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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Dover, Old St. James' Church

The ruin of Old St James's Church the Apostle in Dover is situated at the top of St James' Street, and is sandwiched between The White Horse public house and the modern Sports Centre. 

The wonderful main doorway.

The beautifully carved archway over the main entrance.

The ruins of the Church stand at the top of what was at one time one of the main thoroughfares in Dover, St James' Street, which ran from the church to the Market Square. St James' Street has now virtually disappeared, with only a few houses left standing opposite the church.

Beautiful carving around the door.

St James's Church was built in about 1070, and has undergone many changes in its long life life, including being used as a prison during the war with the Netherlands in 1652.

The Devil's Door, facing Hubert Passage. The door was so called because during Christenings the door was briefly opened to allow evil spirits to escape.

The Church was extensively refurbished and extended in the 1860's, but was damaged by fire during the First World War, it was restored in the 1930's but was badly damaged again during World War II. After the war is was decided to keep the ruins in commemoration of the people of Dover and the suffering they had endured during the war. The building is now a Grade II Listed.

The Church ruins from the Hubert passage, which runs between the Church and the White Horse Inn.

The houses centre right of this photo are all that remains of St. James' Street. The green fencing to the left of the photo is surrounding the excavations that took place last year, this was of particular interest to me, as there was a garage on that spot called Thompson's of Dover. My Dad was the sales manager there, and I used to meet him there on Saturday afternoons, we used to go into the White Horse for our lunch, then I spent a couple of hours rubbing down the rust spots on my car!! That was probably the early 1970's. The whole area including where the cars are parked in the centre of the photo and the two buildings centre top of the photo are all part of the redevelopment of this area.

And finally, an old photo I took, probably in the 1970's looking down onto the ruins from Hubert Alley.

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