We often get out and about with our kit to see what we can see in our local area of Kent. Using a drone can reveal some before unseen views that will take your breath away.

Shot on Mavic Air with Polar Pro Filters.

In 1798 Edmund Hasted, Kent historian, wrote that this church, “standing by itself among a grove of elms, the slight, delicate spire rising above the foliage of the grove, affords a pleasing prospect”. So it does, but St Margaret’s has never been just an ornament. Barming people have worshipped and have marked the most important events in their lives here for nearly 900 years. The original church was built around 1120, no doubt on the orders of the powerful de Clare family who had been Lords of the Manor of East Barming since the Norman Conquest. There was no village then – just a scattering of maybe 30 peasant families – and the church would have been built next to the manor house. West Barming (or “Little Barming”, now Barnjet) was a separate manor and had its own church, but by the late 1400s it had fallen into ruins. Some say St Margaret’s stands on the site of a Roman villa. Certainly, it seems to have been built on a solid stone base and Roman remains, including some elaborate stone coffins, were found near the church in the 19th century. There is no mention of an East or West Barming church in the Domesday Book and no physical trace of a Saxon church, but Augustine began his work in Kent in 597 and Rochester cathedral was dedicated in 604, so we can be sure there was a Christian community here long before St Margaret’s. Like all country churches, St Margaret’s has changed as a building. It was upgraded with a tower and porch in the prosperous 1400s, stripped during the Reformation, and drastically restored by the Victorians, but its essential character has not changed. It remains what it has always been: an unpretentious and welcoming church, especially for local people.