Historic Church Tours 2019 - From Cathedral to Farm Church Across Kent

Date:
17th July 2019
Time:
10.00-17.45
Price:
Member: £60.00
Non Member: £70.00
Address:
Meet at Rochester train station
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Explore with us a wide range of historic churches from grand cathedrals to remote marshland churches.


From Rochester train station we make our way to England’s second oldest cathedral to start the day. Rochester Cathedral was founded in 604 by Bishop Justus while the present building was constructed in the 1080’s. The church is a glorious mix of fine Norman and Gothic architectural styles while major restoration work was carried out by George Gilbert Scott in in the 1870’s.

From Rochester we travel to the church of St. Benedict’s in Paddlesworth. The contrast between St. Benedict’s and Rochester Cathedral is immediately noticeable in the simplicity and size of St. Benedict’s. This small building has sat on the Pilgrims’ Way for over 900 years and will have served an important function for pilgrims passing to and from Canterbury.

A couple of miles further down the Pilgrims’’ Way and on the other side of the River Medway is St. Mary’s, Burham. A stocky flint-and-ragstone church, it was deserted when the village relocated to higher ground. The interior is rustic with two Norman fonts.

After lunch we travel north to the church of St. Mary’s in Higham. The building, which sits remotely on the edge of marshes that run down to the River Thames, is originally Norman with later remodelling and expansion in the 14th century. Inside we will get to enjoy at closer quarters memorable woodwork including the original chancel screen. 

The tour concludes in the dramatic setting of St. James’ church in Cooling. Here we will find the inspiration for Charles Dickens’ opening chapter of Great Expectations and a set of 13 gravestones which have since become known as ‘Pip’s Graves’. Inside are a host of features, both traditional and quirky, which provide a fascinating conclusion to our tour.

Please note that on all of our tours there is at the very at least a fair amount of walking, quite often over uneven and worn surfaces. They are not suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing.  In some cases coaches may not be able to park near the church and there may be walking over uneven land or tracks when approaching the church building. If you have any concerns please contact us on 0800 206 1463 before booking.

From Cathedral to Farm Church Across Kent FAQs

  • What is the tour capacity? We have enough room for 30 guests on this tour, however book early to avoid disappointment!
  • Where at Rochester train station will we be meeting? We will be meeting outside the main entrance to the train station.
  • I would like to stay in the local area the night before. Are there any hotels near the train station that you would recommend? The King’s Head Hotel is situated a short walk from the train station. For more hotels, see Visit Medway’s website.
  • I am planning to drive to Rochester. What parking arrangements are available near the train station and how much does it cost to park? There is a multi-storey car park near to the train station which has 302 spaces. The day rate is £6.00.
  • How frequently do trains arrive and depart from Rochester train station? Direct services between Rochester and London depart from Victoria, Blackfriars and St Pancras several times an hour. Rochester is also served by direct services from other stations including Dover Priory, Ramsgate and Luton. For more information on times and fares please see National Rail Enquiries.
  • What are the lunch arrangements? We plan to take lunch at The Butcher’s Block in Burham.
  • Who will be the guide/lead on tour? So that we can deliver the highest quality experience in collaboration with the best local experts, we are not yet able to confirm who will be leading this tour. Once you have booked on, however, we will confirm with you who will lead this tour nearer to the start date.
  • How do I notify you of dietary requirements? You can notify us of any dietary requirements when making your booking online, over the phone or when completing a paper booking form. If we have not been able to capture your dietary requirements when making your booking then please email us at supporters@thecct.org.uk or call us on 0800 206 1463.
  • What is the cancellation/refund policy? If you are no longer able to make the tour after booking then please let us know as soon as possible. If you cancel your booking more than one month before the tour start date, then you will be entitled to a full refund. If you cancel within one month of your tour then unfortunately we are not able to offer a refund, however we will do our best to offer you a place on another tour.

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