Buckland - Our Lady of Dover

Roosevelt Road, Buckland, Dover, Kent CT16

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A modern brick church of the 1960s by F. G. Broadbent, built to serve the post-war Ayliffe housing estate on the edge of Dover. While clearly inspired by traditional church forms, the building is not in any specific style.    The interior is wide and simple.   The sanctuary  has  been  re- ordered but some of the good original fittings remain.

The church was built to serve the post-war Ayliffe housing estate on the northern outskirts of Dover, under the auspices of Fr Tanner, the priest at St Paul’s, Dover. The team of builders he employed at St Paul’s in 1959 moved directly on to work on the Buckland church.

The church is designed in a minimal modern Gothic style. The walls are faced in brown Buckingham brick with roof coverings of Roman tiles.  The plan comprises a broad aisleless nave with a continuous pitched roof extending over the sanctuary and unequal southeast and northeast transepts.   The junction of nave and sanctuary is marked by a thin brick tower on the south roof slope. At the east end of the church is a flat-roofed extension containing the sacristies.   The central section of the broad gabled west wall is stepped forward and contains the main door under a flat canopy and a rose window above all set in a stepped brick relieving arch. The nave south wall has one long segment-headed window with brick mullions at the west end and four smaller windows set high in the wall. The small south transept has high-set rectangular side windows. East of it is the tower and the sanctuary whose south roof slope is swept down over a side chapel.  The north wall is similar, but with five small windows and a larger transept set further east.  The east gable wall has a rose window above the flat-roofed sacristy.

The interior has walls of bare-faced brown brick. The shallow-pitched ceiling is lined with fibreboard. At the west end is a vestibule with a timber gallery over between two brick enclosures, of which that in the southwest corner contains the baptistery, with a segmental arched opening to the nave.   The side walls of the nave have plain brick buttresses  between  the piers.    The  southeast  transept  contains  the  Lady  Chapel. Beyond it is a room intended as a quiet room, with a large opening to the sanctuary filled with plate glass. The sanctuary side walls are stepped inwards and the space is only lit by the small rose in the east wall.    The west transept is walled-off from the church to form a hall.  This was apparently intended to be a temporary arrangement, which was never altered. The general level of finish in the building is high and the fittings are of some quality.  The Portland stone font was carved by Joseph Cribb, Eric Gill’s  assistant at Ditchling;  the stained  glass  in the east  and  west  windows  was designed by John Trinick and made by Harold Luxford; the iron baptistery gates are by R. H. Bullingham, the carved figures in the sanctuary and Lady Chapel are by Robert Forsyth; the nave benches are of Oregon pine.

Diocese: Southwark

Architect: F. G. Broadbent

Original Date: 1960

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed