St Clement

The first church close to the river would have been on the strip of gravel which the present day church stands, there was no sea wall or river bank as we know it today.

About this church

The church is on the Pilgrims route to Canterbury and Rome, and before river defences were invented the river Thames could be forded from Thurrock to Greenhythe.

In the early 12th century the church had a circular tower serving as the nave. In the early 13th century the building was widened with north and south aisles built on either side of the rectangular chancel and by the late thirteenth century the building had been extended with a new chancel; the existing chancel became the nave, and north and south chapels were added. The chancel's eastern wall was later demolished and moved to its present position.

By the late 15th century the north and south walls of the chancel were removed and replaced with arcades, and the circular nave was brought down and replaced with a large tower. In 1628 the east wall of the chancel was reconstructed. Repairs were made to the tower and south aisle in 1640 and 1711 respectively. Early in the 19th century the south chapel was rebuilt and shortened.

In 1906, major repairs were undertaken, including a new roof on the chancels and aisles; four years later the east wall of the chancel was reconstructed. Repairs were also made in 1935 as iron ties were fitted to strengthen the walls, which had become damaged by subsidence.

In 1940 Procter & Gamble began production at a new plant neighbouring the church and would later hold the historic building's future in its hands. In 1950 the church's flat roofs had to be repaired once more after the lead lining was stolen. Three years later more roof work was completed when the building tiles were replaced. The tower and north chapel were also repaired at this time.

The church is on the Pilgrims route to Canterbury and Rome, and before river defences were invented the river Thames could be forded from Thurrock to Greenhythe.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access throughout
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Car park at church
  • On street parking at church
  • Accessible toilets in church
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

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