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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 22 August 2010

Shepway Part 1: Churches of Romney Marsh

St George's Church

St George's Church, Ivychurch, lies on the eastern side of the main street overlooking the junction with Ivychurch Road in Romney Marsh. The name Ivychurch originates from the Old English words for an island burial ground, while the church dates from about the thirteenth century, probably one of the first major buildings on the marsh as it was systematically drained and occupied from the twelfth century onwards. Additions were made to it in the fourteenth century.

St George's Church

The tower, added in the fifteenth century, is of roughly coursed stone, while the rest is of mixed roughly coursed stone and flint. Both north and south chapels were fourteenth century additions. As with many churches on Romney, St George's was used for smuggling in the eighteenth century. The building was restored in 1888-1890 by R T Blomfield. During the Second World War it was used as an ARP and Fire Post, and underwent further restoration afterwards.

St Augustine's Church

St Augustine's Church, Brookland, is on the southern side of the High Street, with the churchyard reaching to Boarman's Lane. Brookland was first recorded in 1262 as 'Broklande', part of an innings in the marshland. The church was built perhaps just a few years before this, and the detached wooden bell tower dates to the same period. The tower is octagonal, with a conical roof of three diminishing 'flounces'. Until 1936 it was covered in black tarred weatherboarding.

St Augustine's Church

The area was noted for its smuggling activities, and for the Battle of Brookland in February 1821 between the Customs & Excise men and the 250-strong Aldington Gang. The church's chancel was restored in the nineteenth century, but the nave remains untouched, and has a Georgian pulpit and box pews. The nave arcades lean outwards at a perilous angle, thanks to subsidence which occurred many years ago. The arcades settled over a centimetre more between 1900-2000.

All photos on this page kindly contributed by Sam Weller.

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