All Saints, Burmarsh
All Saints Church, Burmarsh
All Saints in Burmarsh was built in the mid 12th century, built by monks from Canterbury after the arrival of William the Conqueror, possibly on the site of an earlier Saxon building. The tower has large strengthening buttresses, a common feature of church towers on the soft marsh ground. The door is very similar to the Norman doors in the south and west walls of the church at nearby Dymchurch, with the exception that here there is a gargoyle peering out of the top of the arch. There is another over the window above the west door, although much weathered. There is a Norman window in the north wall of the chancel.
The east window, attributed in the church guide to Clayton & Bell, is thought to have been installed in memory of a former rector who was thrown from his horse and found drowned. The font is lead line and the supporting column has eight sides.
Burmarsh church is separated from the road by a dyke, over which a small pedestrian bridge leads to the door. The church is entered through the south door which has a wonderful Norman arch around it, now protected by the 19th century porch, which replaced an earlier one.
The Royal Arms hang on the south wall, and are undated although from the time of George III, probably before 1801 as the French fleur de lys is still included.
In 1876 the interior of the church was modernised during the incumbency of the Rev. J C W Valpy (1876 - 1881) and the old box pews, three-tier pulpit and sounding board were removed.
The wooden reredos was installed at the end of the 19th century and the inscriptions on the beams were added by the Rev. Edmund Ibbotson (1897-1902) and his churchwarden.
The tower contains six bells - two medieval. A third medieval bell, carrying the Royal Arms of England and the foundry mark of a foliate tree indicating it was cast by the royal bell founder, stands in the nave close to the screen, being cracked. Known as the Magdalene Bell, it weighs eight cwt. [text courtesy of Mark Collins roughwood.net]