St Mary the Virgin in Fordwich, Kent

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10 champers

The Drove, Fordwich,
Canterbury, Kent, CT2 0DE.

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St Mary the Virgin in Fordwich, Kent

The small and welcoming church of St Mary’s in Fordwich is just 3 miles from Canterbury and has been offering rest to weary pilgrims for centuries, sitting on the ancient Way of St Augustine. Slap-bang on the River Great Stour, the truly teeny-tiny town of Fordwich still has the feel of a quaint town of centuries past, with its totally titchy Town Hall, virtually untouched since it was built in 1544. You can hire a canoe or paddleboard, or make like a true pilgrim and avail yourself of the victuals and ale provided by England’s smallest town’s two pubs – The George & Dragon and the award winning The Fordwich Arms.

The church itself is mellow and unspoilt, with seventeenth-century fittings and wall paintings. It is home to a strange carved stone, dating from around 1100. Nearly 1.7 metres long, the Fordwich Stone is thought to be a shrine made for the body parts – or relics – of a saint, maybe St Augustine of Canterbury

For more information about this church and the work of the CCT, click here.

Rambling and Roaming in Fordwich

Canterbury Cathedral  – Witness to the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170 and the home to some of the world’s oldest stained glass, Canterbury Cathedral holds a place of vital importance in the history and religion of England (3.2 miles away). Click here for more information.

Howletts Wildlife Park – Run by the Aspinall Foundation, Howletts Zoo is a charity conservation based park with over 390 animals including the largest herd of African Elephants in the UK (4.7 miles away). Click here for more information. 

Eastbridge Pilgrim Hospital – Well-preserved medieval pilgrim hostel with 14th century wall-paintings and a crypt off Canterbury High Street  (3.6 miles away). Click here for more information.

For family activities see:

The Goods Shed  – Canterbury’s permanent indoor food market right next to Canterbury West station. Pick up freshly baked bread and pastries, local cheeses, and seasonal produce, or dine in at the mezzanine restaurant (3.2 miles from the church). Click here for more information.

Canterbury Roman Museum – Built over the discovered remains of a Roman Town House, it is the home to the only in-situ Roman pavement mosaics in England (3.2 miles away). Click here for more information.

St Augustine’s Abbey – Originally a burial place for Kent Anglo Saxon Kings, it is part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site (2.7 miles away). Click here for more information.

Wildwood Wildlife Park – Home to over 200 native animals, Wildwood is one of the leading British animal conservation charities in the UK (2.9 miles away). Click here for more information.