The land was given on trust for the purpose of holding divine service and also for a school for the education of children and adults. Built in 1879 by Charles Nightingale Beazley the ubiquitous church-builder and restorer of Thanet. The building is in the Gothic style of architecture.
Standing on the edge of the rolling Thanet farmland and at the edge of its tiny village, St Mildred church was built as both a place of worship and a school – hence the huge fireplace opposite the main door! It is located in Plumstone Road in Acol, Kent and is two miles from both Birchington and Manston Village with nearby Manston, Kent International Airport. Acol is described as a hamlet in the Isle of Thanet with a population of 300 people therefore not big enough to be classed as a village. The church takes its name St Mildred from the patron saint of Thanet.
The cost of the building was met by means of donations and collections and mainly through the efforts of the Vicar at that time. Rev. John Alcock. The Foundation Stone was laid by the Dean of Canterbury and the School-Church formerly opened by the Bishop of Dover. The Bishop in his address referred to the old church of St. Nicholas at Wade and to the new church in Acol, “the little place in the oak wood.”
The building is constructed of an inside stock brick walling faced externally with stone quoins, stone pilasters and stone buttresses. The panels between the stone work are filled with flint. The cost was about £790.
The diminutive size of the church is increased due to it being cut into the ground on the south side. Dedicated to the area’s own seventh century saint, Mildred, a picture of which dominates the simple interior whose other statues confirm a devout congregation. There is no chancel arch, the sanctuary being defined by a tiny apse containing three rather good windows. Depicting Our Lady, the Crucifixion and St John the Evangelist they are by the little known firm of Gibbs and Howard of Charlotte Street.
There is a charming housewifely depiction of Our Lady with the tiny frog and mushrooms at her feet! Long may this quaint church serve its community.