St Mary Magdalene Tower - Burgate, Canterbury, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 16.707 E 001° 04.983
31U E 366300 N 5682535
Quick Description: The church of St Mary Magdalene was demolished in 1871 and the tower is all that remains.
Location: South East England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/18/2012 10:43:05 AM
Waymark Code: WME8HF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member BarbershopDru
Views: 4

Long Description:

The plaque, on the western wall, reads:
"Church of St Mary Magdalene
Founded before 1165 Tower built 1505
Church demolished 1871

Richard Harris Barham
Author of 'Ingoldsby Legends'
baptised here 1788

Within the tower, best viewed fro the eastern or southern sides is the monument of the Whitfield family dated from about 1680.

The tower is Grade II listed and the entry at the English Heritage website (visit link) reads:
"All that remains of St Mary Magdalen's Church. 1503. The front elevation is stone faced, the side is of flint and rubble. 4 storeys having lancets with foliated heads. First floor has a double lancer. Ground floor has a doorcase with decorated spandrels. Cl7 memorials. A scheduled AM."

The Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society (visit link) has the following information in respect to the tower:
"All that remains of the parish church of St Mary Magdalen is the tower in Burgate standing close to the city’s Roman Catholic church, the lower courses of the original church now forming a low garden wall. The church had 12th century origins, and the surviving perpendicular gothic tower was built around 1500. The writer Richard Harris Barham was baptised here in 1788. The church closed for worship in 1866 and demolition of all but the tower took place in 1871. The parish united with that of St Georges – but war damage to that church has left us with two old parishes having no church but two towers between them. The font was removed to River (near Dover), the arcades went to St George’s, and the bells seem to have left for Madagascar!

What to see:

  • Two plaques on the outside walls of the tower giving basic history and dates - one also notes the baptism of Richard Harris Barham here in 1788
  • The memorial to John Whitfield housed behind glass in the tower and floodlit at night – a remarkable Canterbury benefactor who claimed to have invented the fire engine
  • The wooden door to the ringing chamber which still survives beside the feint traces of a spiral stair case.

Access: Free public access but the Whitfield memorial is behind a fixed glass window."

Type: Remnant

Fee: 0

24/7/365 adjacent ot a public highway.

Related URL: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Original photographs showing additional views of the Ruin/Remnant or even just its current condition are encouraged. Please describe your visit, especially if no additional photos are available. Did you like the Ruin or Remnant? What prompted you to see the Ruin or Remnant?
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
MeerRescue visited St Mary Magdalene Tower - Burgate, Canterbury, UK 5/14/2012 MeerRescue visited it
Dragontree visited St Mary Magdalene Tower - Burgate, Canterbury, UK 3/27/2012 Dragontree visited it

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