St. Mary's Church, Goudhurst
The earliest record of St Mary's Church, Goudhurst, is dated 1119 in the reign of Henry 1.There was probably a church on the hill above the village long before then, perhaps even in Saxon times. From the present tower it is said that you can see (on a clear day, and presumably with a telescope!) as many as fifty-one other churches, from Lympne by the marshes to Ide Hill on the North Downs. Formerly this prospect would have been ever more remarkable, for when the tower was built in the early part of the 14th century it was one storey higher and crowned with a spire. The spire stood until 1637 when, during a summer storm it was struck by lightning and burned to destruction. To the North-West, Canary Wharf Tower in London can now be seen, a distance of forty miles. Read more>
Christ Church, Kilndown
The church was built and endowed mainly by Field Marshal Viscount Beresford, one of Wellington's generals in the Napoleonic Wars, who purchased the nearby Bedgebury Park estate in 1836. Built as a chapel of ease to Goudhurst, the church was consecrated in 1841, and Kilndown became a separate parish in 1843.
Originally designed by the architect Anthony Salvin as a plain sandstone box, the church was transformed over the following years into an early and outstanding example of 'Gothic Revival' under the guidance of Alexander Beresford-Hope, Viscount Beresford's stepson, an ardent member of the Cambridge Camden Society, whose members believed that all churches should be built and furnished in the Gothic style. Read more>
Fr Vic McClean 01580 211268