Churchyard, Ashford, TN23 1QG
The Domesday Book holds the first reference to St Mary’s, recording ‘at
Essestisford, a church and a priest’, in 1086. It is thought that the
first significant structure on the site was a twelfth century Norman
church, recorded amongst the possessions of the Priory of Horton Kirby.
Robert de Derby was the first recorded vicar in the late thirteenth
century, around the time that the foundations of the present building
were laid. The thirteenth century church had a cruciform plan; the
crossing was covered
with a squat central tower and wooden spire, which was probably
lead-covered. A limited quantity of thirteenth to fourteenth century
stonework is thought to survive in the west wall of the south transept.
The columns and arcades of the chancel are also of the thirteenth to
St Mary’s church is of considerable historical and architectural
significance. Whilst much of its list description and grade status rests
on the eastern end of the building and its fine monuments, the areas
west of the crossing have been subject to radical and important changes
with their own historical and community value. The nave and aisles of St
Mary’s church are an interesting example of a number of Gothic revival
architects seeking to make sympathetic amendments to a medieval church
in the wake of continued population growth and social change. The
underlying driving force was the parish’s needs and as such, as the
secular territory, the nave space is historically the most significant
part of the church to Ashford’s community.
In its 1000 year history, this truely stunning building has witnessed additional structures, rebuildings, and numerous alterations, however, many of the medieval features remain today.
Recently enhanced to stage live music concerts, this space provides audiences with one of the most unique settings in the South East.
MV customers can use the code VINYL20 to get 20% off their first JustPark booking. Link here