St Mary's Church, Burham, Kent

Address: Old Church Road, Burham, Rochester, Kent, ME1 3XY
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Open daily from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

On the pathway of pilgrims

Standing peacefully under the Downs, on the pilgrims’ route to Canterbury, is this stocky flint-and-ragstone church with its stocky west tower.

It was deserted when the village moved to higher ground. St Mary’s is curious architecturally: north and south aisles were added to the original 12th-century structure and later pulled down, leaving clear evidence of its history.

The rustic, partially plastered interior is lovely and there are two ancient Norman fonts.

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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

5 miles north west of Maidstone, off A229. Follow Historic Church sign in Burham along Court Road.

Public transport information

Nearest railwat station: Snodland (0.7 miles)

OS Reference No.

TQ 717 620

What’s on & news

News

16/07/14 Wendy Leaney impressed the judges with her skillfully sculpted creation made out of homemade lime and elderflower cordial

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Nearby attractions

St Benedict's Church,  Paddlesworth, Kent

St Benedict's Church, Paddlesworth, Kent
A 900-year-old Pilgrim church

St Michael's Church,  East Peckham, Kent

St Michael's Church, East Peckham, Kent
Set romantically on a hilltop with glorious views

Rochester Castle

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Heritage site

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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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

Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Images from Flickr

The CCT is grateful to the Flickr group, Friends of the Churches Conservation Trust, for the images shown here. CCT is not responsible for the quality or content of images taken from Flickr.


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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

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 iconKent County Guide (PDF, 4.8mb)

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

St Benedict's Church,  Paddlesworth, Kent

St Benedict's Church, Paddlesworth, Kent A 900-year-old Pilgrim church Paddlesworth Road, Paddlesworth, Snodland, Kent, ME6 5DR
See church page

St Michael's Church,  East Peckham, Kent

St Michael's Church, East Peckham, Kent Set romantically on a hilltop with glorious views Old Church Lane, East Peckham, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 5NG
See church page

St Mary's Church,  Higham, Kent

St Mary's Church, Higham, Kent A remote church on the edge of the Thames marshes Church Street, Lower Higham, Rochester, Kent, ME3 7LS
See church page

Nearby attractions

Rochester Castle

Rochester Castle Strategically placed astride the London Road, guarding an important crossing of the River Medway, this imposing fortress has a complex history of destruction and rebuilding. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/rochester-castle

Upnor Castle

Upnor Castle Set in tranquil grounds adjoining a riverside village, this rare example of an Elizabethan artillery fort was begun in 1559 and redeveloped in 1599-1601, to protect warships at Chatham dockyards. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/upnor-castle

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. Lydia (11 Oct 2012, 13:34)

    I first stumbled upon this church while riding my bike 2 years ago. You follow a deserted track along the river, and suddenly you see a spire in the distance. There is almost nothing else around, just a few houses. There is something very tranquil about the church, the graveyard and the surroundings. You can almost sense the ghosts... imagine when the village revolved around this church, people walking up the old road to reach it, pilgrims and tradespeople being ferried across the river from Snodland, seeking sanctuary there. Now there is no-one, the village is far away up on the hill. You can sit in the graveyard and see weasels scurrying across the road, climbing up the church walls. Foxes are lurking in the bushes. Grey herons fly overhead.
    It is also beautifully kept and indeed still used by the local community for events, even weddings I believe. The interior is beautifully plain and wonderfully cool on a hot day. A haven of peace.

  2. shirley James (16 Dec 2012, 19:49)

    Shirley, I first visited this church in February 2010 when I was tracing my family roots. My Grandfather was born in burham in 1908. I visited with my sister in law and we walked through the grounds in the snow.
    I have since meet with other family members one of whom still lives in the village and now Burham has a special place in my heart. It is like coming home.

  3. JAMES KANE (10 Jan 2014, 16:20)

    My wife and I visited the Church & Grounds with a childhood friend of my wife. I am trying very hard to find the history of the family in the area. From the church on CityArk I have been lucky to fill in a goodly number of the records. We found the Church and grounds delightful and felt very at ease with village. My wife's family are KNOTT and a distant relative gave the land for the building of the Methodist Church (Jane Knott nee Tidy/Tidey she was the wife of Robert Knott who was the brother of GEORGE KNOTT my wife's GG Grandfather. We both very reluctantly left Burham to visit other nearby villages of family interest. Thank you all who maintain the area, we will be back again hopefully.

  4. Peter Deere (16 Feb 2014, 11:59)

    I've now had good fortune to visit this peaceful haven of sanctuary several times this year all be it in challenging weather. The 155 bus service is hourly from Rochester and Chatham as indeed is its return from The Windmill on Rochester Road and the old pilgrims way. The coffee at The Windmill is a welcome rest after a wet visit. I recommend use of wellingtons as you approach the lower ground near the church as the lane is a running stream in adverse weather.

    Thank you to the church volunteer for keeping this home of sanctuary open beyond the opening hours much appreciated for I have been there out of hours.

    May the light before you be ever brighter than the path trod.

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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 St Mary's Church, Burham

 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

Walking

A short walk around Burham on our walk finder

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

St Mary's Church, Burham, 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 grassy slope to the churchyard and two steps down into the church.

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.