April 10th, 2021

Three 12th Century Churches Part 3

Minster in Thanet is a Saxon monastic foundation. Its first abbess, Mildred, was a Saxon princess- and (the bar to sanctity being lower then than now- it being enough to be a high status ecclesiastic) was not only a saint herself but the daughter of a saint and the sister of two others. In 1033 her relics were stolen (the Dictionary of Saintly Women says "translated") by the monks of St Augustine's, Canterbury in a night time raid- and added to their growing collection. The monks of Minster- knowing themselves to be outgunned- sulked but forbore to hit back. Minster was sacked by Danish invaders not once but twice- and the existing church- dedicated to St Mary the Virgin- is Norman from the west front to end of the nave and early English from the transepts on- with the arches just beginning to develop points.

The nave looking west

The early English chancel