History

Saint Margaret's Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darenth Parish Church, which is dedicated to St. Margaret of Antioch, is situated on the rising ground to the east of the beautiful valley of the river Darent. Rising near Westerham, the river breaks through the North Downs at Otford and, crossing the old Watling Street at Dartford, eventually empties into the Thames after a course of about 20 miles.

The whole of the valley is of great archaeological interest, not least around Darenth. The name of the river itself is of great antiquity and is a variant of the pre-Roman name ‘Derwent’. In Roman times, the whole valley must have been occupied. Roman remains have been found throughout its length, notably at Lullingstone, but also at Farningham, Horton, Kirby and Darenth. In 1894 an extensive Roman Villa was excavated a short distance to the South of Darenth Church, but unfortunately, has been allowed to grow over. The villa was apparently abandoned in the 5th. Century but a great number of its bricks have been incorporated in the nave walls of the church.

In coming to the Church, you will have followed the path that countless feet have trod over the past 1,000 years. It is doubtful if the avenue of magnificent horse chestnut trees has been there that long but parts of the church certainly have.