|Our Whats On|
Guides to the Area
Where to Stay
Bed & Breakfast
On this Page
(Dragoons capture Smugglers)
Woodchurch is a large village 5 miles east of Tenterden off the B2067.
It stands on a gentle slope, and contains many lovely old houses, some
of which face onto the large green, which forms the heart of the village.
The first mention of the village is a record of the church in the Domesday
Monochorum, where it is recorded that Wudecyrce paid dues of 28d per year.
This is possibly the Wooden church where the village derives its name from,
or maybe the name is derived from the oak shingles used on the later stone
building to roof the spire.
The parish church of All Saints, has survived remarkably well. The present
building made of Kentish ragstone dates from the 13th century, making it
early English in style. The side aisles were added in the 14th and 15th
The tower houses 6 bells, which were cast in the early 17th century by
Joseph Hatch of Ulcombe, three of these bells are still in use.
The tower is supported by four very large buttresses, most likely these
are of a later date, when subsidence was noticed.
A most unusual feature of the church is the human head sculptures, eleven
of which can be found carved at the end of arches, seven inside the church
and four outside. This feature can also be found in a number of churches
on the Romney Marshes, and are believed to date from the 13th century, it
is likely that the sculptures were made by the same master craftsman.
The church also holds a most unusual brass on the pulpit floor, it is
believed to be the third oldest in Kent. It is in memory of the rector
Nicholas de Gore from the early 1300's.
In 1826 a Battle took place between a gang of smugglers and the dragoons,
the smugglers were defeated, captured and transported to Australia. These
smugglers were the leaders of the Aldington Gang, and once transported,
the smuggling in the area reduced considerably.
| Woodchurch has a number of shops and services, as you would expect
from a large village.
The main shopping centres are Tenterden to the east and Ashford to
the north east. The nearest trains also run from Ashford , with the main line to London
passing through, together with the Ashford Terminal of Eurostar.
| The centre of Woodchurch is the large green, and all around are
lovely old houses, many facing the green.
Look around the church to see if you can find the human head sculptures.
Finally take a walk up to the old windmill, via the footpath between
the public houses. This is a very well kept windmill and as the path
runs up to it from the south, provides good photographs throughout