To the outside world, St Laurence Church is just an attractive little building with a tall spire set in the village of Bapchild - but step inside and you’ll be surprised by the treasures it holds.
In the north arcade area, there are panels of classic 17th century text. Religious wall paintings, hidden for many years under layers of limewash, have also been unveiled.
One example in the Lady Chapel is a long, low mural of the crucifixion, painted in about 1300. It is faded but nearby there is a framed picture of how it once looked.
Andrew Linklater, project manager for the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, said: “Medieval churches were highly painted with church life and the teachings of Christ because it was a population which was largely illiterate.”
Wooden shingle tiles from the tower bearing carvings of people’s names hang in a frame near the altar and if you look closely when you enter the building you will see the year 1596 carved into what is believed to be its original door.
But its strangest treasure is probably a mammoth’s tooth in a glass case attached to one of the pillars of the nave.
It was found in the wall of the chancel while repairs were being carried out during the 19th century.
Mr Linklater said: “The then vicar’s wife was curious about it and asked for it to go on display for the parishioners to be able to see it so it was a curiosity of its time and still is.
“It’s quite possible that when the church was being built, they cut into the geology and retrieved it and put it in the wall themselves.
“Or it could have simply been mixed in with the materials and they were unaware of it. It is exciting to me as an archaeologist.
“They’re not uncommon in this part of the country but it’s an unusual find to be present in a church.
“Because it was found in the 11th or 12th century it would have been an object they didn’t understand because evolution as we understand it now, wouldn’t have been known about.”
More recently bits of floor tiles dating back to the 13th or 14th century, including one that is complete, were unearthed while a toilet was being installed.
Mr Linklater said: “They would have been part of a rebuild just before the Black Death hit this part of Europe. They were almost certainly made in Canterbury at Tyler Hill under contract by the cathedral.
“The Victorians would have taken them up and used them as rubble to level out the new floor as it didn’t fit in with their clean scheme which is what we see now.”
The Parochial Church Council is hoping to put together a guide to the venue’s history.
Once completed it will be on display for people to view. The cost will be covered by money left by parishioner Editha Randle who died in September 2009, aged 92.
Miss Randle lived in the The Street, Bapchild, and was a regular at the church. Her legacy is also being used to pay for repairs to the stonework and the toilet which has recently been installed at the rear of the building.
Church warden Valerie Smith wouldn’t be drawn on how much was left, but simply said: “It was a nice sum.”
Those interested in seeing the church for themselves are invited to attend an open day to mark Christian Aid Week.
It takes place between 10am and noon on Monday, May 12. There will be bric-a-brac and cakes on sale. Admission is £1.