A History & Description of St Peters Church, Swingfield

The Church of St Peter is to be seen in relation to the Commandery of St John which stands across adjoining land, half a mile to the north and is all that now remains of the Preceptory and Estates of the Order of St John, (Knights Hospitalers). The original date of the Commandery is unknown but judged to be early 12th century, when it was used as a Preceptory and Convent for the Order of Knights Templar, who were established in England in 1135. It was in this period that the earliest parts of St Peters are thought to have been constructed on a former Saxon foundation of which nothing visibly now remains.

By the command of King Henry II, in 1180 the Convent was moved from Swingfield to Buckland-Sorum in Somerset and the Preceptory to Templar properties in Dover & Temple Ewell. At this time the Order of St John are recorded as taking possession of Swingfield and the time when the Commandery began to take its present form. (An extensive history of the Commandery and the Estates at Swingfield, when in possession of the Order, is now held by them in England & Malta. (The Commandery is currently in the care of English Heritage).

St Peters Church, The Street, Swingfield, Kent CT15 7HA
Friends of St Peters: Email - swingfieldchurch@aol.com / Telephone - 01303 844244