The Friends of Playden Church
The spire of St Michael's Church in Playden has been a landmark since the 12th century for travellers making their way over Romney Marsh or taking a boat or ferry across Rye Bay. Now seen by rail commuters and holidaymakers on their way to Rye, it once signalled journey's end to the 'rippiers' returning from London after selling the catch of Saltcote's fishing community.
Although a church is recorded in Playden in the Domesday survey of 1085, the present church dates from around 1190, and was built in the Norman era with later Early English style modifications. Much of the 12th century stonework survives: the walls and tower, a Norman window in the north wall, the round and octagonal pillars, and the moulded and chemfered arches. Over the centuries other fine windows have been added, and also a Perpendicular traceried rood screen circa 1465 under the east arch of the chancel. The church's finest possession is a richly decorated carved oak screen of about 1310.
At various other times further alterations have been made. A will of 1422 states that the church was "out of repair" which may have resulted in a legacy, for following this it seems that the church was entirely re-roofed, with the dramatic long sweep of tiles that gives the church such character today.
In common with many other communities concerned about their ancient and beautiful churches, the parish has formed an independent group to provide funds for care of the fabric of the building and ensure that this lovely and important part of our heritage is preserved in good repair for future generations to enjoy.
The Friends Of Playden Church welcomes new members. The Friends organise the annual Playden Weekend, Midsummer Gardens, Quizzes and many other social events throughout the year.
For over 900 years St. Michael's Church has stood on a site where a church has existed since time immemorial. Please help us to preserve this beautiful and ancient building.
To donate or become a member of The Friends Of Playden Church contact the Membership Secretary.
Minimum subscriptions for a year are only £5 for an individual or £10 for a family.
Registered Charity no. 1062992.