St Andrew’s Boxley

The new view of the chapel building seen from the lane.

Today Tuesday 30 November is St Andrew’s Day.

It’s special in Scotland, Greece, Barbados, Amalfi and many other places.

It was once a special day at Boxley Abbey which possessed a St Andrew relic, a finger encased in silver, which was in the freestanding St Andrew’s Chapel built in 1484 about a quarter of a mile from the abbey church.

It was at a southern entry point to the abbey but only functioned as a chapel for 53 years. The abbey was dissolved in 1537 when the community had fallen to just four monks.

The chapel, after being hidden for years, can now be seen from Boarley Lane, opposite the post box near the junction with Grange Lane.

The lost chapel has been purchased by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and careful restoration is in progress.

The plan is to eventually place it on the market to raise funds for the next project.

Should we think about purchasing it to be a pilgrim hostel so once again pilgrims can stay at Boxley Abbey? An example is Refugio Gaucelmo on the Camino in Spain run by Southwark-based Confraternity of St James. Last month it celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The higher roof is the top of the chapel which has attached clergy accommodation.

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