Project Progress

December 2022

Expanded Maison Dieu website launched, including blogposts of Maison Dieu history written by members of the research team.

The team take part in a series of festive events at the Maison Dieu and as part of community outreach inspired by Maison Dieu heritage.

November 2022

Conservation of the Maison Dieu’s impressive collection of oil paintings is well underway, led by Rebecca, Jo and Laura from Rebecca Gregg Conservation. The conserved portrait of St Martin (Dover’s patron saint) is unveiled by pupils of St Martin’s School on St Martin’s Day.  An 1857 newspaper article indicates it was painted by ‘a lady of Dover.’

The Dover 2022 community time capsule is buried. Its contents include plans of the Re-awakening the Maison Dieu project and a ceramic dragon made as part of the Maison Dieu engagement programme.

October 2022

Coniston begin work as the main contractor on site.

Families of children with special educational needs and disabilities get creative, making stained glass windows from lasagne, inspired by animals at the Maison Dieu.

September 2022

The Maison Dieu, with partners across Dover district, plays an important role in the inaugural Kent Pilgrims’ Festival, attracting over 3000 visitors to a wide range of activities including walks, talks, exhibitions, art workshops, living history events and a family-friendly pilgrim trail.

August 2022

In the first year of the Activity Plan, over 50 volunteers have clocked up over 2000 hours of engagement helping with events, research and conservation. In the same period, over 5,000 visitors attended Maison Dieu events and activities. Highlights have included William Burges Revealed, A Maison Dieu Christmas, the Science of Paintings Conservation, Royal Portraits and Sparkly Crowns and Claydate.

July 2022

The History Diggers team of community archaeologists undertake their second dig of the year, uncovering part of a medieval wall. A third dig in September reveals yet more finds, including the decorated handles of 2 medieval jugs.

June 2022

Kent-based Coniston are appointed as the main contractor to deliver the conservation and alterations to the building, which will take almost 2 years.

The Maison Dieu linked up with Ceramic Art Dover and Future Foundry to deliver Claydate 2022, a fun weekend of creative clay-based activities inspired by animals in the architecture and stained-glass around the building.

May 2022

Over 30 research volunteers reveal hidden stories of the building and its collections, including the roles of women and people from diverse backgrounds under-represented in its history. Women’s suffrage and the use of the building for the first Dover Pride are just two of these stories.

April 2022

The History Diggers team of community archaeologists working with Keith Parfitt and Andy MacIntosh from Canterbury Archaeological Trust have uncovered exciting evidence of the building’s history, including a Tudor baker’s yard, and over 60 fragments of medieval stained glass.

March 2022

How to clean an oil painting: the science of object conservation was a popular event for local schools and families, hosted as part of British Science Week. Participants learnt all about paintings conservation with experts from Bainbridge Conservation, including how to gild a picture frame and clean a mocked-up oil painting.

February 2022

A new Maison Dieu website has been launched, designed by Oak Creative and the IT team at Dover District Council, with text and images supplied by the Maison Dieu project team.

January 2022

Experts from Bainbridge Conservation start work cleaning and repairing historic William Burges furniture, oil paintings and textiles from a pop-up Conservation Studio in the Stone Hall. 

Kitchen equipment and hundreds of other surplus items from the building are re-distributed to over 40 local community groups.

December 2021

Louise Davison, a conservation graduate of the City and Guilds of London Art School, has joined the Maison Dieu restoration project on a year-long paid internship in furniture conservation. Louise will work as part of the Bainbridge Conservation team in the Conservation Studio.

October 2021

The Activity Plan gets underway, engaging with a wide range of audiences in the Dover district from school children and young unemployed adults to older people.



September 2021

Plans to convert the Mayor’s Parlour and a nearby suite of rooms into an exclusive holiday let for the Landmark Trust are well advanced. The Patrons of the Landmark Trust hold their annual dinner at the Maison Dieu and give excellent feedback.

August 2021

Martin Crowther is appointed as the new project Engagement Officer to deliver a series of events and activities for the local community.

July 2021

Planning and Listed Building Consent granted.

April 2021

Urgent repairs are undertaken, including major roof repairs by Clarke Roofing, to ensure the building doesn’t deteriorate further.

Bainbridge Conservation are appointed to run a Conservation Studio in the Stone Hall and a series of community events and activities during 2022.

October 2020

The project team start to progress the designs to a detailed level and submit applications for Listed Building Consent and a Planning Application.

Artelia, specialists in historic building project management, are appointed to oversee the building element of the project.

September 2020

The second round application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for nearly £5m of funding is successful.