91.—Roman Church in Dover Castledetails

[Picture: 91.—Roman Church in Dover Castle]
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91.—Roman Church in Dover Castle

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Close by the pharos are the ruins of an ancient church (Fig. 89). This church, which was in the form of a cross, was unquestionably constructed of Roman materials, if it was not of Roman work. The tiles present themselves in the same regular courses as in the pharos. The later antiquarians are inclined to the belief that this church was constructed of the materials of a former Roman building. It appears exceedingly difficult to reconcile such a belief with the fact that Roman walls, wherever we find them in this country, are almost indestructible. The red and yellow tiles at Richborough, for example, of which we shall have presently to speak, are embedded as firmly in the concrete as the layers of flint in a cliff of chalk. The flints may be removed with much greater ease from the chalk than the tiles from the concrete. The whole forms a solid mass which tool can hardly touch. It would have been no economy, we believe, of labour or of material to have pulled down such a Roman building, to erect another out of its ruins; although, indeed, the building may have been destroyed, and another building of new materials may have been put together upon the principles of Roman construction. Such considerations ought to induce us not lightly to reject the traditions, which have come down to us through the old ecclesiastical annalists, of a very early Christian church, some say the first Christian church, having been erected within the original Roman, or earlier than Roman, hill-fort in Dover Castle. Little is left of this interesting ruin of some Christian church; and

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