The Church of St Mary & the Holy Cross,
Milstead, is on the western side of the Frinstead Road, overlooking
the eastbound Manor Road junction. Originally a Norman building of
the twelfth century, it was extended in the thirteenth century by
lengthening the chancel and with the addition of north and south
chapels that run half the length of the chancel. A fifteenth century
square tower and nave rebuild completed the construction and plenty
of the original stonework survives.
The flint-and-plaster building declined gradually
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The chapels became
ruinous until two bouts of restoration work in the 1800s. The first
was carried out by a local builder while the second was by the
renowned architect, William Butterfield, in 1872 who rebuilt the
church as it is seen today, including the chapels and the chancel
windows. One highly notable feature is what are known as its
'Butterfield dumplings' on the nave windows.
The Church of St John the Baptist, Bredgar,
is on the east side of The Street, about fifty metres north of the
Bexon Lane junction. A Saxon church may have stood here - some
stones at the foot of the tower are believed to be part of it. The
majority of the building was erected in the twelfth century. It
consists of three isles and a chancel, with a square beacon tower at
the west end in which hangs five bells. A fine Saxon doorcase stands
on the west side of the tower.
When digging was taking place in 1791 to
construct a vault for a Mrs Murton of the parish, two of the columns
gave way and the main arch between the nave and chancel came down.
The damage has since been repaired. Henry III gave the church to the
leprous women of the hospital of St James (also known as St Jacob)
at the end of Wincheap near Canterbury. When the hospital was handed
to the crown in 1551, St John's went with it. It gained a vicarage
late, in 1392.
Silver Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
stood on the western side of Silver Street, just about at the midway
between the Gore Road and Deans Hill Road junctions, and flanked on
its southern side by a large open section of fieldland (which
survives to this day). The chapel is shown on the OS 25-inch map of
1892-1914. It was still present even on the post-war OS 1:10,560 map
of 1949-1961 but today a newish-build private dwelling occupies the
The Church of St John the Baptist, Tunstall,
is on the eastern side of the Tunstall Road, around a hundred metres
south of the right-hand turn and the road's eastwards progression
towards the Cranbrook Drive turning. Its main structure dates to the
fourteenth century. It consists of three isles and a chancel, with a
small chapel on the north side. A tower sits at the west end with a
peal of five bells. The south chapel - built in flint - was enlarged
using brick in 1655.
Photos on this page kindly contributed by Jelltex,
'Boxley' / Nigel Chatfield, Adam Swaine, and A J Veitch, all via the
'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.