I said to a fellow birder and church crawler the other day that I wanted to break 700 churches next year. Given that for the past 4 years I've averaged 30 per year and that as of yesterday I was on 629 and had visited only 22 this year I decided I ought to get my finger out.
So up and off to Kent. Its my neigbouring county but that M25 puts me off but it has 23 churches I still have to tick.
I stopped off at St Lawrence Mereworth (630). It has a fine baroque tower and trompe l'oeil decoration. The old church was knocked down in the 18th century but some monuments from the old church survive. There was a flower festival on and lots of locals about. The church was looking good and the locals were friendly.
Next on my list was St Mary's Nettlestead (631) which contains some really old glass.
It was early and Igtham Mote is unusual for a National Trust property the Garden opens at 10 and the house at 10:30!!
Igtham is old but owes it survival to an American Charles Robinson. Robinson first saw it as a young man in 1917. In 1953 whilst in America Robinson saw the house was for sale and bought it. He left it to the National Trust.
This Moorhen picked a nice spot.
So on to St Mary Cobham (632). It contains the largest collection of Brasses in England and a fine Renaissance Tomb.
I was happily snapping away when a lady approached me and muttered about taking photos in the church, "not policy", and that she hoped there would be a sizeable donation. Well she got the standard £1, next time I'm in the area I'll wander down to Mereworth and stick some more money in their box.