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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Arthur Percival & Peter Kessler, 11 September 2010. Updated 1 January 2020

Swale Part 17: Churches of Rodmersham Green to Norton

Providence Chapel (Bible Christians), Rodmersham Green, Kent

Providence Chapel (Bible Christians), Rodmersham Green, stands at the north-eastern tip of the green that gives the village its name, accessed from Green Lane. Built in 1848, it is shown on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914, but it seems to have fallen out of use fairly quickly in the twentieth century, not being marked as a place of worship on the OS 1:25,000 map of 1937-1961. A slightly older map does show it in use in the 1920s though. It is now a private residence.

Church of St Nicholas, Rodmersham, Kent

The Church of St Nicholas, Rodmersham, sits on the west side of Church Street at the southern end of the hamlet. Built from the thirteenth century onwards, Henry II made a gift of it to the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in the late 1100s. It was subsequently enlarged, reflecting the wealth and prestige of the order. The fifteenth century tower was described by a noted writer as 'one of the most beautiful in Kent'. The interior was sensitively restored in the 1800s.

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Lynsted, Kent

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Lynsted, is on the western side of The Street, less than twenty metres south of the St Paul's Court junction. The hamlet appears not to have had a church during the compilation of Domesday Book in 1086. One is mentioned in 1229, however, at which point it was classed as a chapel of Teynham. The earliest part of the church is the wall under the tower, which may be as early as 1180. The church bells were cast between 1597 and 1639.

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Lynsted, Kent

The north-west tower of four stages was built in the 1200s, but was built detached from the nave until the latter was extended to meet it. Much of the main building dates to the fourteenth century, and the west window is a good example of that period. The south aisle and pillars are fifteenth century. As with many churches post-Reformation, some decline set into the fabric of the building, but restoration work in the nineteenth century put right all of the problems.

Church of St Mary, Norton, Kent

The Church of St Mary, Norton, is located a hundred metres or so east of Norton Road and to the north of Provender Lane, overlooking fields on the edge of the hamlet. The Domesday Book records three churches in the village of Norton, although two have since been lost without trace and were possibly little more than minor chapels. St Mary's Church probably dates to about 1080, and is also known as 'The Church in the Orchards' (seen in this photo in 1998).

Church of St Mary, Norton, Kent

The church, built close to Norton Court, consists of nave, narrow chancel, west tower, and modern porch (1872). The nave and chancel were erected at the same time, probably soon after the Norman invasion. The chancel seems unusually long for an eleventh century church, and may have been lengthened in the thirteenth century. The main entrance was on the north side, probably because the manor house was in that direction, as were most of the villagers.

Two photos on this page by Arthur Percival, three photos kindly contributed by Nigel Purdey and Jelltex (two), all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and one photo copyright © David Anstiss, and reused under a cc licence. Additional information by David Anstiss.

 

 

     
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