St Mary's Church, Higham, Kent
- What's nearby
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 that run 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 fourteenth century, perhaps when a priory of Benedictine nuns was established nearby.
There is some memorable woodwork including a fourteenth-century chancel screen in its original position, a fourteenth-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.
A medieval treasure saved by George Gilbert Scott
A 12th century church made of “handsome stone” in a tiny parish.
The inspiration for a dramatic Dickens tale. A church from our finest shortlist.
Gravel path through church yard. There are steps down into the church.
Facilities & Hire
Due to the historic nature of our buildings only a small number have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.
Four miles north of Rochester off B2000. Follow Historic Church signs in Higham along Forge Lane, Chequers Street and Church Street.
Nearest railway station: Higham (1 mile). Bus route numbers 417/418.
History & Further Information
Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church 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.Kent County Guide 2012
This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches we care for in Kent. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.
The Friends of St Mary's Church, Higham
The Friends of St Mary’s supports the work of The Churches Conservation Trust, and works to enhance visitors’ experience of the church, hold fundraising events, organise events for children and adults, and promote the building’s unique appeal.
Other useful local links:
- Visit Kent tourism website: www.visitkent.co.uk
- Let's Visit Kent website: www.letsvisit.co.uk/see-do
- Best Places to Visit in Kent: www.kentattractions.co.uk
- Kent History website: www.hereshistorykent.org.uk
- Kent Family History Society: www.kfhs.org.uk
- Kent Archaeology Society: www.kentarchaeology.org.uk
- Kent Historic Churches website: www.kentchurches.info
- Friends of Kent Churches: www.friendsofkentchurches.co.uk