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Gallery: Churches of Kent
by Peter Kessler, 13 May 2010. Updated 2 January
Canterbury Part 23: Churches of Blean & Tyler
St Edmund's School Chapel lies on the
eastern side of St Thomas Hill on the Whitstable Road, with the
chapel lying closest to the roadside and facing towards Canterbury.
The main school building was completed in 1855 and the chapel was
started in 1857. The original plan was to place it in the middle of
the main building until a late change of mind to provide the
building with symmetry. It was completed in 1858 and the first
service was held on a Sunday in that year.
Blean Methodist Chapel lies on the northern side
of Chapel Lane in Blean, immediately east of Blean Common, a scattering
of houses to the north of Canterbury. The chapel was founded by Wesleyan
Methodists in 1879, probably members from St Peter's Methodist Church in
Canterbury who had difficulty in travelling so far. In its later days the
chapel served the Elim Pentecostal Church, before being closed and converted
into a private residence.
St Cosmus and St Damian in the Blean lies
on the southern side of Tyler Hill Road, between Blean and Tyler Hill.
A substantial Roman villa existed to the south-west of the church from
the first to third centuries, and fragments of Roman brick were incorporated
into the west exterior wall of the present church. The first church here
was Saxon, existing before 1086, perhaps established as early as AD 598
by some of the monks who accompanied Augustine from Rome.
The site seems to have been fortified with a wall and
moat during the Saxon period, but the manor house here was moved to the
villa's site after the Norman Conquest, leaving the simple wooden
church on its own. The fortifications were destroyed in 1259. The
present flint church was rebuilt before 1233, but was severely damaged
by fire around 1400. Refurbished, the church suffered during the
English Reformation, and again from overenthusiastic Victorian
St Francis Chapel, Tyler Hill, is dedicated to
St Francis of Assisi. A place of 'Christian witness', was
established at Tyler Hill in 1884, and a building existed by 1906.
The present wooden building is a First World War hut that was gained
in 1922. This became the St Stephen's Parish Mission Room in
Tyler Hill and also the village hall. A boundary change in 1990 saw
the chapel transferred from St Stephen's Hackington to the parish of
St Cosmos and St Damian (see above).
Tyler Hill Baptist Church is on the western
side of the main Canterbury-Whitstable road through the village, east
of St Cosmus. The Gammon family were the prime movers in securing this
place of worship. A story has it that their pony died, so that they
could no longer travel in the trap and it was a long way to walk to
Canterbury Baptist Church at St George's Place. Instead they helped open
this daughter chapel in 1885, and the two have been linked ever since.