Saxon

Saxon History

The first mention of a church on this site is 940 A.D. in a grant to Christ Church, Canterbury. That year was a year of comparative peace in England, with the Saxons firmly in charge. St. Augustine had landed in Kent in 597 A.D. and had soon converted the people of Kent to Christianity. There would probably been a small wooden church on or near the site of the present church. Then, when it was announced that the Manor of Darenth was to be given to the Cathedral of Canterbury, the local people decided that a more permanent house of God should be built.

Imagine the scene: a representative of the Archbishop is asked to visit the site to discuss the project. Having been received with due reverence befitting his position, he asks the local people what they intended to use a building materials. They reply that they will use flints with which their fields abound – as they know to their cost. ‘You will need something stronger for the corners’, says the Archbishop’s representative. ‘We could use the bricks from the Roman Villa’, says one of the local men.


So the building was started. The walls were made of flint and rubble, very solid and 2’5” thick. They were meant to stand the test of time – and they have! In those days, the Saxon church would have been just under 40’ long and 19” wide, with probably a small square chancel. The latter was demolished when the Normans enlarged the Church. The position of the original Saxon doorway, with its rounded arch and the original Saxon window (over the present doorway), can still be seen however.

 
Original Saxon Window
 Original Saxon Window
 
 
Saxon Doorway Arch
Saxon Doorway Arch