Click here to go to Wouldham Church website
Click here to see the names on the lych gate
A previous stone version of Wouldham Church can be traced back as far as 1058 and a wooden version probably preceded that. The first stone version was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1087. It is understood that the "new" church was built around the earlier church, whilst still in use. The new front dates from around 1200 and the north/south aisles from around 1258. It is thought that the church was probably completed by the time Walter was appointed the first Rector (1283).
The chancel was completed in 1350 and the tower was added in 1460. The tower was paid for by the will of Stephen Slegge, who requested that the building of the steeple should take place. In 1624, four bells were installed, made by Joseph Hatch. This was the gift of Francois Cacott who was the Rector for fifty three years. Edwin and Henry Peters later gave two additional bells, along with the clock, in 1899 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (1897). Six years later, they also gave the organ.
On the 23rd August 1940, during World War II, a bomb fell nearby, destroying the east window and part of the chancel roof. This was repaired by 1947. Behind the church was a wharf, where barges carried agricultural products away and presumably delivered goods to the village. This was known as Rectory Wharf. In October 1949, the body of a narwhal arrived on the shore of by Rectory Wharf. It was only the second example of this species to be found ashore in 500 years within this country. Its body was taken to the Natural History Museum