St. Mary in Castro, Dover Castle, Dover

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Seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year as they tour Dover Castle, St. Mary in Castro is, first and foremost, a working place of worship. Services are usually  at 10am every Sunday, normally Holy Communion, or Sung Matins on the 2nd Sunday each month.(ring 01304 202979 or see ‘Services’ and ‘Calendar of Events’ for current details) 

Services for December

Sat 05/Dec/15 09:00 Becket Service in Kings Chapel 
Sun 06/Dec/15 10:00 St Barbara's Day- Morning Prayer
Sun 06/Dec/15 16:00 FODC Carol Concert
Sun 13/Dec/15 10:00 Advent 3 & Baptism (EUCHARIST not Matins)
Sun 20/Dec/15 10:00 Advent 4
Sun 20/Dec/15 18:00 Carol service
Thu 24/Dec/15 16:00 Christingle
Thu 24/Dec/15 23:30 Midnight Mass
Fri 25/Dec/15 10:00 Christmas Day
Sun 27/Dec/15 10:00 St John the Evangelist


Once the local Garrison church, it is now an Extra-parochial Church in Canterbury Diocese,  but it still keeps a miltary ethos.
All services are open to everyone,  if attending worship, an entry ticket from English Heritage is not required.

The church is inside the Castle grounds and, from its Saxon beginnings, has served garrisons within the castle and in the surrounding area.
Sited on the White Cliffs of Dover with a 360 degree panorama the age of the church is uncertain but the current building dates from 800 to 1000AD (late Saxon ). It is likely that it is on the site of earlier Roman foundations, either a place of worship or a building linked to the Roman lighthouse, Pharos, which is by the West door. Roman building materials, especially tiles, were re-used by the Saxons in walls and arches.

At the end of the seventeenth century, church attendance dropped, the church fell into ruins. It was later used as a fives court, a coal store and rubbish dump. In 1862 the church was restored by George Gilbert Scott and the distinctive mosaic work and other cosmetic additions were added by William Butterfield in 1889/90.

The church played a major part during the two world wars as a place of worship and contemplation for those stationed in the castle, or those heading overseas. During the spring and summer of 1940 services continued despite almost constant air-raids and anti-aircraft fire

Bird's eye view

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St Mary in Castro
Dover Castle
CT16 1HU
(01304) 202979 (Church Office)

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  • Regular Services
Printer friendly list of events


Holy Communion Service
A Holy Communion service takes place at 10am.
Every first third fourth and fifth Sunday at 10:00 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Coffee Common Worship
Matins from BCP
Traditional service of Matins from the Book of Common Prayer
Frequency changes occasionally, please check with the verger if attending specifically for Matins.
Every second Sunday at 10:00 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Coffee Book of Common Prayer



(Hymn Books / Orders of Service etc.)

Assistance dogs (eg guide dogs, hearing dogs, dogs for the disabled) welcome
Stained Glass Wall Paintings Floodlight
Cafe / Restaurant Shop
Church Open

Foodbank or foodbank collection point
Other information
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 5393
Built: 1000
Architect: Restored by Gilbert Scott and Butterfield
Style of worship: Traditional Catholic

The current editor is: Tom Russell

This page was last updated on Monday 30th November 2015
St. Mary in Castro, Dover Castle , Dover Castle, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU

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