Tuesday, 24 March 2009

I'm not so Saintly

This is the first Church I've come across dedicated to St Anthony.

The Church stands on a hill, overlooking the small village of Alkham. St Antoninus, or Anthony, martyr, is not the better known St Anthony of Egypt, but of Pamiers. (in SW France). He was martyred at Apamea in Syria in the second century, his feast being the 2nd of September.

The steep road up to the church from the village comes to an attractive lytch gate. Many of the local churches have similar gates. It was originally designed to protect the coffin and its pallbearers from the weather while they waited for a priest to attend them. Nowadays it often serves a far more picturesque purpose acting as an attractive and historic backdrop for wedding photographs.
The church dates back to the 13th century. Alterations and additions were made in the 14th century and Victorian era. The most recent restoration work having been completed by 1968.

The church tower has four bells, three cast in 1683 and one in 1873.

There has been a church in Alkham since at least the Norman Conquest and the first recorded rector was Herbert, son of the Lord of the Barony of Folkestone. He was rector from 1199-1203 so presumably he officiated in the smaller Norman Church that stood on the site.

No comments: