Church of St Mary the Virgin, Fordwich, Kent

Address: The Drove, Fordwich, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 0DE
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Open daily from 10.00am to 3.00pm
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

900 years of craftsmanship in a lovely shingle church

This historic church stands in an idyllic spot near the River Stour, leaning somewhat, as a result of a 15th-century flood.

Inside, the church is mellow and unspoilt, with 17th-century fittings and wall paintings. It is home to a strange carved stone, dating from around 1100. Nearly 1.7 metres long, the Fordwich Stone is thought to be a shrine made for the body parts – or relics – of a saint, maybe St Augustine of Canterbury.

There are also box pews and a corporation pew, 17th-century rails and altarpiece, and the Royal Arms and Commandments, painted on plaster in 1688.

Earlier features include the 12th-century font made of Bethersden marble and lovely 14th century glass.

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

3 miles north of Canterbury, off A28. Follow the Historic Church signs on A28 in Sturry along Fordwich Road and King Street. Church behind Fordwich Arms.

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Sturry (1.5 miles). Bus route number 302.

OS Reference No.

TR 181 598

What’s on & news

News

06/01/14 We would like to warn all our volunteers and visitors to take care when visiting our churches due to the…

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Nearby attractions

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All Saints' Church, West Stourmouth, Kent
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Cherubs bathe in coloured light

St Augustine's Abbey

St Augustine's Abbey
This great abbey, marking the rebirth of Christianity in southern England, was founded shortly after AD 597 by St Augustine.

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre
Evocatively sited amid the East Kent marshes, Richborough is perhaps the most symbolically important of all Roman sites in Britain, witnessing both the beginning and almost the end of Roman rule here.

See more nearby churches & attractions

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

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Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Flash video

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.

 

 

 

 

PDF iconA walk round guide for St Mary's Church, Fordwich (PDF, 1.2mb)

This short, full colour walk round guide contains a floor plan of the church and highlights of things to see during your visit. You can purchase a printed copy of this from the church (50p) or download in advance (free/optional donation).

PDF iconKent County Guide (PDF, 4.75mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in Kent. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.

Nearby CCT churches

All Saints' Church,  West Stourmouth, Kent

All Saints' Church, West Stourmouth, Kent A Saxon survivor in the Garden of England Church Lane, West Stourmouth, Canterbury, Kent, CT3 1HT
See church page

St Clement's Church,  Knowlton, Kent

St Clement's Church, Knowlton, Kent Cherubs bathe in coloured light Knowlton Court, Knowlton, Canterbury, Kent, CT3 1PT
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St Bartholomew's Church,  Goodnestone, Kent

St Bartholomew's Church, Goodnestone, Kent A tiny church that has survived earth tremors Goodnestone Court, Goodnestone, Faversham, Kent, ME13 9BZ
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Nearby attractions

St Augustine's Abbey

St Augustine's Abbey This great abbey, marking the rebirth of Christianity in southern England, was founded shortly after AD 597 by St Augustine. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/st-augustines-abbey

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre Evocatively sited amid the East Kent marshes, Richborough is perhaps the most symbolically important of all Roman sites in Britain, witnessing both the beginning and almost the end of Roman rule here. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/richborough-roman-fort-and-amphitheatre

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Have you visited this church?

Why not share your experience with us?

Comments

  1. Heather (06 Apr 2013, 03:01)

    First time in 9 year since I last visited, brought my twin boys for the first time, to the church I and my brother where christened at today.
    I love coming back, I remember my brother christening and my love of the doors on the pews, I have never seen them in any other church I have visited and it still they fill me with the excited 3 year old I was.
    Lovely church and for the first time ever we ,explored the graveyard, I saw one with ever greens on and we when to see who after all these years was tending it, a moment of reflection a 9 year old who was buried the year the church closed, I was glad to see the boy was still loved and cared for.
    I would like to thank the people who maintain and open the church, it was nice for me to remember and share a moment from my childhood with my children as both my parents passed on before they where born.
    I would also like to apologies for the entry in the visitors book my 8 year old dyslexic son wanted to fill it in so not a full entry, I let him, made me happy that he wanted to record his visit.
    I think it is a truly lovely church and in talk contrast to visit to the cathedral the day before, very simple but beautiful.

  2. Uni (09 Sep 2013, 16:10)

    It was lovely to find the church open and the churchyard accessible, but not too 'manicured' in the first week of September.
    Your leaflet in the church was helpful, but did not give details of the DVD of 'A Canterbury Tale' . I saw the original film as a child and would very much like to purchase a copy of the DVD. Staff at the Fordwich Arms had not heard of it and I was too late to ask at the Town Hall.

  3. Joy Taylor (30 Sep 2013, 03:50)

    Yes,
    I have visited this Church, and found it to be open, but, what I really wanted to know was, how can I get hold of a list of all the Holdstock's Buried in the Churchyard there, I have been told there is a tidy few, if anyone has any idea who could provide this, please email me, as I live in North Wales, and can't get down there for any visit, so, I need to be contacted by this method, as I am trying to put my Family History together.....
    Many Thanks for any assistance from whoever,
    And Take Care, Thank you...
    Joy Taylor.

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Community information for Church of St Mary the Virgin, Fordwich

All our Kent churches are in CCT’s South East region.

Useful local links

Visit Kent tourism website

Let’s Visit Kent website - We are very grateful to Let’s Visit for providing our 360 tours of Kent churches. Please visit their website!

Best Places to Visit in Kent website

Kent History website

Kent Family History Society

Kent County Council website history section

Kent Archaeology Society

Kent Historic Churches website

Friends of Kent Churches

List of Kent churches

Kent is in the Diocese of Canterbury

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Fordwich, Kent

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as 'Keyholder nearby', this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Disabled access

There is a gravel path up to the porch then two steps down into church. Uneven but flat floor. Church can be dark.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.