History












Welcome to St. Margaret's Church - Historic background

There has probably been a church on the grounds since Saxon times and the original would have been made of wood.

A stone church was built by Sir John Giffard in the early fourteenth century and traces of this building still remain in the South wall (circa 1320) and West doorway. The church was a gift of the Lords of the manor, the Giffards, who eventually gave their name to the small village of Bowers Gifford. Sir John fought in the battle Crecy and there is an incomplete brass of him in full armour in the Sanctury.

The church is built mainly of Kentish ragstone with a tower and wooden spire which was added in Tudor times. In the bell tower, which is reached by twenty five steeply winding steps, three bells are housed, all of which are original fourteenth century. The bells are amongst the oldest in the County and are still rung regularly. There is also a fifteenth century Piscina (free standing basin for washing sacred vessels) and a sixteenth century wooden Font cover. The glorious East window made by ( Lavers, Barraud, Westlake ) won a Gold Medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1870 and was installed at the church in 1871.



East Window