Maintenance of Historic Buildings
Dover College is located on the site of the medieval Priory of St Mary and St Martin in the heart of the town. The site, which dates back to 1131 and is now designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument, still includes three of the original buildings which are in use in the school today. The first, the Refectory, is a 100’ hall which has the remains of an unique 13th Century wet fresco on the wall. Pupils take their meals in this magnificent setting every day of the school year. The second is the Chapel, which was originally built as the Guest House for distinguished visitors to the Priory. When the school was founded in 1871, it was converted to a chapel by the addition of a semi-circular apse at the East end. The third is the Gatehouse, which is now used as a Music classroom and, in another room, an office. The Gatehouse was rebuilt in 1320, having probably been set ablaze during a raid by the French in 1295. The whole of the lower level of the school site, is also situated within the Dover Conservation Area and is subject to planning restrictions.
Each of these magnificent buildings, and the Close in which they lie, requires frequent maintenance to ensure their future, which is an expensive venture. Even replacement of the Kent peg tiles that comprise the roofs becomes more difficult with every passing year as they become more scarce.