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Murston Old Church, Sittingbourne

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Murston Old Church, Sittingbourne

List entry Number: 1011768


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Swale

District Type: District Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 29-Oct-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Oct-1995

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25469

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Parish churches are buildings, usually of roughly rectangular outline, containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to their use for Christian worship. They occur in all parts of England but, because of their congregational function, their overall distribution is in broad accord with the areas of higher population density. Thus, agriculturally rich and well populated areas in the 10th-13th centuries, tend to contain the highest number of churches. Despite disturbance caused by partial demolition and modern vandalism, Murston Old Church contains architectural features which illustrate Gothic design and building techniques, and archaeological remains relating to its use from the 13th century onwards. Owing to its abandonment in the 19th century, buried deposits within the church and churchyard will have suffered little subsequent disturbance with the result that burials and associated remains will survive representing the local population over a period of up to 600 years. The association of this church with the later, Victorian parish church c.800m to the south west, illustrates the 18th and 19th century practice of relocating churches so as to improve convenience of access for their users.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes the standing and buried remains of the original medieval Church of All Saints, Murston, and its surrounding churchyard, situated on the eastern bank of Milton Creek.

The standing remains are a west-east aligned, rectangular building measuring 9m by 7m, which originally formed the southern chapel of the church. The chapel, which was built so as to adjoin the earlier, but now demolished, chancel, can be dated by its architectural details to the period between c.1375-1550. The chapel walls are constructed of roughly knapped, coursed flint interspersed with ragstone, with ragstone dressings. Access to the chapel is provided by a drop-arched doorway in the western wall, above which is a small, cinquefoil-headed window. A similar window is situated near the centre of the southern wall. The eastern wall, the exterior of which is rendered with cement, is pierced by a partially restored, four-light, perpendicular window, with cinquefoil heads beneath a four-centred arch. The chancel was entered by way of a now blocked opening in the northern chapel wall. The chapel floor is paved with reused tombstones originally situated in the surrounding churchyard. The timber roof, which has been comprehensively restored, is of crown post construction, capped with clay tiles.

The remainder of the church survives in buried form, immediately to the north of the chapel, within the churchyard. The churchyard, which is a level, lawned area now bounded by a brick wall dating to the 19th century, with some modern repairs, also contains several tombstones. Many more, now unmarked, burials will survive within its bounds, representing the local population between the 13th and 19th centuries.

The church at Murston is known to have been in existence by 1291, and is recorded to have served 42 communicants in 1578. In 1797, the church was described by Hasted, the Kent historian, as `a large building of three aisles and three chancels (sic), having a square tower with a wooden turret in which there are three bells'. In 1873, a new church was built c.800m to the south west, in a more convenient location close to the London to Canterbury road, and most of the original medieval church was demolished, leaving only the south chapel to serve as a mortuary. Several architectural fragments, including aisle pillars, corbels, the screen and a commemorative brass of 1488 were removed from the demolished medieval church and reused in the new church at this time.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

RCHME, TQ 96 SW 7,

National Grid Reference: TQ 92093 64769


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This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2018 at 03:17:39.

End of official listing