Sandhurst Church Circular

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It is strange that St Nicholas' Church stands so far away (over a mile), from the main village of Sandhurst. Local tradition says that victims of the Black Death were buried in a plague pit in the churchyard, causing those who lived nearby to seek a healthier site, but whatever the reason, there's no denying that it occupies a spectacular site. From here you can see far across the Weald of Kent and Sussex, and down towards the Rother Valley, the river which marks the boundary between the two counties. It is said that church's position determined the site of Bodiam Castle, about a mile away, because its superior height allowed signals to pre-warn castle occupants of imminent danger. There is a good view, too, of Sandhurst's unusual and recently restored, five-sailed windmill.

Having been suitably exhilarated by the wide skies and lofty viewpoints, though, it's time to wander more sylvan scenes, as you descend by woods and field borders crammed with primroses in spring, to a 'secret' stream hidden in the hedgerow. Here, too, there are wonderful spring flowers, not to mention some very pungent garlic!

As you near the village, look out across the field for the large plain glass window of St Nicholas' Church's shy neighbour, the Mission Church. This church was possibly built for itinerant hop-pickers, who came from the East End of London each summer to work during the harvesting of the hops. They often lived in vans or temporary huts, some of which can still be seen in the area around Sandhurst. The original building blew down in the 1987 storm and was replaced by a timber construction. It is generally open and you are welcome to visit. Take a moment to find the spot, near the front of the church, from which you can see 'old' St Nicholas through the window – the 'child' looking at its 'parent' perhaps?

Sandhurst also boasts a pleasant tea shop and a general stores, which you may like to visit before making the return journey to your car. Look inside St Nicholas' Church for leaflets on its history and count the 14 lime trees and seven yews which surround it!

England - South England - Kent - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Pub, Public Transport, Tea Shop, Woodland

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Distance away
8.1 Miles