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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

Dover Priory Station

The Priory Station was opened on 22 July 1861 as a temporary  terminus by the London Chatham and Dover Railway when  their line from London reached Dover. On 1 November 1861 it  became a through station when the tunnel connecting it with  the Harbour Station opened. Originally called Dover Town it  was renamed Dover Priory in July 1863, taking its name from  the nearby remains of St Martin’s Priory. After this the name  Dover Town was taken by the South Eastern Railway for their  original terminus.   As built, Dover Priory had an overall roof covering the  platforms and was provided with goods, carriage and engine  sheds. Passenger services for the town were consolidated at  the Priory Station in 1927 when the old Harbour Station was  closed (the Town Station had closed to civilian traffic in October 1914). The engine shed was closed in 1928 when a new shed  near the old Town Station was opened. In 1932 the station was rebuilt in the modern style of the Southern Railway. During the Second World War the station saw much traffic  including the evacuation of the children of Dover in June 1940.  It had the dubious honour of being the victim of the first shell  to hit the town, which destroyed the passenger footbridge on  11 September 1940.  Since the war the station has seen a large increase in cross  Channel passenger traffic as the Eastern Docks has developed.  With no rail connection to the Eastern Docks, shuttle buses  connect with the arrival of train serivces from London.  In 1994  the Priory Station became Dover’s only railway station when  the Marine Station closed. In August 2006 major renovations started at the station.  Including the refurbishment of the station building, booking  hall and toilet facilities, and planned improvements to the  external circulation for vehicles. There were also works to  improve port interchange facilities, signs for pedestrians and  CCTV coverage in the waiting areas. In December 2009 high-speed trains started running from  Dover Priory to London St Pancras. From Ashford International  the new Javelin trains use the high-speed line built for the  Eurostar Channel Tunnel services.  Passengers are now able to  reach London in 1 hour 6 minutes, saving at least 30 minutes  on the previous quickest journey time.  
Dover Priory Station c.1876.  The engine and carriage sheds can clearly be seen.  The two tracks running diagonally across the foreground lead to the station building which is just out of shot on the left hand side. Dover Priory Station, 1930.  The engine and carriage sheds have been demolished prior to the rebuilding of the station but the overall roof remains. Dover Priory Station, 1932.  The new station has been completed. Dover Priory Station after rebuilding in the 1930s.  A train from London Victoria arrives at platform 1. Dover Priory Station, 2013.  The 1930s station building after its refurbishment. Back to Railway Index