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Pictures of Upchurch

in the county of Kent

About Upchurch

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This is an historic, interesting village which was once home to Edmund Drake, father of Sir Francis, who became vicar of the local church in 1560. Originally from Devon, Edmund had quite a turbulent life, he married and had twelve children of which Francis was the only child to develop outstanding talents as a fearless seafaring Admiral, who gained the attention of Royalty and the admiration of the World.

Edmund Drake remained in Upchurch from 1560 until his death some seven years later. In accordance with his wish, he lies buried in Upchurch churchyard.

The village occupies a pleasant location close to the Medway marshes, with access to Halstow Creek on the lovely Medway river. The area has an established history of Roman occupation as evidenced by the finding of a Roman cemetery and relics from various Roman potteries. Another pottery was established in 1909, this was known as Upchurch Pottery, which became noted through supplying goods to Liberty's and other famous London stores.

In 1877 a macabre discovery of bones was made in the crypt beneath the 14th century church. Centuries ago it was usual for remains to be kept either in the crypt or channel house if the churchyard was full. Upon discovery, the bones were re-interred. This church is well worth a visit, it has an unusual "candle-snuffer" steeple and other interesting architectural features. Inside the church there are two tablets dedicated to the men who lost their lives in WWI and WWII.

These days, this pleasant place with its gaily painted village sign acts as a dormitory village for residents working in the large town's of Gillingham and Maidstone. It is also attractive to visiting yachtsmen who enjoy exploring the little creeks of the Medway. The village provides for fishing and golf and for bird watchers there is an interesting RSPB site.

Visitors wishing to stay to explore the region will fins ample hotel accommodation in the area, pleasant inns, pubs and shops.

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