History Files


Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Arthur Percival & Peter Kessler, 27 June 2010. Updated 1 January 2020

Swale Part 3: Churches of Dargate to Faversham

Dargate Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Kent

Dargate Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is located on the northern side of Dargate Road, about forty metres east of the Butler's Hill junction. The chapel was opened in 1840, with Rodney Allen, architect of Faversham, providing the design. As with a great many of these semi-rural nonconformist chapels, congregations fell sharply in the years following the conclusion of the Second World War and the chapel was closed in 1983 to be converted into a private residence.

All Saints Church, Graveney, Kent

All Saints Church is in the village of Graveney, situated on the edge of the wide and flat marshes which overlook The Swale estuary around three kilometres to the east of Faversham. In AD 811 King Coenwulf of Mercia, who had also made a successful takeover 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.

All Saints Church, Graveney, Kent

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 Bartholomew's Church, Goodnestone-next-Faversham, Kent

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 around 1100 and later builders added more windows. The porch was rebuilt in 1837 following an earth tremor, and a rustic tiled and timbered bell cote crowns the nave.

St Bartholomew's Church, Goodnestone-next-Faversham, Kent

Inside, part of the roof loft staircase, two piscinae, and a tomb which may have been used as an Easter Sepulchre all survive from the medieval period. 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 building.

Faversham Cemetery Chapel, Love Lane, Kent

Faversham Cemetery Chapel is framed by Love Lane and the railway, at the eastern edge of Faversham. Otherwise known as Love Lane Cemetery, it was opened in 1898 with the chapel being designed by Edwin Pover. Buried here in a mass grave are seventy-three of the 108 victims of the 'Great Explosion' of 2 April 1916 which involved fifteen tons of TNT and 150 tons of ammonium nitrate at the Explosives Loading Company factory at Uplees, near Faversham.

Two photos on this page by P L Kessler, two by Arthur Percival, and two kindly contributed by Keith Guyler/British Methodist Buildings and Abigail Gawith, both via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.



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