a Saxon church it is assumed that St James's is one
of the three, unnamed, Dover churches listed in the
Domesday Book. The present structure dates from about
the 12th century.
As well as being a place of worship the church was also
the meeting place of the official courts of the Barons
of the Cinque
. Their last meeting was in 1851 and was presided
over by the Duke
as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
By the 19th century the old church was in need of enlargement
and restoration. It was decided that it was not possible
to build a sufficiently large church on the old site
at the top of St James's
, and a new site further north on Maison