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Cannon Street


The Metropole Hotel

This magnificant building was once the Metropole Hotel and Bar.  The entrance was in the centre, still discernable from the arched window.  This was also the entrance to the Plaza (Essolodo) cinema, which was hidden behind this imposing facade.

On the left of the picture is the Market Square and, outside the picture directly opposite the Metropole, St. Mary's Church.

"Cannon Street is short, but its story is long, because its associations run deeply into local history.

The name is not mentioned in the numerous charters and deeds stored in the Dover Corporation's Muniment cabinet.  The thoroughfare, in ancient documents, is referred to as the King's highway; and if it had borne any other name in those times, it must have been reckoned as a part of Biggin Street.  There was a Canon Ward .. in the earliest days of the Dover Corporation, being that portion of the town for which the Canons of St Martin-le-Grand were originally responsible; and for that reason, modern literary purists have urged that in the spelling of Cannon Street an 'n' should be deleted ... The presumption ... is that the street was named after the Cannon family, who had property in it 250 years ago, not withstanding the coincidence that it was part of Canon Ward.(J.B.J. 1907)

To see the marvellous Victorian architecture of these buildings, you have to look up above the modern shop fronts.

The shop of George Hatton, a little further up the street on the same side (now W.H.Smith), dates from 1896, as shown by the elaborate stonework on the top of the facia.

The square, blue protrusion behind the lamp post just right of centre marks the entrance to another of Dover's old cinemas, now a bingo hall.



"Old Cannon Street, apart from the church, had two special features - the collonade which on the east side fronted Mr. Standen's upholstery premises, adjoining the south side of the churchyard, and the Royal Oak Hotel, which for many years stood opposite the church tower.  It is believed that the Royal Oak had existed there since the Stuart days, and that it was named after the oak ion which Charles II hid himself.  These features disappeared in the widening of Cannon Street in 1893.  Prior to that date the street was both crooked and narrow, and in earlier days it had been narrower still, the footway on the east side previous to the re-building of the church in 1843 having passed over a part of the churchyard, and after the re-building that part was permanently added to the street, although there were and still are vaults beneath the footway.(J.B.J. 1907)