Angels in the Architecture
“I could feel that the success of the enterprise was in my hands; the moment had an obscure significance which had to be trimmed and perfected…” Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, 1938The village of Littlebourne lies a few kilometres east of Canterbury in the valley of Little Stour River. It’s Godiva chocolate boxy or at least Charbonnel et Walker. The Conservation Area covering much of the built form is broken down into the ‘character areas’ beloved of planners. There are two Locally Listed and six Grade II Listed properties on Bekesborne Lane. Church Road has two Locally Listed, two Grade II Listed and the only two Grade I Listed buildings. The Green has four Grade II and High Street has 15 Grade II. Four Locally Listed and two Grade II Listed buildings are to be found on The Hill. Nargate Street has two Locally Listed and 17 Grade II Listed properties.
St Vincent’s Anglican Church and Barn are the two Grade I Listed buildings. This parish church is dedicated to St Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon, Martyr and Patron of Vine Dressers. The Domesday Book 1085 to 1086 mentions a church in Littlebourne. It probably was built in wood by the monks of St Augustine’s who kept vines in the parish. The framework of the adjacent early 14th century barn with its sweeping thatched roof shows evidence of reuse of earlier timbers which may have come from the first church building. The nave dates from 200 years earlier than the barn; the chancel, the following century; and enhancements continued right up to the 19th century with the insertion of stained glass windows designed by Nathaniel Westlake and executed by his company Lavers, Barraud and Westlake. The porch was added in 1896