St Mary's Church, Sandwich, Kent

Address: Strand Street, Sandwich, Kent, CT13 9EU
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Open daily from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

Sackings, earthquakes and collapsed towers

The intimate and atmospheric St Mary’s occupies what may be the oldest church site in Sandwich where a 7th-century convent was founded of which nothing has survived.

There remain substantial parts of a large Norman church, despite the town having been sacked by the French in the 13th- and 15th-centuries, an earthquake in the 16th and the collapse of the tower in the 17th!

The north arcade was then replaced with slender columns of chestnut and the immense barn-like breadth of the nave and south aisle was roofed in one span.

The tower over the south porch has a wooden belfry built in 1718 and there are monuments from several periods and interesting fittings to discover.

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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

In Sandwich town centre follow Historic Church signs in Ash Road along The Strand to Gazon Salts car park opposite the church.

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Sandwich (0.4 miles). Bus route number 14.

OS Reference No.

TR 329 584

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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English Heritage property

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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. Luise (19 Jul 2012, 21:03)

    Yes, I've been to this church several times. I especially remember once when I read the old plaques. One of them tells us about a married couple whose children died young, one after another. It was so sad a story to learn, still then, hundreds of years after that family had lived in the parish.

    Sadly too, the church is empty now and mostly out of use.

    Just imagine, a handful of construction workers, interior decoration modest yet good, long-lasting quality, a congregation gathering there, praying, welcoming, mind-inspiring ...

  2. Susan (27 Jul 2012, 13:30)

    St. Marys Church in Sandwich is still consecrated but it is also very well used as St. Mary's Arts Centre and has been considerably renovated - see their website - www.stmarysartscentre.org.uk

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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 for St Mary's Church, Sandwich

 

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

About the Friends of Sandwich 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, Sandwich, 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

Wheelchair access needs prior arrangement. There is a disabled WC.

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.