St. Mary The Virgin Church
Wantsum Churches Website
Church, known as the 'Cathedral on the marshes' is the mother church of
western Thanet. Founded in 670AD it was originally both a monastic and
a parish church. The first Church was probably built of mud and wood.
Close by is the place where St.Augustine landed in 597 to bring Christianity
back to this part of Britain.
The oldest part of the present building was built just
after the Norman conquest with work continuing for about 100 years. The
Chancel is Early English in style. The nave has stood in its present form
since about 1150.
The Church has a set of 18 mediaeval monks, stalls
(Misericords) which is one of the finest in the south of England.
At the west end of the Church Roman bricks have been
used in the wall and tower, which may have come from the nearby villa.
An older turret tower of unknown date is incorporated into the massive
Norman tower carries a peal of 5 ancient bells, four of which are dated
from the early 17th Century. Visit the Bellringers website: Minster Change Ringers
In bygone days the sea would have come up to the Churchyard
wall which acted as a barrier during high tides. The turret may have served
as a watch tower for shipping.
In the Church grounds is the Old Schools which
was the village School from 1847-1946 and is now used by the Church for