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St Nicholas, Sturry, Kent

(51°17′54″N, 1°7′6″E)
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Kent
now Kent
  • Toby Huitson
  • Mary Berg
27 June 2011

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The parish of Sturry lies just beyond the outskirts of Canterbury to the NE, on the main road towards Thanet and the NE Kent coast. The main walls of the chancel, nave, and tower (on the E side) of the church of St Nicholas probably date from the first half of the 12thc. (Tatton-Brown, 1993). The earliest sections of the church were constructed from 'Tertiary sandstone, reused Roman bricks, flint and some ragstone with Caenstone quoins' (Tatton-Brown, 1993). The only sculptural material is to be found in the chancel arch and there is a plain-chamfered E window. There was a Victorian restoration programme from 1867--73.


Sturry has an early documented history. It was given by King Ethelbert to St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, around 605 (Sawyer, 4). It subsequently passed to Aeabba, abbess of Minster-in-Thanet in 690. The manor was later given by Cnut in 1027 back to St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury (see Hasted, citing Pat. 13 Henry III. m. 3). The Domesday return for Kent records the presence of a church (Domesday Book 1 Kent (1983), 7:7).


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

There is little surviving Romanesque sculpture in the church. It is notable here as being the first church in Kent to be surveyed for CRSBI in Summer 2011. A comprehensive and detailed survey of the church's fabric and documentary history was conducted by Tim Tatton-Brown in 1993 (see Tatton Brown 1993 in bibliography).


E. Hasted, 'Parishes: Sturry', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9 (Canterbury, 1800), pp. 74-84. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol9/pp74-84 [accessed 23 May 2022].

F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, 3 vols (London, 1899), 271.

S. Glynne, The Churches of Kent (London, 1877), 28.

P. H. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters: An Annotated Handlist and Bibliography (London, 1968).

T. Tatton-Brown, St Nicholas Church, Sturry: A Historical and Archaeological Survey (1993).