Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Dode Church

The little Norman church at Dode- located in the hills to the south of Gravesend- and not easy to find-  is all that's left above ground of a village that was abandoned in the 1300s- probably on account of the Black Death. The mound it sits on is man-made- and presumably prehistoric. Ley hunters claim it marks the end of an eastwards running ley that takes in a number of ancient sites.  Archaeologists confirm that the site was occupied in Roman times. The nearby hill is called Holly Hill- a corruption of Holy Hill- which speaks for itself.

According to tradition Dode's fleeing residents left behind a seven year old girl who took refuge in the church - and died there.  Her ghost, known as The Dodechild, appeared in the churchyard every Sunday and later-  its battery running down- at intervals of seven years. I've no idea whether it's still around.

The church- a ruin for most of its history- was restored at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1954 ownership of the site passed to the Roman Catholic Church and the building was reconsecrated- as Our Lady of the Meadows. It fell into disuse and disrepair again- not surprising, really, given its isolation- passed back into private hands in 1990 and is now in use as a wedding venue (all faiths catered for).

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