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St Eanswith, Brenzett

St Eanswith Church, Brenzett
St Eanswith Church

St Eanswith in Brenzett Church (also known as St Eanswythe) has a long history dating back to Saxon times in the 7th Century when a small church was first erected on the spot now occupied by the present day church.   

Sadly no trace of the early church remains, but the 12th century medieval church that replaced it had additions in the 13th and 14th century.

St Eanswyth was a 7th century local saint from Folkestone. She was was an Anglo Saxon princess.In 630, Eanswith founded the Benedictine Folkestone Priory, the first nunnery in England. She was supported in this by her father, Eadbald, who ruled as king of Kent from 616 to 640

When the little spire was built in the fourteenth century a wooden frame had to be erected at the west end to support it, and enormous buttresses had to be built outside. The church was somewhat over-restored in the 19th century when the east window by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake was installed.

A large tomb to John Fagge and his son dominates the Lady Chapel and was the inspiration for Edith Nesbit’s ghost story Man Size in Marble. The south wall of the chancel contains some fine herringbone masonry, typical of early Norman work in Kent.