Brookland Church, Romney Marsh, St Augustine's Church And Belfry

One Of The Most Unusual Churches In Kent

Welcome to our St Augustine's Church feature. We have been highlighting Kent tourist attraction since the year 2000. In that time user feedback has played an important part in helping to develop our content. If you've visited this fascinating church and it's distinctive belfry we'd like to hear from you. If you'd like to suggest another local attraction not already included in our Discover Kent pages, please get in touch. Our contact details are below.

St Augustine's Church

Your first reaction on seeing St. Augustine's Church at Brookland might be to do a 'double take'. What is that strange structure on the ground by the front of the church? Well it's actually the bell tower. The general consensus is that the very nature of the soft ground found in the area, for which the Marsh is renown, prohibited building the structure too high, for the fear that the total structure would be just too heavy. The solution is as simple as it is unusual, to build the belltower next to the church.

Both buildings date from around the same time, 1260 or thereabouts. The belfry has quite a distinctive look, described by some as having the appearance of a giant 'candle snuffer'. Weatherboarding adds further to the uniqueness of the structure.

This Kentish church is dedicated to Saint Augustine, one of the Saints most closely associated with the county; Saint Augustine was the first Archbishop of Canterbury. Another Archbishop, Thomas a Becket, is featured on a fresco inside the building, the wall painting was only rediscovered during renovations 50 years ago.

There are a number of surprises inside the church, not least signs of subsidence that are a full vindication of the decision to build the belfry as a stand alone structure. There is an important lead font, said to be one of just 30 remaining in the UK, originally from France. How it ended up in a church on the Marsh is something of a mystery. There are the original flagstones underfoot, Georgian box pews and a distinctive pipe organ installed in the 1960s.

This is a church and bell tower with great cultural and historical significance but they are also amongst the most unique and forgettable buildings in the county, if you're in the area we'd recommend a visit but bear in mind the church will only be open at certain times.

Brookland Parish Council Contacts:


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