Dover Town Hall - The Maison Dieu


Type:Historic Site

Biggin Street, Dover, Kent, CT16 1DL

Tel: +44 01304 201200

Dover Town Hall - The Maison Dieu


The Maison Dieu, the oldest of the Town Hall buildings, was founded by Hubert de Burgh, then the Constable of Dover Castle in 1203.

It was not then built, as many have thought, as a church, but to provide short term accommodation for pilgrims travelling to the shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury, and for the care of wounded and destitute soldiers.

Over the last 800 years the building has seen many owners and fulfilled many functions from military store to Council Chamber, from centre of local justice and punishment to concert hall. The Maison Dieu contains a collection of arms and armour and some fine paintings. It is also home to the famous unique Zeebrugge Bell given to Dover by the King of the Belgians in 1918.The painted stained glass windows depict notable historic events and date from 1873.

The Maison Dieu will close in September 2021 for a two-year programme of conservation and restoration work, so that future visitors can enjoy Burges’s unique decorative features.


A new History Room and a regular programme of guided tours have been created at Dover Town Hall as a pilot project by the Dover Town Hall Refurbishment Steering Group to improve the interpretation of this magnificent 800-year-old building in the heart of Dover.

On Wednesday mornings from 10am to noon visitors will be able to join a guided tour of the building led by volunteer guides from The Dover Society. There will be a small charge of £2 for adults, and £1 for children. Dover Town Hall is a working building and tour routes may vary depending on functions. Please ring Dover Visitor Information Centre (01304 205108) to check tours are running before making a special visit.

If you would like to bring a group (minimum of 10 people) to tour the Town Hall we would be happy to see if we can run a special tour for you either on a Wednesday or at other times of the week if there are no booked functions in the hall. Contact Derek Leach from The Dover Society on 01304 823926 to discuss this.

The History Room will be open from 10am to 4pm on Wednesdays until 31 March 2012.


The historic Dover Town Hall is an ideal venue for conferences, shows, balls, concerts and weddings. Offering a choice of Halls to suit most occasions. The Stone Hall and Council Chambers are also licensed for civil weddings. Thanet Leisure Force provide all the catering for Town Hall functions and offer a wide variety of menus from light refreshments to superb banquets. Contact Mrs Val Leadbetter & Mr Ron Densham (01304 201200).


Book Tickets


Map & Directions

Opening Times

2021 (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)

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