ST. MARTIN`S CHURCH
North Holmes road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1-1QJ,
This is possibly the oldest church in England.
King Aethelberht of Kent (560- 24th February 616) was to marry Princess Bertha daughter of the King of Paris of the Merovingian dynasty. One of the betrothal gifts to his future queen was for her to have a place of worship for her Christian faith, so the king had St. Martin`s church which had become derelict being built in the late Roman period.This is now a grade 1 listed building.
Roman bricks have been used in the renovation,as can be seen in several sections of walls, the aspe has now been removed from the eastern end of the church and the square-headed doorway in the chancel is possibly the entrance to Queen Bertha`s church.(1)
further information telephone-
church office – 01227-768072. Monday or Wednesday 1000hrs-1200hrs
Rector – 01227-462686
Sunday 0900hrs sung communion first sunday
0900hrs said communion service other Sundays
Thursday 1200hrs informal prayers
The church is by St Augustine`s Abbey, walk pass the abbey on your left, then up the road to the roundabout, take the first turn off `Longport`, going up the hill pass the prison on the left where after a road called St Martin`s terrace, go up this where you will see the church up in front of you.
Ask the driver if you are not sure of the stop and where the church is, hopefully the driver may know!
There are two stations in Canterbury,
Canterbury East – Victoria – Dover Priory line.
Canterbury West – London Charing Cross – Ramsgate line
St Pancras int
You can park your car near the church.
ST. MARTIN`S CHURCH. ALDINGTON.
Church lane, Aldington, Kent, TN25-7EF. O/S map 173 ref TR 074 362
Tel Vicar 01233 721986
This church has over the centuries developed into what we see today as a fine church, but from small beginnings in the Anglo-Saxon Period whose remains can be seen in the north wall of the nave and chancel. The church sits on high ridge on the northern boundary of Romney Marsh and to the north overlooks the wide valley of the river Stour.(1)
ST. MARGARET OF ANTIOCH. DARENTH.
Darenth Hill, Darenth, Kent, DA2-7QY. O/S map 171 ref TQ 560 712
Tel Vicar 01322 227153 e-mail Church of England. St Margaret of Antioch church, Darenth, web-site
Parking is available
The church is off Darenth Hill adjacent to Fruit Distribution Centre.
Nearest train station is Dartford station
There is a bus service which is outside the Dartford railway station, bus service No 414 it operates during the day, mon – fri.
there is a pub called the Chequers on Darenth south road, open daily but check the web-site for times.
The church is set in the country, with the River Darenth nearby, being built in 940 A.D. it has been altered over the centuries with the north and west nave walls being original, with Roman tiles within the wall structure, the Roman road, Watling Street is not far away.(1)
ST. MARY DE CASTRO CHURCH, DOVER CASTLE.
Look under places of interest for more information on this church, it is within Dover Castle.
ST. MARGARET OF ANTIOCH, LOWER HALSTOW
Church path, Sheerness road, Lower Halstow, Kent, ME9-7ED. O/S map 172 ref TQ 860 674
Tel Churchwarden 01795 842749 or Vicar 01634 360794
e-mail Church of England, St Margaret of Antioch church, Lower Halstow, web-site
Parking is available
Nearest railway station, Chatham and Sheerness
There is a bus service by Chalkwell service Nos 326 327 328 operates mon – fri, check their web-site for times.
There is a pub called The Three Tuns, The Street, Lower Halstow, open daily but check their web-site
tel 01795 842840
The village is just over a mile/1.6km north of the Roman Watling Street, midway between Chatham and Sittingbourne, sits by one of the many creeks on the River Medway, built in the 11th century, part of the chancel dates back to the original church which is now mainly from the 13th century in this aisled nave and aisleless chancel church.(1)
ST. EDMUND, KING AND MARTYR, WEST KINGSDOWN
Fawkham road, West Kingsdown, Kent, TN15-6AY. O/S map 171 ref TQ 579 633
Tel vicar 01474 852265 e-mail Church of England. St Edmund King and Martyr, West Kingsdown web-site
Parking is available
The church is set off the Fawkham road, the post code is for some cottages, the church is a little further away, on the opposite side of the road, up a roadway in woodland.
Nearest railway station Swanley
Bus service Griffin buses service No 408, Swanley, West Kingsdown, Borough Green. every 2hrs mon – sat, but check their web-site.
There is a pub The Gamecock, London road, West Kingsdown, open daily
Teel 01474 852240
The church is pleasantly situated in woodland about 1/2 mile/.8km north of the London-Maidstone road, midway between Farningham and Wrotham. The early part of the fabric now consists of an aisleless nave and chancel, with a tower on the south, overlapping the junction between the nave and the chancel. In later times a vestry has been added on the north of the nave and a porch on the south; and great diagonal buttresses have been built to support the tower , being built reckoned about 1030 A.D.(1)
ST. GILES. KINGSTON
Church lane, Kingston, Kent, CT4-6HY O/S map 173 ref TR 198 512
Tel Vicar 01227 831340 e-mail Church of England St Giles, Kingston web-site
parking nothing is mentioned but it looks like you can park off the lane by the church.
Nearest railway station Canterbury, Folkestone, or Womanswold which you walk from if desired.
Bus service Stagecoach service No 17 Canterbury city centre too Folkestone town centre passing through Kingston, the timetable various over the whole week so check the stagecoach web-site.
There is a pub The Black Robin covert lane, Kingston, open daily
Tel 01227 830 230
Where the Roman road from Canterbury to Dover runs across open downs, about 5 miles/8km south-west of Canterbury, the small village of Kingston nestles in a valley, about half mile/.8km to the south of the road, with its church on higher land. The church has an aisleless nave and chancel which has been added to over the centuries, but the main fabric of nave and west part of the chancel is late Saxon/early French-Norman.(1)
ST. AUGUSTINE. EAST LANGDON
Guston lane, East Langdon, Kent, CT15-5JF. O/S map 173 ref TR 333 460
Tel Vicar 01304 852179 no e-mail
Parking, nothing is mentioned but it looks like you can park on the road by the church.
Nearest railway station Martin Mill station just north from East Langdon, on the line between
Deal and Dover.
Bus Service Regent Coaches service No 93, Deal, south street. East Langdon. Dover, Pencester road. mon-sat, see Regents web-site for timetable.
There is a pub at Martin village just to the north of East Langdon, called The Old Lantern Inn which also has accommodation, open daily
Tel 01304 852276
The church at East Langdon, is pleasantly situated in a fold of the Downs about 3 miles/4.8km north of Dover. There is debate on whether the main fabric is Anglo-Saxon or French-Norman, but it appears French-Norman, although the nave, with small quoins of dressed stone and thin walls suggest Anglo-Saxon origin.(1)
ST. NICHOLAS. LEEDS
Lower street, Leeds, Kent, ME17-1RL. O/S map 172. ref TQ 826 533
Tel 01622 842915 or 01233 663365
Parking is available
Nearest railway station Hollingbourne station on the Maidstone to Ashford line, station is about 2 miles/3.2km north from Leeds village.
Bus service, there is a bus service from Maidstone, but that is a far as can be worked out?
There is a pub called The George Inn, Lower street, Leeds. open daily, but check.
Tel 01622 861314
The small attractive village of Leeds, which is about 5 miles/8km from Maidstone, set in rolling countryside having Leeds Castle as its neighbour, the village is a little south of the main road from London to Folkestone (M20)/A20. The church has a massive French-Norman tower with an aisled nave, the only Anglo-Saxon feature is the north wall of nave above the later arcade.(1)
ALL SAINTS. LYDD
Cannon street, Lydd, Kent, TN29-9DU. O/S map 184 ref TR 161 408
No contact available
Parking is available on the road by the church.
Nearest railway station Rye or Folkestone stations
Bus service Stagecoach `The Wave` service No 100/101 Hastings, Rye, Lydd, Folkestone. daily service.
There are several pubs in Lydd.
The imposing parish church of Lydd, in the heart of Romney Marsh, is justly described locally as the Cathedral of the Marsh, its tall perpendicular tower, over 130 feet/39.6m high, serves as a landmark over a wide radius, and its spacious nave, chancel, and aisles are mainly of the Early English period, with fine Perpendicular windows inserted later.
It is therefore to find preserved in the north-west angle of the north aisle of this medieval church a fragment of the main walls of a much earlier Anglo-Saxon predecessor, comprising externally lengths of about 30 feet/9m of north wall and 14 feet/4.2m of adjoining west wall, in rough rubble construction, with wide mortar joints. The early church of which these fragments formed a part was evidently small, but clearly of unusual and interesting design, with aisles and clear-storey, a western annexe of some sort, and probably an apsidal chancel.(1)
ST. MARY AND ST. ETHELBURGA. LYMINGE
Church road, Lyminge, Kent, CT18-8JA O/S map 173 ref TR 161-408
Tel Vicar 01303 862432 e-mail Church of England St Mary & St Ethelburga Lyminge web-site
Parking is available
Nearest railway station Westhanger station on the Ashford too Folkestone line
Bus service Stagecoach service No 17 Folkestone bus station (bay A1), Lyminge, Canterbury bus station.
There is a pub called Coach and Horses, Church road, Lyminge. opening times are not available
Tel 01303 862694
About 4 miles/6.4km north of Hythe, close beside the medieval church of St Mary and St Ethelburga at Lyminge, a complex series of ruins covering a considerable part of the churchyard formed the object of one of the long controversies so dear to hearts of the Victorian archaeologists. The enthusiastic and learned Rector of the parish, Canon Jenkins, presented a case for the former existence of an unusually large and ambitious early Anglo-Saxon church, with three parallel halls, each ending in an eastern apse. In the end more cautious views prevailed and the ruins were accepted as those of a small church of the early Kentish type, beside the more extensive remains of a Roman bath-house, from which much of the material for building the church had probably been taken. The arguments of the old controversy are fully set out in Archaeologia Cantiana and the account which follows is therefore confined to the conclusions which were finally accepted.
The ruined church was part of a nunnery whose foundation by St. Ethelburga forms one of the many romantic stories of early Christianity in England. Ethelburga, daughter of Ethelbert the first Christian King of Kent, was married in 625 A.D. to Edwin, King of Northumbria, who at the time of his marriage, was a pagan, the same situation happened with her mother Queen Bertha, Edwin agreed that she might bring her priests with her to the north. The story of the mission of Paulinus and the conversions of Edwin, but after the defeat of Edwin in 632, at the hands of Penda, King of Mercia, Paulinus and Ethelburga returned to Kent, where here her brother Edbald was still reigning as king. There soon after 633, she founded a nunnery at Lyminge under her own rule as abbess. The church of St Mary, whose ruins are to be seen beside the south doorway of the later medieval church, is part of that nunnery.
HOLY TRINITY. MILTON SWALE OR MILTON-ON-SWALE
Green porch close, Saffron Way, Milton Regis, Kent, ME10-2HA O/S map 172 ref TQ 909-654
Tel Vicar 01795 472016 e-mail Church of England Holy Trinity, Milton Swale web-site
Parking is available
Nearest railway station Sittingbourne
Bus service Chalkwell bus services service from Sittingbourne.
There are plenty of pubs in Milton.
This church is now within a housing estate. In Anglo-Saxon days the Swale was an important waterway which provided sheltered passage for traffic which had come from the continent to Richborough and thence by inland waterways to the west of the Isle of Thanet on it way to London. Milton was therefore conveniently near to an important shipping route and also to the important Watling Street which led from Canterbury and Dover to London. The proximity of the place to roads and waterways seen to have been a liability as well as an asset, for in 892 A.D. the Danes under Haeston made a camp there, when the Great Army was at Appledore, on the other side of Kent, and Milton was burnt by Earl Godwin`s forces in 1052 when he returned from exile.
There is little now surviving in the fabric of the church, from before the Conquest, but the north walls of the nave and chancel are clearly of some antiquity with big brown uncut flints and the occasional Roman tiles which is laid in a rather random fashion, but with some herring-bone courses.(1)
ST. MARY AND ST. SEXBURGA, MINSTER-IN-SHEPPEY
High street, Minster-on-Sea, Kent, ME12-3QD O/S map 172 ref TQ 956 730
Tel Parish Office 01795 871500
Vicar 01795 877734 e-mail Church of England Minster-in-Sheppey church web-site
Also there is a Minster Gate House Museum.
Parking is by the church.
Nearest railway station Sheerness
Bus service Sheerness
There is a couple of pubs surrounding the church.
The abbey church at Minster stands on the highest land near the north of the Isle of Sheppey, whence one may look over the Thames to the Essex coast by Shoeburyness or south across the Minster marshes and the Swale towards the mainland of Kent. Here after the death of her husband Erconbert, King of Kent in 664, the widowed Queen Sexburga founded a religious house for over 70 nuns and became its first abbess at about 670, the land was bequeathed to her by her son King Ercombert.
The parts of the early fabric which have survived are characteristic of the earliest Anglo-Saxon style of building, and it is therefore possible that they are survivals from Sexburg`s original church.
In the Middle Ages, the nuns church and the parish church stood side by side, it was thought curtains hung between them, similar to the shared abbeys of the time, run by an abbess, usually someone of high standing , the later church in the form of a very wide south aisle to the earlier church on the north. The nuns church was later extended by building a wider chancel with its walls in line with those of a nave and extending considerably beyond the east end of the parish church, but now the nuns church has become a northern appendage to the parish church, and its chancel has been greatly shortened.(1)
ST. BOTOLPH, NORTHFLEET
The hill Northfleet, Northfleet, Kent, DA11-8EU O/S map 171 ref TQ 624 741
Tel Vicar 01474 566400 e-mail Church of England St Botolphs church Northfleet web-site
Nearest railway station Northfleet
Bus services service No 455 Gravesend, Northfleet, Dartford.
There is a pub by the church called Ye Olde Coach and Horses
The church is in an area near the Thames to the north, with industrial and housing with a large lake to the south which was once a chalk pit, called Blue Lake, Gravesend is to the south-east.
The unusually large church has an aisless chancel, an aisled nave of about 100 foot/30m long and 60 foot/18.2m wide and a seventeenth tower.
The only pre-Conquest feature remaining in the church is the south-west quoin of the nave. This quoin appears in the angle between tower and the aisle, where it runs up the whole height of the wall and shows seven complete long-and-short pairs of which the long upright stones average about 2 feet/.6m in height whereas the short bonding stones average only 8 inches/20.3cm.(1)
ALL SAINTS, ORPINGTON
Bank hart road, Orpington, Kent, BR6-0EU O/S map 171 ref TQ 466 666
Tel Church Office 01689 832031 e-mail Church of England All saints church Orpington web-site
Parking is available
Nearest railway station Orpington
Bus services service No 477 Orpington station/bus station, bus station at Bluewater shopping centre.
the church is to the north-east of The Walnut shopping centre in Orpington.
There are places to eat near the shopping centre.
Reasons were given in 1880 and again in 1904 for believing that the nave of All Saints church, contained parts of a pre-Conquest fabric, but this was questioned by Mr. Erwood in 1947, when he gave reasons for believing the earliest part of the surviving church had been built in the 12th century. This was unable to be confirmed by the building of a new church thus destroying any evidence of the nave but this work brought to light a unique treasure in the form of a pre-Conquest sundial of very much greater elaboration than any previously known.(1)
Anglo-Saxon Architecture volumes I, II, & III. – H.M. Taylor & Joan Taylor.
scroll to (new links 2015-16)
by Michael George Shapland (click here) a large pdf of 50mb for all the volumes of above.