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Standing on Battle Hill, it is said that Alfred's son Edward 'the elder' fought the Danes at Kenardington. At this time (circa 892AD) the church was probably wooden and burnt after it had been looted by the Danes. More peaceful times followed with the Normans rebuilding the church in stone, evidence which can be seen in the east wall of the chancel. The Tower dates from 1170AD. After a fire caused by lightning in 1559, the nave and north aisle collapsed. These were never rebuilt however material from them was used to build a north wall to the south aisle, which became the church. The remains of the foundations can still be seen, the outline of the nave on the east wall of the Tower.
Fast forward to today and St Mary's has undergone building improvements including a Pentice area for events and meetings. This also allows access from the tower to the church once again, after being bricked up in the 16th century! A facilities building is now present in the churchyard, along with a much improved and needed parking area.
Come and visit St Mary's and see the story for yourself. All are welcome at this unique, serene, wonderful place.
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