St Mary's Church, Higham, Kent

Address: Church Street, Lower Higham, Rochester, Kent, ME3 7LS
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Open daily from 9.00am to 6.00pm
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

A remote church on the edge of the Thames marshes

St Mary’s sits remote from Higham village in orchards on the edge of marshes running to the Thames.

It is an unusual church with great charm and eccentricity. Its striped walls of ragstone and knapped flint and a near-symmetrical arrangement of two naves and two chancels are surmounted by a shingled spirelet.

Originally Norman, it was remodelled and enlarged in the 14th-century, perhaps when a priory of Benedictine nuns was established nearby.

There is some memorable woodwork including a 15th-century chancel screen in its original position, a 14-th century pulpit and a particularly fine south door, treated like a four-light window with much delicate carving and some original ironwork.

Restoration in 1863 provided most of the furnishings and the glass in the chancel windows.

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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

4 miles north of Rochester off B2000. Follow Historic Church signs in Higham along Forge Lane, Chequers Street and Church Street.

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Higham (1 mile). Bus route numbers 417/418.

OS Reference No.

TQ 716 742

What’s on & news

What’s on

News

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

See more events and news

Nearby attractions

St James' Church,  Cooling, Kent

St James' Church, Cooling, Kent
The inspiration for a dramatic Dickens tale. A church from…

St Mary's Church,  Burham, Kent

St Mary's Church, Burham, Kent
On the pathway of pilgrims

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.

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.

See more nearby churches & attractions

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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

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What’s on at this church

The list below provides brief summaries of events coming up at this church. You can find out more about each event by clicking on individual event titles in the summary list.

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

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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 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.

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St James' Church,  Cooling, Kent

St James' Church, Cooling, Kent The inspiration for a dramatic Dickens tale. A church from our finest shortlist. Main Road, Cooling, Rochester, Kent, ME3 8DG
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St Mary's Church, Burham, Kent On the pathway of pilgrims Old Church Road, Burham, Rochester, Kent, ME1 3XY
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All Saints' Church,  Vange, Essex

All Saints' Church, Vange, Essex A simply joyful church London Road, Vange, Basildon, Essex, SS16 4PX
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Nearby attractions

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

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

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?

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Comments

  1. miss lisa harding (02 Mar 2012, 22:01)

    hi i was a very fond person of this church as it means alot to my family i was christened hear and my nan (mrs d palmer and grandad (mr w palmer) are laid to rest there i still visit every year and love it so much ,i would like to get marryied here one day as it means so much to me and my family xx

  2. Robin (01 Apr 2013, 18:43)

    A beautiful old rural church. Much loved by the locals and sited on the edge of the Thames marshes just a short walk across the fields from the waters edge. Lovely on a misty morning when the sun just starts to peak through.

  3. Maureen Guillen nee White (07 Jan 2014, 07:12)

    My sister was married in the Church in 1961 and my dad, mum and a sister are now buried here.

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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, Higham

 

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

About the Friends of Higham Church

Visit the Friends website

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

St Mary's Church, Higham, 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 are 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.