After having been used as coal store and semi-derelict for fifty years, Sir George Gilbert Scott restored the main body of this church between 1860-2 with his clerk of works J. N. Marshall on behalf of the War Department so it could again become the Garrison Church. The drawings were actually addressed to J. Burlinson at Spring Gardens and Baker-King exhibited a drawing of it in 1861, so it was a combined office job, Scott writing about the project in Archaeologia Cantiana, ‘The church on the Castle Hill, Dover’, Volume 5, 1863. However, his work here is subject to the usual preconceptions about his restoration projects fuelled by the criticism at the end of his life which has influenced commentators for over a hundred years:
His [Scott’s] work here does certainly show a real and not entirely typical concern, to harmonize with its surroundings. Thus his nave windows, for example, are round-arched and turned in brick, in similar fashion to the blocked Saxon S. doorway, and his N. doorway is a thirteenth century piece in every particular except date(!), and while it is not easy to tell how much mediaeval work remained to guide Scott in 1862, pre-existing work by no means always restrained the nineteenth century church builder who thought he had something better to offer. As for the height of the restored nave, Scott certainly had the line of weathering in the tower W. wall to inform him of this, for it is clearly visible in the photograph taken just before work commenced. It stands just a little taller than the chancel which, in turn, rises only a little above the transepts. The roofs to all of these parts of the building are presumably also Scott’s.
The surprise is evident at his sympathetic restoration.