KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 14 -1882  pages 108

By the  Rev Canon Routledge

THE well-known sentence of Baeda, "There was near the city, towards the east, a church built of old in honour of St. Martin while the Romans inhabited Britain," repeated with variations by many after-chroniclers, is the first authentic record of this venerable church. It forms a prelude to an enumeration of historical incidents which time now forbids me to dwell upon, though among various conjectures which I may put forward it would be some satisfaction to rest on the undoubted fact, that this very spot was trodden by the feet of Bertha, sanctified by the masses and preaching of St. Augustine, and (in all probability) witnessed the baptism of Ethelbert, King of Kent.
  Not myself a professed archaeologist, but imbued with a deep love and reverence for every stone of this building, I would invite, by a brief summary of its architecture and probable history, your careful opinion and discussion on 

points which do not seem to have ever yet received due attention from this or any other Society.
   The original church, allowed to fall into partial ruin after the Roman evacuation of Britain, was probably restored towards the end of the sixth century, to serve as an oratory for Queen Bertha and her attendant Bishop Leotard or Liudhard, and re-dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. And portions of this building are, I would fain think, existing even in the present day.
   It is evident at the most cursory glance that the church has suffered from frequent partial destructions and restorations. Windows put in at uneven levels, doorways and porches stopped up here and there, and the irregularity and incongruity of the masonry, all testify to its varied fortunes. There is a perfect mine of wealth for the geologist to be

Page  108   (This page was prepared for the website by Aaron Meyer)      

                            Back to Page Listings       Next page   

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Contents Page    Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line    Back to Research Page   Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
Kent Archaeological Society March 2005

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs.  Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too