Churches of Kent
Series: Churches of ...
- John E. Vigar
15th February 2022
Kent is often referred to as ‘the cradle of English Christianity’. Canterbury is not only home to the Anglican Communion but also the location of St Martin’s Church, the oldest church in England in continuous use. Kent’s religious heritage has benefitted from this, as has its proximity to both the Continent and London. Architecturally, the churches of Kent range from premier Norman churches to tiny manorial churches that still sit in sequestered churchyards having, apparently, been forgotten for centuries. These churches are distinguished by a greater than usual diversity of building material, from the poor-quality but distinctive Kentish ragstone or flint nodules from nearby fields to excellent-quality limestone imported from Normandy and locally produced bricks. Kent’s churches also display glimpses into national history with links to early saints like St Mildred and St Sexburga through to Archbishop Thomas Becket, Anne Boleyn, Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill.
In this book author John E. Vigar examines not only examples of the great church building campaigns of the medieval period but also later churches. Many have furnishings and memorials where individuals showed their importance in society by beautifying churches to their own glory, including Lullingstone, which was brought up to date in the early eighteenth century by its rich patron, Sir Percival Hart, and examples where new money from industry influenced the county’s churches in the Victorian period, outstanding among which is Kilndown.
This fascinating picture of an important part of the history of Kent over the centuries will be of interest to all those who live in or are visiting this attractive county in England.