St George's Church, Gravesend

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St George's church with the Pocahontas statue in front
The Pocahontas statue

St George's Church, Gravesend is a Grade II* Anglican church dedicated to Saint George[1] near the foot of the High Street in Gravesend, Gravesham, Kent, England.

History[edit]

Though the town had a parish church (dedicated to St Mary the Virgin in Heacham) as far back as the Domesday Book, the predecessor of the present St George's was only built in 1497, when it was licensed as a chapel of ease to St Mary's. The townspeople had petitioned to king Edward IV to build such a church that "in time to come shall become the parish church" between 1475 and 1478, with a joint dedication to Mary and George in reference to the dedication to Mary, George and Edward of a new chapel Edward had built at Windsor Castle. John Fisher, bishop of Rochester consecrated it in 1510, and (after St Mary's was damaged by fire in 1508 and became ruinous by 1529) it replaced it as the parish church in 1544. John Rolfe's Native American wife, Rebecca (Pocahontas) was buried under the chancel of this church after her death on 21 March 1617. William Ordway Partridge's bronze statue commemorates her.

The 15th-century church burned down on 24 August 1727 when a great fire consumed much of Gravesend, also destroying about 110 houses and the parish church. Services were transferred to the town hall until the church (restored in the Georgian style and part-funded by the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches) was completed in 1731.

References[edit]

  1. ^ English Heritage retrieved 25 July 2013

External link[edit]

Media related to St George's Church, Gravesend at Wikimedia Commons Coordinates: 51°26′39″N 0°22′07″E / 51.44410°N 0.36850°E / 51.44410; 0.36850