Dover's St Edmund Chapel of Abingdon
will be open to the public every Wednesday
from 10am until 2pm
from May, the 13th until September, the 16th 2015
ST EDMUND'S CHAPEL DOVER
Hidden behind the shops in Biggin Street this tiny chapel 28 feet in length and 14 feet wide built of 2 feet thick masonry with Caen stone quoins and dressings was first consecrated in March 1253 to the honour of St Edmund by St Richard of Chichester. Richard was staying in the Maison Dieu but within two days of conducting the ceremony he fell sick and died there. In 1262 when Richard was canonised this Chapel for the Cemetery of the Poor linked to the Maison Dieu became a place of pilgrimage. It served this purpose through the centuries until in 1544 the Chapel together with the Maison Dieu, the Priory and other religious establishments had to be surrendered to Henry VIII. The Chapel lost its status and over the years was used for many purposes. It became a victualling store for the Navy, a store house for shops then appearing in Biggin Street and in the 19th century was turned into a two storied dwelling house and forge. Other buildings began to crowd around the Chapel and hide it from view. In 1943 cross Channel guns destroyed these houses and shops in Priory Road but leaving the Chapel practically unharmed and once more visible.
It was not until 1964 that Canon T. Edward Roberts vicar of St Mary's church in Dover hoped to get the Chapel restored and to be used as an Ecumenical Centre and following this in 1965 Father 1. Tanner, a Roman Catholic priest one time serving in Dover, saved the Chapel from demolition by purchasing it. He oversaw the restoration which was completed by a local firm using for the most part medieval techniques and retaining at least 75 per cent of the original building. The ownership was transferred to Trustees. Over the years the Trusts objectives have altered and the Chapel's use has been widened to be available for all Christian worship and used as an ecumenical meeting place..
St Edmund Chapel Dover website
St Edmund Chapel Dover - Listed Building