Rainham Church, Kent

It isn’t quite clear when the first church was built in Rainham. It is first mentioned in 1137 when Robert de Crevecoeur gave the church and its land to Leeds Priory. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the church fell under the aegis of the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was transferred to Rochester Diocese in 1938.

The Church has remnants of its long history surviving in its stonework, although much is swamped by Victorian additions. The east wall of the chancel dates to the 12th Century, the remainder of the chancel to the 13th. The nave and aisle are from the 14th Century and the tower was built around 1480 and was the last major early addition.

As was often the case, by the Victorian period the church was in a sorry state and a massive reconstruction project took place in the 1860s/70s and then another round of changes in the 1920s which uncovered some early medieval wall paintings. The overall effect is that the church looks more modern than its long history reflects.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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