fsmg - St Mary's Church

St Mary’s Church Goudhurst

'Let it be known to all men... that I, Robert de Crevecoeur, for the salvation of my soul have bequeathed to the Canons of Leeds; those who serve God today and those who shall serve him through all time, the church of Goudhurst. By this charter I confirm this.' - dated 1119. Even earlier records indicate a church on this site, in the settlement of Guoanhyrst, probably dating way back into Saxon times.


The church you see today dates back to the 13th century and you can appreciate a spacious, light building constructed from Wealden sandstone and limestone from Normandy. Amongst other things you will find:

- the 13th century nave and chancel

- pillars built in the 13th,14th and 15th centuries

- indications of 13th century lancet windows in the sanctuary walls

- the 14th century south doorway with a holy water stoup outside

- screens to the choir vestry and Bedgebury chapel made partly from the remains of a 16th century rood screen and loft formerly at the east end of the building

- the west tower, rebuilt after being struck by lightning in 1637 – before being virtually destroyed in the subsequent fire the tower had been higher and with a spire above it

- signs of an 18th century gallery at the west end of the church, built for the use of singers and other musicians