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Churches Committee

Visit to St Margaret Church, Womenswold 18th September 2004

   Next stop down the windy lanes was Womenswold, or as the church guide calls it Wymynswold, and the church of St Margaret of Antioch. Mr Bone, a member of the congregation, recounted the origins of the village and of the church which had nothing to do with 'women' but everything to do with 'a forest of active men'! There was an earlier church on the present site and St Margaret of Antioch was popular during the early crusades and so it is reasonable to conclude that there was a church here in the twelfth century, although the present building dates from the thirteenth century.
   The church is spacious compared with Barfreston but the population of the surrounding area seems never to have been great. However, Womenswold was linked to Wingham and its college of canons from 1282. After the Reformation, Womenswold became a chapel of ease in the parish of Nonington. Unlike Barfreston, the exterior is quite plain. Indeed, there are neither windows nor a door in the north wall of the nave.
   In summary, a most rewarding Saturday afternoon spent in two small communities that were never significantly larger than they are today but with interesting, although quite different, churches. An all-too-tempting selection of delicious cakes accompanied tea served by Womenswold parishioners ensured that all went home satisfied in every respect.
   Thanks to Ted Connell, two detailed articles about Barfreston church and one about the nearby church at Patrixbourne are now available in full on the KAS website The latter includes more illustrations than the version in Archaeologia Cantiana 122, and they are in colour.
                                                                                                                                       Mary Berg


Pam Connell

Pam Connell

Pam Connell

Pam Connell

Pam Connell

Pam Connell

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Kent Archaeological Society September 2011

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