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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 14 December 2012. Updated 13 September 2019

Canterbury Part 13: Churches of Hoath to Boyden Gate

St Dunstan's Catholic Church, Hersden

St Dunstan's Catholic Church is on the eastern-outside corner of The Avenue as it turns south to meet East View, at the very eastern edge of Hersden. The site was purchased in 1933, with the church being completed in 1934. By this time Chislet mining village had firmly been re-established as Hersden. The church was originally weatherboarded with an entrance on one side wall. Weatherboarding became pebble dash in 1956 when the interior was redecorated.

Holy Cross Church, Hoath, Kent

Holy Cross Church, Hoath, lies on the northern side of Church Road, a hundred metres west of the junction with Marley Lane. The church was probably built during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Until then, the inhabitants of Hoath had to walk to St Mary's (Old) Church Reculver, around six kilometres away. Although they had a new church, they were not permitted to carry out burials until 1303, and they only gained their own resident priest in 1310.

Holy Cross Church, Hoath, Kent

The tower contains three bells, one dated to 1500 and the other two to 1696. Robert Hunt, vicar of Reculver and Hoath in 1594, had been born in the village around 1570. He emigrated to the James River colony in Virginia in 1607, where he celebrated the first Anglican Communion in the new colonies, laying the basis for the Episcopalian church in the later United States. Today, the churchyard at Hoath is closed for burials but is open for the internment of ashes.

Maypole Wesleyan Church, Kent

Maypole Wesleyan Church is on the eastern side of Maypole Road, seventy-five metres or so south of the lower junction with Maypole Lane at the Prince of Wales pub. Maypole is part of the parish of Hoath which, at the 1851 census, had a Wesleyan 'church' in an outbuilding belonging to Richard Larkin, blacksmith. In 1860 the village's Methodists opened a dedicated chapel at Maypole. It was still open in 1894, but closed afterwards and is now a private residence.

St John the Evangelist Mission Church, Marshside, Kent

The former St John the Evangelist Mission Church can still be found today on the southern side of Chapel Lane, about a hundred metres east of the junction with Reynolds Farm Road in the Marshside area of Kent, close to Boyden Gate. This mission church was erected in 1879 to serve a sparsely-populated area of Kent for the parish of Chislet for members of the congregation who found it too hard or inconvenient to make the walk to St Mary the Virgin in Chislet.

Boyden Gate Wesleyan Chapel, Marshside Methodist Church, Kent

Opened as Boyden Gate Wesleyan Chapel in 1841 (according to the inscription above the door), it is located on the western side of the Chapel Lane footpath which connects Forge Lane to North Stream, to the east of the hamlet of Boyden Gate Hill. The plain brick-built chapel opened nineteen years before that at Maypole (above) with the local Methodist congregation clearly increasing in this time. Today Boyden Gate's building is known as Marshside Methodist Church.

One photo on this page kindly contributed by Paul Lawston via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and one copyright © David Anstiss, reused under a creative commons licence (External Link: cc-by-sa/2.0).

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