Link to printer-friendly page

It should not be assumed that this site is publicly accessible and it may be on private property. Do not trespass.

Monument details

HER Number:TR 13 SW 49
Type of record:Listed Building


Grade II listed building. Main construction periods 1100 to 1620. Remains of - mainly C14th Norman details

Grid Reference:TR 12761 34256
Map Sheet:TR13SW

Monument Types

Protected Status:Listed Building (II) 1068965: RUINS OF ST MARY'S CHURCH; Scheduled Monument 1005498: St Mary's Church, West Hythe

Full description

If you do not understand anything on this page please contact us.

Description from record TR 13 SW 9 :
[TR 12763426] St Mary's Church (remains of) [NR] (1) The Church of St Mary, West Hythe, "consisting of nave and chancel, has been long roofless and in ruins. A few traces of Norman or possibly earlier masonry can be detected - notably the arch of a door-way, with star ornament - but it is chiefly 14th century". (2) West Hythe Church. Much of the chancel was destroyed by the removal of materials for use in building nearby. The walls of the nave were in a better condition. The chancel was a short rectangular building of Norman date. The nave, also of this period, was originally shorter by around twelve feet, and had its entrance in the south wall. The western addition to the nave was made in the early 14th century, or possibly the late 13th century, and was probably made in connection with the alteration in the position of the entrance. The porch has been destroyed. The original Norman chancel arch was replaced by one of about the same span. It is thought that it may have begun to crack, and so was rebuilt together with the gable-wall above it, to support a new roof over the whole of the nave at the time this was extended westwards. There was never a burial-ground. The church was falling into disrepair in the early 16th century. A fire in 1620 completed the destruction. (3) St Mary's Church, roofless but with the nave still standing to the wall-heads; there is a good chancel arch but the chancel has almost completely collapsed. GP AO/62/293/8: general view from S.E. Ruins of St. Mary's Church, Grade II, St. Mary's Road, West Hythe. 12th century Nave, lengthened in 14th century. Burned down in 1620. (For full description see list.) (4) The Vicar of Lympne asks for advice on restoring the ruined church of West Hythe to its original use. (5) [TR 129343] West Hythe, St. Mary's Church. Scheduled Kent 147. (6) Additional bibliography (not consulted). (7)

From the National Heritage List for England:

List entry Description
Summary of Monument
St Mary’s Church, 32m west of Wayfield House.

Reasons for Designation
A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible.

Despite later stone robbing and some alterations, St Mary’s Church survives well with an appreciable amount of upstanding medieval fabric. It includes some well preserved architectural details such as the Norman arched doorway in the south wall. The site is relatively undisturbed and has potential for archaeological investigation. It will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction, use and history of the church.

See Details.

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 March 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a medieval parish church surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated at the foot of a steep escarpment on the north side of St Mary’s Road near the Royal Military Canal at West Hythe.

The church is a two-celled structure constructed of stone rubble with stone dressings. It was built in the 12th century but alterations and additions were made in the 14th century. The church is now roofless but much of the walls survive. The north and west walls and chancel arch are largely intact, but of the south wall only part now survives. The chancel has been robbed at a later date and survives as low footings. There is a blocked Norman arched doorway with star ornament in the south wall of the nave. The nave has a later extension to the west, probably built in about the early 14th century. The position of the entrance was probably also altered at this time. The church is never thought to have included a burial ground. The building is recorded as falling into a state of disrepair in the early 16th century. It was damaged by fire in 1620.

In 2007, an archaeological watching brief to the east, at Wayfield House, recorded a medieval land surface possibly associated with St Mary's Church.

The upstanding remains are Grade II listed. The following text is from the original listed building designation:
Ruins of St Mary's Church TR 13 SW 8/82 3.1.50.
2. C12 Nave, lengthened in C14. Built of rubble with stone dressings, Pointed arched doorway, Burned down in 1620. AM.
Listing NGR: TR1288034223 (11)

Additional bibliography (12-13)

Historic England archive material (14)

<1> OS 6" 1961 (OS Card Reference). SKE48369.

<2> Kent 1935 194 (JC Cox) (OS Card Reference). SKE45675.

<3> Arch Cant 30 1914 251-7 plan illusts (GM Livett) (OS Card Reference). SKE34987.

<4> F1 CFW 06-OCT-62 (OS Card Reference). SKE42456.

<5> DOE(HHR) Borough of Hythe Kent 21 December 1973 34 (OS Card Reference). SKE40857.

<6> JBAA 23 1917 198 (OS Card Reference). SKE44919.

<7> DOE(IAM) AMs England 2 1978 111 (OS Card Reference). SKE41420.

<8> TRHS 18 1904 108 125 (OS Card Reference). SKE50680.

<9> Field report for monument TR 13 SW 9 - October, 1962 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5384.


<11> Historic England, National Heritage List for England (Index). SKE29372.

<12> Chris Blandford Associates, 1994, A259 Dymchurch to M20 (J11) Draft Brief for Archaeological Field Evaluation (Unpublished document). SKE6884.

<13> Chris Blandford Associates, 1992, A259 Dymchurch to M20 (Junction 11) Stage 1 Heritage (Unpublished document). SKE6769.

<14> Historic England, Archive material associated with the remains of St Mary's Church in West Hythe, Listed Building (Archive). SKE54571.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>OS Card Reference: Kent 1935 194 (JC Cox).
<3>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 30 1914 251-7 plan illusts (GM Livett).
<4>OS Card Reference: F1 CFW 06-OCT-62.
<5>OS Card Reference: DOE(HHR) Borough of Hythe Kent 21 December 1973 34.
<6>OS Card Reference: JBAA 23 1917 198.
<7>OS Card Reference: DOE(IAM) AMs England 2 1978 111.
<8>OS Card Reference: TRHS 18 1904 108 125.
<9>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TR 13 SW 9 - October, 1962.
<10>XYPhotograph: RUINS OF ST MARY'S CHURCH AT HYTHE FROM SOUTH EAST. OS62/F293/8. Black and White. Negative. [Mapped feature: #32058 Ruined building, ]
<11>Index: Historic England. National Heritage List for England.
<12>Unpublished document: Chris Blandford Associates. 1994. A259 Dymchurch to M20 (J11) Draft Brief for Archaeological Field Evaluation.
<13>Unpublished document: Chris Blandford Associates. 1992. A259 Dymchurch to M20 (Junction 11) Stage 1 Heritage.
<14>Archive: Historic England. Archive material associated with the remains of St Mary's Church in West Hythe, Listed Building.