New Doctoral Research to Uncover Tudor Past of Dover's Maison Dieu

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New Doctoral Research to Uncover Tudor Past of Dover’s Maison Dieu

New Doctoral Research To Uncover Tudor Past Of Dover's Maison Dieu

A doctoral research project is set to uncover the role of Dover’s Maison
Dieu under the late Tudors as work gets underway on a two-year, £10.5m
Lottery funded restoration of the Grade I Listed building and Scheduled
Monument.

New Doctoral Research To Uncover Tudor Past Of Dover's Maison Dieu

Kieron Hoyle, a former history teacher at Dover Grammar School for Boys and
now a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University
, is researching the Maison Dieu’s
development following the Reformation and Dissolution of the monasteries as
part of her PhD.

New Doctoral Research To Uncover Tudor Past Of Dover's Maison Dieu

Kieron said: “The Maison Dieu is a fascinating building but there has been
little research into the period following the Reformation and its surrender
to the Crown. My project will explore the history of the Maison Dieu under
the Tudors and this remarkable building’s relations with the town of Dover
and the Crown. It is also an opportunity to explore a time in history when
Calais was still held by the English Crown.”

New Doctoral Research To Uncover Tudor Past Of Dover's Maison Dieu

Originally founded as a medieval hospital in the early 1200s, the Maison
Dieu was surrendered to the Crown in 1544. The last master of the Maison
Dieu, John Thompson, used the hospital to store materials for the new
harbour works in Dover and it became a victualling yard, supplying ships of
the Tudor Navy as Britain emerged as a maritime power.

New Doctoral Research To Uncover Tudor Past Of Dover's Maison Dieu

Ironically, it was Henry VIII who effectively closed the Maison Dieu with
the Dissolution, but who brought about the next chapter in its history in
helping lay the foundations of the future Royal Navy!

New Doctoral Research To Uncover Tudor Past Of Dover's Maison Dieu

The research is funded by The Janus Foundation via the Ian Coulson Memorial
Postgraduate Awards scheme at Canterbury Christ Church University. It is
linked to the ‘Kent’s Maritime Communities’ project

New Doctoral Research To Uncover Tudor Past Of Dover's Maison Dieu

jointly
run by the University of Southampton and Canterbury Christ Church
University.

New Doctoral Research To Uncover Tudor Past Of Dover's Maison Dieu

Kieron’s research is being supervised by Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh, Lecturer
in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and Co-Director of the Centre for
Kent History and Heritage at Canterbury Christ Church University. The
Maison Dieu was one of the case studies in Dr Sweetinburgh’s own doctorate
on Kent’s medieval hospitals, ‘The Role of the Hospital in Medieval
England: Gift-giving and the Spiritual Economy’ (2004).

Dr Sweetinburgh said: “This is a great opportunity to take forward the
story of what happened to the Maison Dieu after it was no longer needed as
a hospital for poor pilgrims. It will help to demonstrate the importance of
early modern Dover and the relationship between Crown and town, as well as
Dover’s place as a gateway to Europe and beyond.”

Cllr Oliver Richardson, Dover District Council’s portfolio holder for
corporate property, said: “Our project to reawaken the Maison Dieu has
sparked so much interest in the fascinating story of this remarkable
800-year-old building. We’re delighted to be working with Kieron and
Canterbury Christ Church University to uncover more about the story of the
Maison Dieu during the reign of the Tudors.”

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