated that there were bidders present for the organ, that was put up, the first bidding being £10. It crept up by £2 bids to £52, at which sum it was sold....."
(Dover Express 21 August 1908)
St John Mariner - records:
Baptism registers from 3 May 1849 up to and including 6th May 1906 are held at Canterbury Cathedral Archives, under reference: U3/230 1/1 to 1/6. There are no marriage or burial registers. The baptism records (a large number of which were for children of Dover mariners) have been transcribed and typed alphabetically, (over 120 pages), from A - Z by Mrs Ruth Nicol of St Margaret's Bay.