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Stone Chapel - Faversham, Kent

17th May 2014
 

 


Photograph - Courtesy Colin Miles

The ruined church of stone near Faversham lies to the north of Watling Street, the great roman road between London and Dover.

The first building on this site was a Romano Pagan Temple or Mausoleum, Stone Chapel is the only know example in Britain to be later incorporated into a Christian church.
This was a square structure which can be clearly identified by the use of squared tufa stone blocks and rag stone with regular courses of red roman bricks. Excavations of this structure suggest that it dates to the middle of the 4th century.

This structure was adapted to form the chancel of a Christian church, possibly as early as the 11th Century, but certainly it had a stone nave by the late Saxon period 11th century.
The church is dedicated to "Our Lady of Elwarton", and remained in use until abandoned in the first half of the 16th century. A decorative grave slab which was found at Stone Chapel is now on display at the Maison Dieu Ospringe.

Stone Chapel is managed by English Heritage and looked after by The Faversham Historical Society.

 

  The Investigation
  This was to be a very informal investigation due to the location and noise pollution of the site.

The team commence with setting up equipment, cam corders, stills cameras and digital voice recorders were used.

The team have a walk of the site and recall occurrences from previous investigations at the site.

Ian is using his camcorder hand held and filming the walkabout, the team venture into the copse that is immediately behind the ruined chapel.

The team discuss the history of the chapel and settlements that may have been in the vicinity; Dave recalled a Time Team dig towards the A2 on the hill.

Paddy recalls skeletal remains being uncovered around the outside of the chapel, which remain in place.

Kim comments on being able to smell mint.

Kim turned to Ian and tells the team that she just saw a dear run through the trees behind Ian.

The team return to the chapel and set up an experiment.

EVP Experiment

The team decide that an experiment using digital voice recorders and listening to the results in situ could be beneficial should anything be recorded. Sounds recorded to and listened to on site then viewed is a good way to rule out current sounds that may be reoccurring at the time. The team could then investigate the source of the sounds and eliminate any natural sounds.

Four voice recorders were used for this experiment and were set at different locations within the chapel - Ian’s voice recorder was in front of the team, Paddy’s was on his chair, Dean’s on his chair and Dave’s at the other end of the chapel.

A series of questions were aimed at the reorders with a brief pause between each. The experiment lasted about 10 minutes and concluded with the team listening to all on play back via headphones.

The team sat within the chapel for some quiet time, waiting for the traffic on the A2 to calm.

After some time the team decided to undertake a séance by the altar.

Kim complained that her left arm was aching, and Graham who was holding Kim’s hand said that he could feel static from her hand.

Dean began to sway backwards and both Kim and Dave who were holding his hands commented on the fact that they were trying to steady Dean.

The Séance ended and the team took a break.

The last séance of the evening took place in the copse behind the chapel, however tiredness began to take over and the investigation ended.

  Results
  EVP Experiment - No results recorded
  Conclusions
 

The smell of mint reported by Kim upon investigation was in actual fact the crushed vegetation under foot, although not a mint plant the crushed stems and leaves gave off the same smell as mint.

The sight of a deer is harder to explain as there are no reported deer in the area. This could have been a trick of the eye in low light conditions, or it could have been something else. This remains unexplained.

The séances - Many different feelings and sensations are recorded during séances, this can be a result of standing or sitting still in a stationary position for a long amount of time.

Sensations in the arms can be caused by the pull of holding the arm in the downward position without relief and can feel like pins and needles.

The swaying sensation can be explained in exactly the same way. Sense of direction can be lost in low light after closing the eyes and the natural rhythm of the body can cause it to sway.

 


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