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St Pancras, Coldred, Kent

(51°10′31″N, 1°14′46″E)
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Kent
now Kent
  • Toby Huitson
  • Mary Berg
4 October 2012

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Feature Sets

Coldred is a village on high ground about 1 mile SE of Shepherdswell near Dover in SE Kent. The church of St Pancras is situated within the outer bailey of an early Norman motte and bailey castle---and in fact is one of the few churches to be situated in the outer bailey of a castle. The church has a chancel and nave with N vestry, S porch and W bellcote. The church tower bell has been dated to the 14thc, but is more likely to date from the early 13thc.

The church has been described as a 'good example of an original early Norman rectangular nave and chancel with no later additions' (Tatton-Brown 1992). The N window of the nave very likely dates from the late 11thc/early 12thc; there are also remains of three original single splay windows in the N and W walls of the nave. This has small Caen stone jambs. An important surviving fragment of Romanesque sculpture is a section of chevron above the rebuilt S doorway.


Coldred church is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and the earliest references to the church occur in the early 13thc. The church was situated in the outer bailey of a late 11thc Norman ringwork, so it is possible that the church was constructed to serve the castle community. It is also possible that a pre-conquest minster was absorbed within the precincts of the new late 11thc castle. The dedication to St Pancras is likely to be medieval: a will of 1466 requested the donation for a light to St Pancras. It is only one of six dedications to St Pancras in the British Isles.


Exterior Features



The Romanesque fabric incorporates a small number of Roman bricks.


S. Glynne, The Churches of Kent, London, 1877, 138.

T. Tatton-Brown, 'St Pancras Church, Coldred', survey for the Kent Archaeological Society, at https://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/01/03/COL.htm (accessed April 2021).