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St Paul's Roman Catholic Church


"This church is a conspicuous object in Maison Dieu Road, facing Pencester Road.  It was built in the years 1867-8, and was the permanent settlement of the Roman Catholics in Dover, although the Dover Mission had long before existed.  It commenced in 1822, and Mass was said in a house at 45, Snargate Street.  In 1834 Mass was said in a carpenter's loft in St. James's Street, the the floor being weak, it became necessary to seek other quarters, and the old Wesleyan Chapel in Elizabeth Street being then for sale it was purchased for 425; its restoration cost 400, and 350 was paid for a priest's house adjoining.  This chapel was first used by the Catholics in May, 1835.  In 1860 the priest's house was sold to the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company for 650.  About this time the estate of the Countess de Front was devoted to Catholic charities, and with a portion of it the new Catholic Church was built and endowed on the Maison Dieu Road.  A site for a Catholic Church had previously been bought in Ashen Tree Lane, but the ground not being suitable, it was sold and a newsite, part of Johnson's nursery gardens in the Maison Dieu Road, was purchased in 1864, for 450.  The building of the church was commenced in 1867, and it was opened by the Bishop of Southwark on the 15th May, 1868.  The church, which is of the Pointed style of the 13th century, is 90ft. long and 40ft. wide inside, and is built of Kentish rag and Bath stone dressings, from the designs of Mr. Edward Welby Pugin, at a cost of 2300.  In 1873 the church was completed by the addition of an apse.  Schools adjoining the north side of the church were built in 1872 at a cost of 527, and have since been twice enlarged.  The War Office contributed 50 towards the building of the church."   (JBJ 1907)


Another Roman Catholic Chapel was built in Snargate Street in 1905/6 and was dedicated to Our Lady and St Martin by the Bishop of Southwark on 29th March 1906.