19. Village Churches
Distinctive architecture can be seen in the historic villages and their churches, with a range of local materials used including, flint, Ragstone, timber and tile that add to the character and texture to the Kent Downs countryside.
These landscapes have been lived in for 1000’s of years, the village church being the heart of the community. Take a moment to reflect in one of the many historic and unique village churches that pepper the Kent Downs AONB.
Sheldwich - was first recorded in 784 and the name means a dwelling place on a low hill. St James Church, Sheldwich has been a place of worship since the 11th century. It contains fine 14th and 15th century monuments.
Badlesmere – the ‘mere’ refers to a pool, belonging to a person called Beadel. St Leonard's Church, along with Badlesmere Court is some distance from the main village and is small, narrow and high, truly rural and peaceful. It has medieval bench ends, Georgian box pews and a two decker pulpit. Under one of the yew trees in the graveyard is an old churchyard cross made of Bethersden marble.
These two villages lie on the trade route between Faversham and the market town of Ashford, their churches a familiar landmark in the Kent countryside. The villages grew as part of the thriving agricultural community