Lower Hardres was formerly known as Nether or Little Hardres. The Manor of Nether, alias Lower Hardres was at the time of the Doomsday Book, part of the possessions of Odo, Bishop of Baieux. The Domesday Book records his estate as consisting of a church, eight servants and thirteen acres of meadow.
The earliest records of registers referring to St Mary’s, Lower Hardres are dated 1563.
The original St Mary’s Church had fallen into a state of disrepair, when a parishioner, James Tilliard, left £2,000 in his will enabling the village to demolish it and replace it with a new church. In 1830 the new St Mary’s Church was built, incorporating the original font.
The font is very ancient (1217) and is one of only two if this type in Kent and is made from Bethersden marble.
The village of Lower Hardres values its church. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside, fields to the north and bluebell woods to the east. We are fortunate in having our spacious churchyard, visited by so many each year and tended regularly by our band of enthusiastic gardeners. This offers a perfect place for quiet contemplation.
The aim of the Friends Group is to work together, meet friends and neighbours and raise money to ensure that this find building is still dominating the centre of our village for many generations to come.
In 2003 the group raised in excess of £50,000 to carry out necessary repairs to the spire and internal plasterwork.
The east windows, which had been boarded over since about 1940 were uncovered in 2005 to reveal the most magnificent stained glass windows which have transformed our church.
All our parishes are located to the South East of Canterbury.
For your Sat Nav, please use the postcode CT4 5NS.
Access to this chuch is good.