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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 1 January 2020

Swale Part 15: Churches of Doddington, Kingsdown & Lynsted

Solomon's Temple, Doddington, Kent

Solomon's Temple lies on the northern side of the connecting lane between Lady Margaret Manor Road and Seed Road, about ninety metres east of the junction with the former, to the south of Doddington. Also referred to as Doddington Temple, the porch carries the date 1669 for this timber-framed building. The OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 shows it as Solomon's Temple, although its religious connections remain uncertain, if they existed at all.

Doddington Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Kent

Doddington Wesleyan Methodist Chapel stood on the east side of Church Hill, around fifty metres north of the junction with The Street to the immediate east of Doddington. The chapel was positioned roughly where the greenery covers the red brick wall here. It is shown on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914, seemingly within the grounds of the large house that survives today on The Street. The OS 1:25,000 of 1937-1961 shows the chapel to have completely disappeared.

Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, Doddington, Kent

The Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, Doddington, is on the east side of Church Hill, around two hundred metres south of the drive for Doddington Palace Gardens, and to the north-east of the village itself. It consists of stone dressings and field or chalk flints with a traditional, characteristic Kentish finish of a skim-coat of mortar-dashing that leaves only a quarter of the flints visible, aptly described as a 'homely, but highly picturesque and very lasting surface'.

Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, Doddington, Kent

The principal architectural features of the church today are a chancel, nave, south chapel, south aisle, south porch, and weather-boarded west tower. The dedication is one of the rarest in England, shared only with Trimmingham on the East Norfolk coast. A Saxon church probably occupied the site until replaced in the 1100s by the earliest parts of the present building. It was extended about 1200 and in the 1400s, and then restored in 1873-74 and 1907-08.

St Catherine Church, Kingsdown, Kent

St Catherine Church, Kingsdown, is around six hundred metres south of the M2, with a rectory on its western flank and open fields around it, accessible via Down Court Road to the south. It is the only complete Anglican church to be designed by Victorian architect E W Pugin. Built in 1866-1877 to replace a medieval church, it has a needle-sharp spire and richly-coloured stained glass. It remains a time capsule of Victorian church design that is still almost exactly as Pugin designed it.

Milstead Primitive Methodist Chapel, Kent

Milstead Primitive Methodist Chapel stood on the west side of Frinstead Road, about half a kilometre north of a junction with the east-west road that connects to Frinsted. The chapel is shown on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914. It had already vanished by the time of issue of the OS 1:25,000 map of 1937-1961. Today there is a thick copse on the side of the road where the chapel once stood (on the right here, opposite the clearing on the left, and looking south).

Photos on this page kindly contributed by Jeremy Sage, Jelltex, and John E Vigar, all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and one by Hobbs Parker Country Houses.

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