A visit to the Parish Church

Church from Tayne FieldParish Church of St Mary and St Ethelburga, Lyminge from Tayne Field.  St Eadburg's Well, the source of the Nailbourne, is in the middle distance in the centre of the picture (© Rob Baldwin)

Getting there

You can visit the Parish Church by car and there is a car park for visitors adjacent to the church yard at the end of Church Road.

Alternatively, you can visit by bus, or by cycle.

You can also incorporate a visit to the church into a walk, either one of the shorter walks around the area or as part of exploring the Royal Saxon Way or one of the other long-distance routes that pass through the parish.  You can consider the various options on our page setting out the walking routes in our parish.     

The origins of the church at Lyminge go back almost 1,400 years.  Recent excavations have confirmed that the first church was built around the middle of the 7th Century, and it is therefore possible that this was built by Queen Ethelburga in the 630s or 640s.  You can read more about how Queen Ethelburga came to found this church and what we know about it on our history pages.  If you visit the church yard, you can see the outline of the first church laid out in the path to the south of the standing parish church as you approach the porch.  There is more information inside the church, including artefacts from the archaeological excavation in 2019, and a touchscreen that gives access to more detailed information and a 3D visualisation of what the church may have looked like back in the 7th Century.

Queen Ethelburga founded her church on a chalk bluff, overlooking the spring that is the source of the Nailbourne that flows north along the Elham Valley, joining the Little Stour near Littlebourne.  Dominating the site today is the church that was begun towards the end of the 11th Century by Archbishop Lanfranc who at that time held the estate at Lyminge.  He built a much larger church than the one built by Queen Ethelburga, and you can still get a sense of its scale because the chancel and nave are still essentially what he built.  A tower was added towards the end of the 15th Century, and so was the north aisle, but the ground plan is otherwise Lanfranc's.  Another difference is likely to have been how you entered the church.  The doorway of Lanfranc's church was almost certainly in the west wall where the tower arch now stands.

The touchscreen display in the church gives visualisations of how the appearance of the church has changed over the last almost one thousand years.

Visualisation of Lanfranc's church at Lyminge c1090 (© Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture)