St James' Church


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dover (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TR 32261 41556


St James’ Church, 47m south-east of Castle Hill House.

Reasons for Designation

A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible.

Despite later alterations and bomb damage, St James’ Church survives well with a considerable amount of upstanding medieval fabric. It includes some significant architectural details such as the Norman round-headed doorway in the west wall and the rounded windows. The site will contain below-ground archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction, use and history of the church.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 December 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a medieval church surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated at the foot of Castle Hill Road, south-west of Dover Castle near the seafront. The church is constructed of flint, Caen stone and tile with stone quoins. It was built in the 12th century with alterations and additions made in the 14th century and the 19th century.

The church was originally cruciform in plan with a central tower. The walls are up to several metres high in places but elsewhere only survive as consolidated stone foundations. The west wall has a fine Norman round-headed doorway with zigzag pattern. The nave includes three rounded windows and there is a Norman two-light window beyond the chancel in the area of the former tower. The east end is approached via four steps. In the north side of the church is a blocked doorway with scallop capitals and twisted shafts. On the south side of the nave is a 14th century addition. This was used, until 1851, as a Court house for the Chancery and Admiralty Courts of the Cinque Ports, and for the Court of Lodemanage. The last Court of Lodemanage was held by the Duke of Wellington in 1851. St James’ Church was damaged by shelling from the French coast during the Second World War.

The upstanding remains are Grade II listed.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
KE 135
Legacy System:


Kent HER TR 34 SW15. NMR TR 34 SW15. PastScape 467808. LBS 177821.


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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