St Mary's Church, Sandwich, Kent

Strand Street, Sandwich, Kent, CT13 9EU
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Sackings, earthquakes and collapsed towers

The intimate and atmospheric St Mary's occupies what may be the oldest church site in Sandwich where a seventh-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 thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, an earthquake in the sixteenth and the collapse of the tower in the seventeenth!

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.