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unknown, Elmstone, Kent

(51°17′45″N, 1°14′30″E)
TR 261 602
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Kent
now Kent
medieval unknown
now unknown
  • Mary Berg
  • Toby Huitson
27 June 2011

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Feature Sets

Elmstone is a village in East Kent, between Canterbury and Sandwich. This small parish church, in an isolated setting, has a Norman nave and slightly lower chancel, and a 14th-century north aisle and NW tower. The principal item of interest is a single, ex-situ sculptured block in the west door. There is also a font with a large clasped bowl, but the base appears to be Early English.


The value of Elmstone to the lord of the manor, which at the time of the Domesday Book was St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury, was £2 in 1066, £0.5 c. 1070 and £3 in 1086. By the time of Henry III the manor had passed to the Leyburne family. In 1367 it passed to the crown and in 1388, Richard II passed it to Chiltern Langley Priory in Hertfordshire.

The church remained an unappropriated rectory, valued at £10 in the 1291 Taxatio. Its dedication is unrecorded in medieval sources and the church remains to this day without a recognised dedication.


Interior Features

Interior Decoration


What or where the sculpture was from, is unclear, although there is a similar piece in the south chancel wall at Barfrestone, some five and a half miles to the south. Could both blocks have originated from a third site?


M. Berg and H.Jones, Norman Churches in the Canterbury Diocese , (Stroud, 2009), pp. 57 (illus.), 142, 165.

Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Elmstone,' in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9 (Canterbury: W Bristow, 1800), pp. 131-135