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Murston Old Church, Sittingbourne

A Scheduled Monument in Murston, Kent

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Latitude: 51.3495 / 51°20'58"N

Longitude: 0.7571 / 0°45'25"E

OS Eastings: 592092.888005

OS Northings: 164769.353789

OS Grid: TQ920647

Mapcode National: GBR RT7.68G

Mapcode Global: VHKJM.2BLS

Entry Name: Murston Old Church, Sittingbourne

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1975

Last Amended: 9 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011768

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25469

County: Kent

Electoral Ward/Division: Murston

Built-Up Area: Sittingbourne

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The monument includes the standing and buried remains of the original medieval
Church of All Saints, Murston, and its surrounding churchyard, situated on the
eastern bank of Milton Creek.

The standing remains are a west-east aligned, rectangular building measuring
9m by 7m, which originally formed the southern chapel of the church. The
chapel, which was built so as to adjoin the earlier, but now demolished,
chancel, can be dated by its architectural details to the period between
c.1375-1550. The chapel walls are constructed of roughly knapped, coursed
flint interspersed with ragstone, with ragstone dressings. Access to the
chapel is provided by a drop-arched doorway in the western wall, above which
is a small, cinquefoil-headed window. A similar window is situated near the
centre of the southern wall. The eastern wall, the exterior of which is
rendered with cement, is pierced by a partially restored, four-light,
perpendicular window, with cinquefoil heads beneath a four-centred arch. The
chancel was entered by way of a now blocked opening in the northern chapel
wall. The chapel floor is paved with reused tombstones originally situated in
the surrounding churchyard. The timber roof, which has been comprehensively
restored, is of crown post construction, capped with clay tiles.

The remainder of the church survives in buried form, immediately to the north
of the chapel, within the churchyard. The churchyard, which is a level, lawned
area now bounded by a brick wall dating to the 19th century, with some modern
repairs, also contains several tombstones. Many more, now unmarked, burials
will survive within its bounds, representing the local population between the
13th and 19th centuries.

The church at Murston is known to have been in existence by 1291, and is
recorded to have served 42 communicants in 1578. In 1797, the church was
described by Hasted, the Kent historian, as `a large building of three aisles
and three chancels (sic), having a square tower with a wooden turret in which
there are three bells'. In 1873, a new church was built c.800m to the south
west, in a more convenient location close to the London to Canterbury road,
and most of the original medieval church was demolished, leaving only the
south chapel to serve as a mortuary. Several architectural fragments,
including aisle pillars, corbels, the screen and a commemorative brass of 1488
were removed from the demolished medieval church and reused in the new church
at this time.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Parish churches are buildings, usually of roughly rectangular outline,
containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to their use for
Christian worship. They occur in all parts of England but, because of their
congregational function, their overall distribution is in broad accord with
the areas of higher population density. Thus, agriculturally rich and well
populated areas in the 10th-13th centuries, tend to contain the highest number
of churches.
Despite disturbance caused by partial demolition and modern vandalism, Murston
Old Church contains architectural features which illustrate Gothic design and
building techniques, and archaeological remains relating to its use from the
13th century onwards. Owing to its abandonment in the 19th century, buried
deposits within the church and churchyard will have suffered little subsequent
disturbance with the result that burials and associated remains will survive
representing the local population over a period of up to 600 years. The
association of this church with the later, Victorian parish church c.800m to
the south west, illustrates the 18th and 19th century practice of relocating
churches so as to improve convenience of access for their users.

Source: Historic England


RCHME, TQ 96 SW 7,

Source: Historic England

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