Friday, 4 December 2015

Dode Church. "Our Lady Of The Meadows". Prior To Rebuilding In 1902, The Last Mass Was 1367. Only Remnant Of Village Wiped Out In The Black Death.


Text from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.




Dode Church,
Kent, England.

Photo: 18 August 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Agw19666.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Dode (in Old English, Dowde) was a Village in England that was wiped out by The Black Death in 1349. All that remains is the de-Consecrated Church, which was rebuilt in the 1990s.

Archaeological evidence shows habitation in the Dode area during the time of The Roman Empire.

The Church at Dode was built during the Reign of William II of England at some point between 1087 and 1100. It was built on a man-made mound. The nearby hill is known as "Holly Hill", which is a corruption of "Holy Hill", and the lane which leads to the Village is "Wrangling Lane", showing that the mound could be the site of a meeting place. The Church stands at the end of a 10-mile long Easterly-running Ley Line, connecting three Pre-Reformation Churches, two Roman sites, a Bronze Age burial ground, and two of the Medway megaliths - the Coffin Stone and Kit's Coty House.




Dode Church,
Kent, England.

Photo: 18 August 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Agw19666.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Village of Dode was virtually wiped out by The Black Death during the 14th-Century, and its Church last used as a place of worship in 1367, then de Consecrated on the orders of Thomas Trilleck, the Bishop of Rochester. It was originally twinned with another Early-Norman Church in Paddlesworth (now in Snodland). Kent.

Stones from the Church were used to build a Mediaeval Church nearby.

According to local legend, the last survivor of The Black Death at Dode was a seven-year-old girl, known as The Dode Child. It is said that she took refuge in the Church after all the other Villagers were dead, and died within its walls. The Dode Child is supposed to haunt the Churchyard, having first appeared on a Sunday morning each month for several years, and then every seven years.




Dode Church,
Kent, England.
Available on YouTube at





Dowde (or Dode) Church, Kent.
This Norman Church was originally twinned with the Church in Paddlesworth, Kent, and served
the Village of Dode. Today, the Church is left virtually isolated down a No-Through Road,
with only a few local farms to keep it company. The Village of Dowde no longer exists,
as it was wiped out by The Black Death in the 14th-Century.
Photo: 25 June 2005.
Source: From geograph.org.uk
Attribution: Attribution: Hywel Williams.
(Wikimedia Commons)



Following The Black Death, the Village was abandoned, and the Church stood empty for Centuries. In 1901, it was purchased by an antiquarian, George M. Arnold, Mayor of Gravesend, Kent. He restored the walls and roof of the Church and, in 1954, the Arnold family returned the building to The Catholic Church. It was re-Dedicated as The Church of Our Lady of The Meadows and Mass was Celebrated there at least once a year.

Eventually, the building deteriorated again and was vandalised. In 1990, Doug Chapman, a Chartered Surveyor who had worked at Canterbury Cathedral, purchased the Church and began restoring the building, originally with the intention of turning it into a weekend home. Since 1999, it has been Licensed as a Civil Wedding venue.

The Wedding venue hit the British Press in December 2009 because of the snowfall which occurred across the Country. A bride-to-be called BBC Radio Kent for assistance, when she realised that the transport arranged for her wedding would not be able to travel down the narrow lane to Dode. A number of volunteers stepped forward, providing enough Four-Wheel-Drive vehicles to transport the Wedding Party and their guests, both to the venue at Dode, and then, afterwards, to The Leather Bottle pub, in Cobham, Kent.

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