St Bartholomew's Church is in
Goodnestone-next-Faversham, part of the parish of Goodnestone and
Graveney. It is a trim and tiny Norman country church, alone on its
small knoll above Goodnestone Court, whose owning family it served,
along with the estate workers. The Normans built its nave and
chancel in around 1100 and later builders added more windows. The
porch was rebuilt in 1837 after an earth tremor, and a rustic tiled
and timbered bell-cote crowns the nave.
Inside, part of the roof loft staircase, two
piscinae and a tomb which may have been used as an Easter Sepulchre,
survive from medieval times. There is a miniature nineteenth century
font, Willement glass in the east window and two sixteenth century
brass inscriptions to a couple who departed 'in the fayth of Christe'.
Victorian restoration work was restrained, probably in acceptance of
the fact that not much needed doing to the structurally sound
All Saints Church is in the village of Graveney,
situated on the edge of the wide and flat marshes which overlook The
Swale estuary, three kilometres (two miles) east of Faversham. In AD
811, King Coenwulf of Mercia, who had also made a successful take
over bid for the kingdom of Kent, sold the manor of Graveney to
Wulfred, archbishop of Canterbury, for the use of Christ Church,
Canterbury. Domesday Book records the manor as being tenanted by the
de Gravene family.
The date of construction is not known, but the
style is twelfth century. Box pews were installed in 1823 but they
were bulky and uncomfortable. By 1925 there were moves to replace
them with chairs, but the cost was high, so the pews remain. A
hand-coloured photograph of around 1895 shows a tree that has not
survived, but unlike most churches in the area, this one was not
heavily restored by the Victorians, and has changed little, inside
or out, for around 200 years.
St Peter's Church Oare lies on the eastern
side of Church Road, not far north of The Street. The area is on a
sharp ridge which overlooks Oare Creek as the water heads southwards
to Faversham. The parish was a chapelry of Stalisfield, an up-country
and rather remote parish. Its Norman flint church was built in the
twelfth century, and was added to in the thirteenth century. The
chancel was extended eastwards in the late fourteenth or early
Some time afterwards the old east window was taken
out and replaced by a larger one in the Perpendicular style. In the
1860s, the Victorian architect Joseph Clarke added a number of unusual
features including some fine stained glass produced by the artist F C
Eden. The bell cote, which existed in 1803, was probably replaced by the
present semi-tower at the same time. Further restoration work on the
Grade I listed building started in April 2003.
Five photos and text on this page
contributed by Arthur Percival.