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Gallery: Churches of Kent
by Peter Kessler, 14 December 2012.
Updated 13 September 2019
Canterbury Part 13: Churches of Hoath to
St Dunstan's Catholic Church is on the
eastern-outside corner of The Avenue as it turns south to meet
East View, at the very eastern edge of Hersden. The site was
purchased in 1933, with the church being completed in 1934. By
this time Chislet mining village had firmly been re-established
as Hersden. The church was originally weatherboarded with an
entrance on one side wall. Weatherboarding became pebble dash in
1956 when the interior was redecorated.
Holy Cross Church, Hoath, lies on the
northern side of Church Road, a hundred metres west of the junction
with Marley Lane. The church was probably built during the reign of
Henry III (1216-1272). Until then, the inhabitants of Hoath had to
walk to St Mary's (Old) Church Reculver, around six kilometres away. Although they had a new church, they were not permitted
to carry out burials until 1303, and they only gained their own
resident priest in 1310.
The tower contains three bells, one dated to 1500
and the other two to 1696. Robert Hunt, vicar of Reculver and Hoath
in 1594, had been born in the village around 1570. He emigrated to the
James River colony in Virginia in 1607, where he celebrated the first
Anglican Communion in the new colonies, laying the basis for the
Episcopalian church in the later United States. Today, the churchyard
at Hoath is closed for burials but is open for the internment of ashes.
Maypole Wesleyan Church is on the eastern
side of Maypole Road, seventy-five metres or so south of the lower
junction with Maypole Lane at the Prince of Wales pub. Maypole is
part of the parish of Hoath which, at the 1851 census, had a Wesleyan
'church' in an outbuilding belonging to Richard Larkin, blacksmith. In
1860 the village's Methodists opened a dedicated chapel at Maypole. It
was still open in 1894, but closed afterwards and is now a private
The former St John the Evangelist Mission Church
can still be found today on the
southern side of Chapel Lane, about a hundred metres east of the junction with
Reynolds Farm Road in the Marshside area of Kent, close to Boyden Gate.
This mission church was erected in 1879 to serve a
sparsely-populated area of Kent for the parish of Chislet for
members of the congregation who found it too hard or inconvenient to
make the walk to St Mary the Virgin in Chislet.
Opened as Boyden Gate Wesleyan Chapel in
1841 (according to the inscription above the door), it is located on
the western side of the Chapel Lane footpath which connects Forge
Lane to North Stream, to the east of the hamlet of Boyden Gate Hill.
The plain brick-built chapel opened nineteen years before that at
Maypole (above) with the local Methodist congregation clearly
increasing in this time. Today Boyden Gate's building is known as
Marshside Methodist Church.