Parish Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe, Folkestone
Folkestone’s ancient Parish Church was established as a priory in the 11th century on a site where worship had been taking place for several hundred years. It suffered years of neglect after Henry VIII’s attack on “idolatry” and the destruction of shrines to saints in the 16th century. The church was extensively restored in the nineteenth century by Canon Robert Woodward, who introduced beautiful stained glass, murals and mosaics.
The fabric of the building requires regular attention and upkeep, often on a large scale. The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust has supported a number of important maintenance and repair initiatives.
For example, funding was granted in 2019 to make repairs to the leaking roof, particularly around the Nave. Several of the wall paintings inside the church have been damaged by leaking rainwater, which also fell on the pews beneath. After work commenced in late 2019 to prevent further damage to the paintings and murals, it was discovered that the timber rafters and cross beam in the south-west corner were rotten and these would need replacing. Further measures were required to repair elements of the roof and to repair downpipes, gutters and pointing to stonework. It was proposed to carry out restoration of the paintings and murals once repairs to the roof and walls have been completed and have dried out.