St James's Church, Grain Church

Image Source: John Salmon


A small and remote church at the end of the Hoo Peninsula. The usual two-cell Norman church was extended and partially rebuilt in the late twelfth century by the addition of north and south aisles, the introduction of reredos niches for the nave altars and new windows in the chancel. The aisles were demolished in the early nineteenth century, but their blocked arcades are still clearly visible. The reredos niches are both painted with thirteenth-century five-petalled flowers, whilst the southern one also shows the figure of a bearded bishop. There are the remains of two Norman windows in the nave, and a group of thirteenth-century coffin lids. Despite its medieval size the church did not possess a tower until the present one was built in 1905. It tries very hard, and is built in the right architectural style, but the fact that it is shorter than the nave means that it is a rather poor relation to others in the area. Over the south door is an unusual piece of carved stone representing a Sheila-na-gig, or pagan goddess of reproduction, displaying rather more than a lady should!



Church Data


1851 Census Details


Seating Capacity: 92

Morning Attendance: No service

Afternoon Attendance: 50

Evening Attendance: No service


Architecture Details


Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval


Second Restoration:









Contact Details


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