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St Michael's Church wall repaired

Published Thursday 7 September, 2023
Last updated on Thursday 7 September, 2023

The once crumbling exterior flint wall of St Michael's Churchyard has been given a new lease of life thanks to Swale Borough Council.

The Grade II* church, listed in 1951, has been an integral part of Sittingbourne since the 11th century and the churchyard boundary wall, which faces the High Street, forms an important part of this historic asset.

Prior to Swale Borough Council taking responsibility for the closed churchyard, minor patch repairs had been made where holes and cracks had developed throughout the exterior flint wall. It was in desperate need of reconstruction and quality repair.

This year the council procured Kent-based specialist stonemasons Pierra Limited, using money from the council’s High Street Fund, to carry out the much-needed preservation repairs using traditional methods and materials.

The council also commissioned new decorative iron railings for the top of the wall which replicate the original brackets and rails from the 20th Century.

Cllr Mike Baldock, deputy leader and heritage champion at the council, said:

“St Michael's Church in Sittingbourne has seen the town centre change throughout history, from a small village to a bustling shopping area.

“Throughout that time, it has remained an important historic landmark for the town, and it deserves our protection.

“Thanks to these great repairs the historic church walls will continue to be a gem on the High Street, and a statement of our respect for the people who helped make the town what it is, and the heritage of our past.

“We do of course have a legal obligation to maintain churchyards once they are closed to burials, and we want to make sure that our repairs enhance our churchyards, rather than act simply as essential but ugly acts of repair.

“And of course, if we did not carry out good quality repairs now, we would face even greater costs in the future.”

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