St Mary The Virgin's Church, Upchurch  Church

Image Source: John Salmon


Sir Francis Drake's father was vicar here in the sixteenth century. The church is memorable for its odd spire, a little like that at Bexley. It is four-sided to start with and suddenly changes into an octagon a third of the way up. There seems to be no structural reason for this change and it may purely be for decorative purposes. Inside the church there is much work of the thirteenth century including three sedilia which, unusually, stand under the arch to the south chapel. The arch is finished by a very crisply carved head (possibly too crisp - it may result from Blomfield`s restoration of the church in 1875). Behind the sedilia, separating the seats from the chapel, is a charming wooden screen, with nine tall ogee-headed arches and a panel of pierced trefoils and quatrefoils. Both north and south chapels contain fragments of medieval glass while in the north chapel you may find a collection of medieval tiles, including one that shows a hunched figure with a staff and hat - possibly representing a pilgrim. This is a particularly rewarding church that stands in a little-visited part of the county.



Church Data


1851 Census Details


Seating Capacity: 276

Morning Attendance: 78

Afternoon Attendance: 147

Evening Attendance: No service


Architecture Details


Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval

Restoration: Arthur Blomfield 1875

Second Restoration: -




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Whilst I am happy to answer any historical or architectural questions for all churches on this site, I cannot answer day-to-day queries relating to Family History, services, burials etc. Please see the Contact page, for details of other organisations that may be able to assist with those sort of enquiries.


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