New Engagement Officer at Dover's Historic Maison Dieu

Martin Crowther

Martin Crowther will lead a programme of community activities at the Maison Dieu

Dover's historic Maison Dieu has a new Engagement Officer as part of the £9.1m Lottery funded reawakening of the Grade I Listed building.  Martin Crowther is looking forward to working in partnership with the local community to deliver an action-packed programme of activities over the next few years, as the building is transformed into an exciting and accessible heritage and events venue.

Martin Crowther has worked in the heritage sector for over 30 years, including as Learning and Access Manager for Canterbury Museums and Community Engagement Manager for Canterbury Cathedral. For the past three years he’s been a freelance heritage learning consultant and educator, where his work has included delivering artefact investigation workshops at Dover Museum, bringing the town’s colourful history to life for local schools. He’s also a specialist in developing creative heritage learning opportunities for adults and children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Martin is passionate about historic buildings and collections and working with the community to breathe new life into them. He commented: "I’m delighted to have been offered this exciting new role. The Maison Dieu is an incredible building with layer upon layer of history and I’m very much looking forward to working with local community groups to explore and celebrate this heritage.

"I am particularly attracted by the range and ambition of the activity programme which seeks to attract people of all ages and backgrounds to Dover’s Town Hall - from community archaeological digs and a Festival of Arts to work-related learning skills for young people inspired by the building and its renovation." 

A keen walker and cyclist, Martin is also delighted that health and wellbeing is high on the agenda and is looking forward to working with local community groups to develop walks and cycle routes inspired by the medieval pilgrims who stayed at the Maison Dieu on their way to Thomas Becket’s shrine at Canterbury Cathedral.

Martin is keen to speak to local groups or individuals to discuss how they might get involved in this exciting project. Please email

 Maison Dieu Partners logo strip

Notes to editors:

  1. The £9.1m reawakening of the Grade I Listed Maison Dieu will see the restoration of internationally significant decorative schemes by the renowned Victorian neo-Gothic architect, William Burges, a new street-level visitor entrance to the Connaught Hall, along with improved access throughout the building.
  2. The project creates a sustainable future for the Maison Dieu by bringing redundant spaces back into commercial use, including restoring the Mayor’s Parlour as a holiday let in conjunction with The Landmark Trust, and a unique new café in the space once occupied by Victorian gaol cells.
  3. Once complete in 2024 the Maison Dieu will be permanently open to the public for the first time in its 800-year history and contributing to the creation of a heritage quarter in Dover town centre.
  4. Project funders/partners include the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Wolfson Foundation, The Landmark Trust, Dover Town Council, and the Dover Society.
Posted on 11 August 2021

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