St Mildred's Catholic Church is on the
eastern side of St Mildred's Road, a little way north of the
junction with the High Street and also partially visible from the
High Street. St Mildred 'the Virgin' was abbess of Minster-in-Thanet
in the late seventh century. Daughter of Merewalh of the
Herefordshire Saxons, St Mildred Bread Street in the City of London
was dedicated to her. This church existed by the time of the OS
25-inch map of 1892-1914 but today is a private residence.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin,
Minster-in-Thanet, stands in a large church yard at the south-east
corner of Church Street and Station Road. The Wantsum marshes lie
only a hundred metres or so to the south (beyond the railway). There
was almost certainly an early Kentish royal vill here (and
before that a Roman villa). Around AD 670 the site became a
monastery for nuns and remained as such with interruptions in the
800s until destroyed by the Danes in 1011.
Alternatively known as the 'Cathedral of the
Marshes', the church was given to St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury
about 1030, and it is likely that a multi-phased Anglo-Saxon church
underlies the present building. No pre-Norman work seems to survive
in this present building, which was erected in the late 1000s to
1100s. Rebuilds and extensions occurred in the 1200s-1400s while the
tower was added in the later 1100s. The Tudors and Victorians added
their own touches.
Minster Abbey is situated along much of
the northern side of Church Street, flanked by Bedlam Court Lane on
its eastern side, and within sight of St Mary's Church (above).
Ermenburga, a great-granddaughter of Ethelbert of Kent, came to
Thanet from Mercia in the middle of the 600s to set up up the abbey
as St Mildred's (Benedictine) Priory. Initially this was on
the site of the church until it was re-established on its present
site in AD 741 by the third abbess.
Holy Trinity Chapel, Thorne Hill, is on
the northern side (the left-hand side of this aerial photo) of the
set of buildings that forms Thorne Farm, on the eastern side of
Thorne Hill, immediately north-west of Cliffsend. The chapel was
built in the 1300s, complete with a chantry that gained several
local areas of land to support it. The Dissolution spelled the end
for the chapel which eventually became ruinous and was rebuilt in
the 1800s to form the present cottage.
St Mary the Virgin Church, Cliffsend, is
on the west side of Foads Lane, midway between the turnoffs for
Cliffs End Road and Cottington Road. The building began in 1871 as
Cliffsend Primitive Methodist Chapel. The Methodist union of
1932 made it redundant and it was soon being rented by the Church of
England. The church purchased it outright in 1956 and it remains in
use as such today, having more recently been reordered and
refurbished for modern needs.
Four photos on this page by P L Kessler, one
kindly contributed by Bill Smith/British Methodist Buildings via the
'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and one
by Multimap. The tour now progresses into Dover.