CHAS Members reach new heights at Maison Dieu (Dover)

Martin Crowther, Engagement Officer at Maison Dieu, took a group of CHAS members on a hard hat tour of the historic building earlier this afternoon. After walking through the Victorian prison (raised above a medieval floor) we eventually ascended scaffolding to get to the very top of the Connaught Hall, a building originally opened in 1883 and now a major part of the whole restoration project costing over £9,000,000. Martin explained how the architect, William Burges, loved elaborate neogothic decoration. The original ornate ceiling, including much gold leaf, was painted over in the 1960’s and many times since, but now is being painstakingly restored with the pattern and colours of the Victorian original. We were able to witness some of the stencilling close up, and the picture below shows the CHAS members and a view of the newly restored ceiling. There were plenty of other interesting features to see close up including fabulous stained glass (an image further below), but on our way out we passed a Victorian urinal (also on its way out). To read more about the Maison Dieu please click here or visit the Maison Dieu website .

Please click on the images below (courtesy of Brian McHenry) to enlarge. The final image does not refer to CHAS members!