Page Updated:- Tuesday, 20 November, 2018.

John Bavington Jones

Published in the Dover Express, 31 October, 1980.


PART 127.



Between the Red Lion and The Alma public house, which still stands opposite the junction with Effingham Street, there used to be numerous businesses. In 1901 there were John Rawlings, bootmaker, A. White, builder, G. W. Staveley, tailor: J. G. Knight, newsagent; S. Nye, cycle dealer; W. J. Holland, greengrocer; A. Ross, fancy goods shop; T. R. Edwards, butcher; W. L. Flood baker; the Railway Coffee Tavern (J. Elgar); William Beer, hairdresser; J. Baker, fishmonger; T. Chandler, greengrocer; Southern Premium Publishing Co. site; and Joshua Hall, greengrocer. All their premises have since been swept away due to redevelopment, war damage or, ultimately, road widening and the construction of the York Street dual carriageway.

The Alma, as its name suggests, dates from the Crimean War time. Several of the houses between Christ Church Steps and the Red Cow were built about the same time as the church, whilst others were much older, but were re-built about the year 1875, the building boom of the Forties having used up St. Martinís Hill and the Priory Terrace and the detached and semi-detached residences on the same side up to Belgrave Gardens being of that period. The Priory Station and the railway bridge date from 1861 when the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway was opened. The station was re-built in the 1930s and the railway bridge widened about the same time. The houses at Priory Gate and Priory Gate Terrace were built by Mr Philip Stiff and Mr. W. J. Adcock a few years after the opening of Dover College.

Beyond the Priory Station most of the houses date from about 1860, and later. Mildmay Lodge, and Canton Villa were built for the late Mr Rowland Rees, the latter name being a memorial of his China experiences. From Labumam Cottage up to Maidstone House, the residences are of about the same or later dates. An exception was the Girlsí Orphan Home, which stood at the corner of Winchelsea Road. That valuable institution was established in 1865, by Miss Haddon, but the pleasant premises which it occupied were of much older date.

The large mansion now called Westmount, which is used as an adult education centre and for some time was used as a Dover College Junior School, was originally known as Mount Ellis. It was built in 1865 for Mr Joseph Joel Ellis, a Leicestershire colliery owner. The foundation stone was laid with great ceremony on the 12th of May, 1885, Mr Rowland Rees being the architect and Mr Philip Stiff the builder. The stone was laid by Mrs Ellis, and the Rev R. I. Cohen read a record of the proceedings written in Hebrew on a scroll, which was placed in a vase with current coins, and placed in a cavity of the stone. Mr Ellis resided there Wilt a short time, and afterwards it was occupied by Mr Robert Chignell, who kept his school there between 1870 and the opening of his new school on Castle Mount. West Mount was in 1877-8 occupied by Major-General Lord Russell, when he was in command of the South-Eastern District. The houses on the south side, from Christ Church up to the Engineer, date from about 1870; and Belgrave Gardens, a terrace of 17 houses, further on, was built in connection with the Clarendon Estate In 1878.



Beaumont Terrace and St Johnís Road were built about 1879. Baron Beaumont bought West Mount and all the land eastward, down to the railway, with the intention, it was said, of founding a monastery there. That project fell through, and on the portion of the land having a frontage to the Folkestone Road. Beaumont Terrace and St Johnís Road were built, it Being then intended to lay out a terrace with larger houses on the hill above, with an approach from St Johnís Road, but the whole of the remaining site was selected for the Ordnance Stores which now occupy it.

Beyond Maidstone House, up to the Elms turning on the north, and from Belgrave Gardens up to Maxton on the south, the frontages were filled up with residences during the last decade of the 19th century. The lands on the north from the Elms turning towards Church Road and a levelled area of land at Farthingloe, further up the Folkestone Road, form the playing fields of Dover College.



When the Folkestone Road was formed in 1752 under the Turnpike Acts, a toll-gate was erected at the Elms turning to Hougham. After an existence of 115 years the toll-gate was removed on 1st November, 1877. It was the last to survive in Dover. At the time the toll-house was kept by George Rummery and the sweet shop associated with the toll-house was a great attraction for children. Soon after the gate was removed, Major Lawes built the pair of villas still standing on the triangular piece of land at the road junction and put up a drinking fountain and horse trough which survived until recent years. Behind the villas stands one of the Electricity Boardís transformer sub-stations built in 1933 and public conveniences.



The Clarendon and Winchelsea building estates were 19th century additions to the Folkestone Road district. Clarendon is a name which applies, generally, to the densely populated district lying between Folkestone Road and Military Road, and extending from the railway to Maxton. The name is derived from the fourth Earl of Clarendon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who died in June, 1870, when this estate was being laid out. The Clarendon Estate was the first big building development carried out by the firm of Messrs William Crundall and Co. The first houses built were those on Clarendon Hill, facing the railway; and Selborne Terrace, built in 1872, was named after Baron Selborne, better known as Roundell Palmer, QC, who, in that year, was elevated to the office of Lord Chancellor. At the end of Selborne Terrace, there was a gap unfilled for about ten years; but, westward of the footpath leading up to the Military Road, Clarendon Place was commenced also in 1870, and a row of some 40 houses then built. After a pause of about five years building was resumed, and in the course of about three years, Clarendon Road, Clarendon Place, Clarendon Street, Malvern Road, and part of Belgrave Road were finished, making an addition of about 450 houses, mostly adapted for artizansí dwellings, which, at that time, were very much needed, owing to the increasing population and the destruction of small property at the Pier, for the construction of the Dover and Deal Railway.


Dover Priory Station

Taking shape nearly 50 years ago is the first part of a £100,000 new Priory Station, In the form of an island platform on the ď up ď line, as it was then considered. The new station booking office and associated buildings were erected on the site of the old station and goods shed on the right of the picture. The booking office building in the foreground was linked to the western platform by a span roof but this was removed and temporary shelter provided for the old platforms, while the new station was being built. The three new platforms were to be 700ft long by 22ft wide compared with the old pair of 500ft long by 12ft wide.

It was proposed to link the platforms with a 20ft wide subway but ultimately an overhead footway was built Instead. On the left of the picture, which dates from January 1931, there used to be an extensive series of carriage and locomotive sheds which were demolished In connection with the improvements. A large new locomotive shed was built parallel with Shakespeare Beach and for many years, until electric trains made it redundant, this was a popular attraction for train spotters.


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