Wickhambreaux Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
still occupies a neat slot on the southern side of Wickham Road,
midway between the Wickham Lane and Spicer's Place junction, and
less than a hundred metres south-west of the chapel itself. This
chapel was founded by the Wesleyan Methodists in 1890. In the 1930s
it would have lost its 'Wesleyan' tag as the Methodist split was
healed, but falling post-war memberships meant it closed in 1975
and is now a private residence.
St John the Evangelist Church, Ickham, is
on the eastern side of this village, at the top of Ickham Court which
connects the church to The Street. A church here is mentioned in
Domesday Book in 1086, but the earliest visible remains are from the
mid-1100s. Ickham must have been growing rapidly at this time as the
nave was greatly enlarged to the west, and given south and north
aisles in the late 1100s or very early 1200s. A west tower was also
added at the same time.
Inside the church at the east end of the nave,
the four eastern piers indicate that there were mid-twelfth century
round-headed arches here. The arch on the north still survives as
does its western impost block with some later renewals, while on
the south the arch has been replaced, but the twelfth century piers
still have much of their original quoins. This seems to indicate
that the east end of the nave is still in part the late-1000s nave,
pierced in the mid-1100s for aisles.
St Vincent of Saragossa Church, Littlebourne,
is on the eastern side of Church Road, with an entranceway that is
almost exactly opposite Elmleigh Road. First documented in 1086, it
originally belonged to St Augustine's Abbey. The eastern three-quarters
of the nave are presumed to be early Norman, complete with reused Roman
bricks. The south isle was early 1200s. The chancel was added late in
the same century while the tower dates to the early or mid-1400s.
Littlebourne United Reformed Church
occupies a narrow slot right up against the western side of Nargate
Street, about fifty metres north of the High Street junction. The
chapel building was originally founded in 1814 as Littlebourne
Congregational Chapel, with space for a hundred and fifty
persons. It is shown as such on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 and
in Kelly's Directory of Kent of 1903. Today, as a United Reformed
building, it is better known as The Chapel.
Well Chapel, Bekesbourne, lies on the edge
of a field on the southern side of Bekesbourne Lane, very close to
Howletts Zoo Park, around 150 metres west of a side lane which
crosses the Little Stour. This was Michael Powell's 'Nettle Abbey'.
It served the now-lost hamlet of Well, and unlike parish churches
such chapels were often abandoned as their congregations diminished
or moved. The chapel still stood intact in 1535 when Ickham's parson
drew up plans to repair it.