St Mildred

Since 1461, the broad street of this busy little town and much of the countryside around has looked up to the elegant pinnacled tower of St Mildred's.

About this church

The church is dedicated to a prominent Saxon saint, a foundation of St Mildred's abbey at Minster in Thanet. Tenterden is the 'den of Thanet folk', Tanet wara denne.

The church is 14th century nave with later aisles, crown post roof with superb wagon ceiling. There is a visible 13th century arcade in the chancel, and east lancet window with victorian glass. The chancel screen by is by Bodley.

The noble tower (probable mason Thomas Stanley) indicating the 15th century prosperity of the town, which joined the Cinque Ports in 1460.

There is a notable monument to Whitfeld family with figures, heraldic accoutrements. An interesting Sanctus bell (c1400) in east gable of nave is rung horizontally from the west tower.

The wife of Philip Ward (Vicar 1830-59) was Horatia, daughter of Lord Nelson.

Tenterden was noted from about 1400 for a degree of 'Lollardy' and the nonconformist presence in the town remained marked, the Tilden family emigrating in 1630 to be involved in the establishment of the Massachusetts colony.

Interesting memorials include cousins of Prime Minister Robert Peel, Nelson descendants (Nelson Ward family), and Frank Elliott, a young man who died in the famous charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman (with a young Lieutenant Winston Churchill among the officers). Mayor's pew (as in other Cinque Ports) with fittings for the maces of the Town Sergeants.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Parking within 250m
  • Non-accessible toilets in church
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café within 500m

Other nearby churches

St Mary the Virgin

The church probably dates back to the 12th century and the two especially interesting architectural features are the tower and south porch.


St Dunstan

The old market town of Cranbrook shares with Tenterden the claim to be the capital of the Kentish Weald.

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