Kenardington Tower is a tower on the church which was built without an entrance or exit. Therefore, you can't get in it, even though it was put there to be a usable tower. Doh !!!
Kenardington may be found standing on what was once the 'Ancient Saxon' shoreline, but is nowadays the edge of the Romney Marsh .
The name Kenardington , also known as Kenardton, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, it is derived from the personal name Kenward, or Kinard.
The suffix "ing" refers to the family, and ton is a homestead or a farm. Kenardington therefore translates as "The home of the Kinard family". When the first Kinard lived is not known, but the adding of "ing" and "ton" started around the late 7th century, and was common in the 8th and 9th centuries.
St Marys church stands on the site of what was believed to be a small saxon fort. The fort was 600ft long on the eastern side, and 550ft long on the northern side. Unfortunately most of its earthworks have been ploughed away over the years.
The fort may have been built to repel the Danish invasion, however it was only half finished when the Danes attacked in 892AD. The Danes encamped here before moving on to establish themselves at Appledore .
A Saxon church at Kenardington dedicated to St Mary, is recorded in the Domesday Book. At this time an annual fee of 12d (5p) was paid to the monks of Christchurch Canterbury. This indicates that it is likely the monks were the original founders of the church.
The original church may have been wooden, then after the Norman Conquest of 1066 was replaced by a stone building. The tower dates from 1170AD and is a square structure without buttresses. To the north side it has an unusual round tower, which carries the staircase to the belfrey at the top of the main tower.
The church is another one a long way away from the village, which implies quarantine at the time of the Black Death .
In the 14th century, it is believed that the church was sacked by the French during the Hundred Years War , but there is no remaining evidence. In 1559 the church was struck by lightning, and which started a fire causing the collapse of the nave, chancel and the north aisle.