Upchurch Church, Kent

One of North Kent’s most unusual churches, it is known for its odd so-called ‘candle snuffer’ steeple. The church dates to the 14th Century with the bell tower being added in the mid-16th Century. Sir Francis Drake’s father was vicar here around 1560, shortly after the tower was added. A medieval charnel house was discovered underneath the church in 1877 when Sir Arthur Blomfield was undertaking a series of renovations. The charnel house had a number of bodies in it and they were re-interred in the churchyard.

The unusual shape of the steeple may be to help with navigation on the Thames Estuary.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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