Wednesday, 14 November 2012

St Mary The Virgin Chapel & Graveyard

The site is found on Horsham Lane, Upchurch, Kent. The nearest train station would be Rainham, but even that is a bit of a trek so a car may be more suited when visiting this one. There are bus services but they are non-existent half of the time!

I couldn’t find an exact date but the chapel is a few hundred years old so I’m guessing that the graveyard would have been around for roughly the same time.




I had heard about this place a while back whilst studying history. I believe Sir Francis Drake’s father was a vicar here in about 1560. It also has some important links to the Spanish Armada. Luckily for me, my boyfriend lives in this little town so it gave me the perfect chance to go and explore it.

The first thing you will notice right off is the chapel. It has a very unusual steeple; it is square on the bottom and a cone shape on top. Underneath, there is supposed to be a crypt where they kept bones when the graveyard got to full. It was discovered in 1887 and all the bones where laid to rest. One thing I will say about this graveyard is that it is very well looked after. All of the lawn is neat and trimmed and the rose bushes are well kept. The pathways are all clear and even the very old graves look as though they have been treated well. At the front you have all of the bigger monuments, probably past vicars. There are lots of trees here making it all seem very peaceful.

This site is actually quite deceptively big; once you go around the back you see a lot more graves. This part seems a lot more active as there are graves with flowers on them. Again, it is neat and tidy. The only thing slightly off putting is that there seems to be some kind of allotment right behind it. It almost makes the place feel slightly impersonal. A lot of the graves also lie in the shadow of the chapel, quite serene actually. Old fashioned is certainly a word that springs to mind with this place. Even the old wooden gate has some beautiful carvings on it!


I didn’t physically catch any evidence from this place nor did I really pick up on anything. In all honesty though, it was such a beautiful day and, to sound corny, I was with my man so I was in a good mood! Maybe I was also picking up on some good vibes, who knows! I only found out about the crypt when I got back home though so I would like to investigate that further at some point.

It’s not the grandest graveyard you will ever see but it does have plenty of history to it and the architecture of the building is stunning. It is awkward to get to but if you are planning a day trip then I suggest you pay it a little visit.

“Respect those who are not physically here, you can’t see them but they can see you, and disrespect is something they don’t want to see”

RATING: 3/5 – quite small and not a great deal to see but well looked after and will offer an enjoyable walk around in the summer.

LINKS: none available


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