Milton, Holy Trinity

Photo: discovergravesham.co.uk

  • Church demolished, formerly single bell
  • Tenor: 3½ cwt approx.
  • Formerly single bell. Church demolished.
  • Grid Ref: TQ651740
  • Bell transferred to St Matthew, Wigmore
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Rochester

Prior to 1963

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Single bell3½ cwt approx25.5"1845Charles & George MearsNeverTransferred to St Matthew, Wigmore


1844 The building of the church began.
1845 The church was completed and a new parish was created from that of Ss Peter & Paul, Milton. The church was equipped with a bell by Charles & George Mears. It was consecrated in August by the Bishop of Rochester. [1] [2]
1963 The fabric of the church was coming dangerous. There was almost a fatal accident when the wall nearest to where Holy Trinity Schools formerly stood, collapsed without any warning. All the fittings and fixtures were removed, including the stained glass windows (and perhaps the bell at that stage) were removed earlier, but while the church remained empty, thieves gained access and looted the organ. The church was demolished shortly afterwards. The bell was given to St Matthew's Wigmore where it rings today. [3] [4]
[1] CONSECRATION OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH AT MILTON.- This beautiful structure was, on Thursdsay last, consecrated by the Bishop of Rochester. ( Bell's Weekly Messenger, Sat 23 Aug 1845)
[2] Milton, near Gravesend.- The consecration, by the Bishop of Rochester, of Holy Trinity Church, took place last week. The Epistle was read by the Rev. W. D. Johnston, curate of Milton, and the Gospel by the Rev. G. E. Murray, the Bishop's son. The Rev. R. Joynes, the future incumbent, read the morning prayer, and the Rev. T. Jackson preached the sermon. The sum of 96l. was collected at the offertory, towards the building fund; the cost of the church being about 5000l,; 1200l. are yet unpaid. (Bell's Weekly Messenger, Sat 30 Aug 1845)
[3] Holy Trinity Church, Gravesend, a landmark in the town for more than a century, which was closed on Palm Sunday last year because it was becoming dangerous, is to be demolished immediately. The site will be sold and flats in keeping with the character of the area erected. Decision to hasten the demolition was taken at a meeting of the Rochester diocesan reorganisation committee following the discover that thieves had broken in to the building and stolen the lead pipes and other valuable parts from the organ. Canon Selvyn Gummer, Rector and Rural Dean of Gravesend said: "The thieves found they could not get into the organ loft because the door leading to it was locked. They made no attempt to force the door. Instead they brought a ladder into the church and got to the organ that way. Marks of the ladder were found against the side of the gallery. The thieves stole everything of value from the organ and left it a complete wreck. Unfortunately, the insurance on the church and its contents ceased when the building was closed." Canon Gummer said everything of value in the church had been removed by the church authorities, including the stained flass windows. He stated that planning permission would be sought to build flats on the site. Holy Trinity Church was erected 118 years ago and General Gordon worshipped there. Trinity House pilots stationed in Gravesend regularly held a service there on Trinity Sunday. Congregation of Holy Trinity now workship in St. George's Chapel of Unity. (Maidstone Telegraph, Fri 8 Mar 1963)
[4] DEMOLITION OF HOLY TRINITY WAS JUSTIFIED Rector says building would have caved in Canon Selwyn Gummer, Rector and Rural Dean of Gravesend, and the pro-wardens and council of Holy Trinity Church, came in for considerable, criticism, when they decided to close the building. This was understandable because to many local people Holy Trinity was their family church where they had been baptised, confirmed and married. But the closing of the building was providential as disaster could have overtaken the congregation at any time if the church had remained open for worship. This was made quite clear during the demolition of the church. First there was almost a fatal accident when the wall nearest to where Holy Trinity Schools formerly stood, collapsed without a n y warning. This part of the structure was so dangerous due to stone erosion that it could not have stood much longer. ' Those carrying out the demolition described the whole structure as "the worst building we have ever demolished". The woodwork, particularly some of that in the roof could not possibly have held the pressures of the building for very much longer and would certainly have resulted in a serious collapse within the not too distant future." Giving these facts in St. James's parish magazine, Canon Gummer says Holy Trinity Church had gone beyond repair. "Far from it being an act of sacrilege to pull it down, it was an absolute necessity and. as it turns out, an act of mercy to those may have lost their lives or have been seriously injured when—not if !— the building had caved in," writes the rector, who adds that he does not write this in justification of himself and the two pro-wardens, but in the hope that other congregations who might find themselves in similar circumstances might be saved from making the fatal Jecision of keeping open dangerous buildings, for whatever reasons, in face of authoritative warnings. It was a London firm of architects who inspected Holy Trinity and recommended it be demolished. (Maidstone Telegraph, Fri 28 Jun 1963)

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 20 December 2022