KentASHFORDStMaryVirgin(jules&jennyCC-BY-2.0)1 Jules&Jenny

St Mary the Virgin

A warm and genuine welcome awaits everyone in this beautiful house of prayer in the heart of Ashford.

Ashford, Kent

Opening times

The church is open every day, with coffee mornings running each Monday, Tuesday and Saturday from 10am until 12noon.


Tufton Street
TN23 1QG

The foundation of the present church probably dates from the late 13th or 14th century, known as the Early Decorated period. The lower parts of some walls and the bases of the columns of the chancel and transepts may well however, be Early English, whilst the arcades in these parts of the church together with the eastern arcades of the nave are of the Decorated period.

The oldest part of the walls still visible from the outside is the west wall of the south transept which is of quite a different appearance to the Kentish ragstone used by later builders.

What is quite certain is that in those very early days the church was already large and of cruciform shape. The church had a low squat tower which was probably surmounted by a wooden spire.

In the 15th century, between about 1470 and 1490, the church was extensively renovated and partially rebuilt by Sir John Fogge who was Lord of the Manor of Repton, about one mile from the church.

During the English civil war this part of Kent was largely in the hands of the Puritans and the church suffered greatly from their attention. A fine collection of coloured glass was smashed, the altar pieces burned and monuments destroyed. Although many interior changes were made after this, there were no more major alterations to the structure until the 19th century.

In 1837, the width of the nave was increased by 8 feet on either side. At the same time the substantial entrance porch in the centre of the north wall of the nave was removed and the present entrance cut into the north transept. With the town steadily growing, due mainly to the arrival of the railway and the building of the railway works, the church still proved to be too small and in 1860 the nave was extended westwards by one whole bay. Thus, in a period of 35 years in the 19th century all the original walls of the nave, which in the main had stood for six centuries, were lost. Some of the stone work of the windows and door frames were, however, reused. Also in the 19th century the present vestry was built on the east side of the north transept.

  • Wildlife haven

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

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