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Churches of Note

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NB: If you want to be sure of being able to see inside Churches you are advised to telephone in advance to ensure that the building will be unlocked.

The Dartford Borough is home to eight churches that were included in the Domesday Book.

The Domesday Churches are indicated on the map.

Holy Trinity Holy Trinity - Dartford

Holy Trinity Church stands in the heart of the ancient parish of Dartford, on the very site which brought the borough into existence, the point at which a ford made crossing of the River Darent possible. The oldest part of the Church is the lower section of the main tower which was built between 1050 and 1080. Following the canonisation of Thomas Becket, Holy Trinity became popular with pilgrims on their way to Canterbury. In 1422 Henry V's body lay overnight at Holy Trinity for a requiem mass before continuing the journey from Agincourt to Westminster Abbey. Sights inside the Church include a dramatic 15th century wall painting of St George and the Dragon together with the early 17th century tomb of Sir John Spilman.

St Marys St Mary's Church - Stone

St Mary’s Church is a graceful example of 13th century architecture. Queen Elizabeth I often stopped the royal barge to hear the chimes of the church. Sailors saw it as a trusted landmark and named it St Mary’s ‘The Lantern of Kent’. The exterior of the building does not reveal the graceful pillars and superb arcading within. St Mary’s was built by the same masons who rebuilt Westminster Abbey.

Swanscombe St Peter and St Paul - Swanscombe

St Peter and St Paul’s Church has an amazing history. When William of Normandy was crowned King of England, he divided the land into manors. Swanscombe Manor was given to his half brother Bishop Odo. The Bishop took great interest in the church and presented it with a small bone of Saint Hildefrith, the Bishop of Meux, who died in 680. The relic was thought to be endowed with miraculous qualities and many pilgrims’ suffering from melancholia visited the shrine.

Southfleet St Nicholas - Southfleet

The ancient village of Southfleet was once at the head of an inlet in the Thames called the Fleet, so naturally the church was dedicated to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of mariners. Although the Domesday Book records the church in 1086, there was a church and manor at Southfleet long before the Conquest.

St Mary Magdalene St Mary Magdalene - Longfield

St Mary Magdalene holds the key to hundreds of years of village life and customs. A small niche in the wall, a brief reference in the church registers, and a long list of rectors can together give us an insight into the lives of our ancestors. The church is a grade II listed building and was built in the 13th century.

St Margaret's St Margaret’s - Darenth

Darenth is an ancient parish situated in the historic valley of the River Darenth. The foundations of a Roman Villa abandoned in the 5th century were discovered here is 1874. A considerable number of Roman bricks and tiles had been taken from the disused villa to build St Margaret’s.

St John The Baptist St John the Baptist - Sutton-at-Hone

In ancient times, Sutton-at-Hone gave its name to one of the major divisions in Kent known as ‘Lathes’. Unlike many of the neighbouring villages, the church here lies away from the road and almost hidden by trees. The earliest reference to the church is in 1077, when it was given to the Priory of St Andrew’s, Rochester.

St Michael's St Michael’s - Wilmington

In the 5th century the first settlement in Wilmington was formed, it was the homestead of the tribe of ‘Wighelm’. The church itself is mainly Saxon/early Norman in structure and stands in the shadow of a Yew tree planted two hundred and fifty years ago.