Pictures of Barfrestone
in the county of Kent
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Set in the midst of beautiful Kentish countryside, this lovely village is home to a church displaying all the art of the Norman craftsman of long, long ago. The external doorways and windows of the small church of St.Nicholas show a profusion of rich Romanesque carving which is believed to have been done C.1180. The east end of the church has a row of arcades surmounted by a wheel-window carved with animals, figures and foliage. In the 12th-century the manor belonged to the important de Pont family but there appears to be no explanation as to why this little church should be so elaborate. The south doorway carries the most impressive decoration. Christ in Glory is carved in the centre of the tympanum, and there are amusing carvings of animals playing musical instruments. The nearby church at Patrixbourne is similarly decorated but the outstanding ornamentation of Barfrestone is likened only to Rochester and Canterbury. The church is indeed the jewel in Barfrestone's crown.
Apart from the church, the village of Barfrestone reveals leafy lanes studded with enchanting cottages and has both The East Kent Railway (The White Cliffs Colliery Line) and the North Downs Way running close by. The atmospheric Yew Tree Inn is a focal point for visitors and is said to be haunted.
The village lies surrounded by several picturesque Wealden villages, is close to Canterbury with its great Cathedral and the historic port of Dover. Court Farm offers a good caravan and camping site and there are plenty of attractive B & B establishments in the region. This being so, the charm and timelessness of Barfrestone with its green fields and beautiful Norman church, makes a pleasant place for a relaxing weekend away from the demands of modern life.
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