Grade I listed.
There was probably a church on the site in Saxon times, Pluckley is a name of Saxon origin. There are records of the minister being appointed in 1093. Possibly part of the north-west wall of the nave dates from Norman times.
By the 13th century, a stone church existed which was the same length as the present one.
The church consists of nave, chancel, South Chapel, and South aisle. There is a Crown post roof to the nave with five Crown posts and two tiny round windows above the easternmost Crown post. The chancel has a piscina and double sedilia.
The spire almost certainly dates from the 14th century. The outside door and window of the tower are 14th century style. The chancel is also of this date.
A new South aisle was created by demolishing the south wall, two columns were inserted to support the roof.
Shortly after, there was a scheme to rebuild the South aisle with enlargement of most of the windows, and re-roofing of the whole building. The eastern end of the new South aisle was set aside for a Chapel in 1475, with a fine wooden screen of 1502 between it and the chancel. There was also a rood screen which stretched across the whole church, the stair to the rood screen was outside the church.
A porch was also added, with a parvis room, which was probably used as accommodation for the priest, or a school room.
The font is 15th century, and carries the arms of the Dering family, who were mainly responsible for these additions, and lived in the Manor of Surrenden from the 15th century until 1928. Surrenden Manor burnt down in a fire in 1957.
The font was repainted in 1953, it carries a reference to the family of Malmains, who were prominent in the village from the 13th to the 15th centuries. There is a brass to Richard Mallmains (d.1440) in the church.
The spire was repaired in the 16th century. In 1543 the interior walls were whitewashed, possibly to obliterate paintings. In 1560 the rood screen was demolished.
The screen between the Dering Chapel and the South aisle dates from 1635.
The Dering Chapel contains many brasses to the family. It was reconstructed in 1626 and a vault was made for family burials. Edward Dering, who was created a Baronet in 1626, relaid and altered many of the brasses.
In the 19th century the east window of the Chapel was blocked in order to erect memorial tablets. The Dering's estate was sold off due to financial difficulties in 1928.
In the 18th century box pews were inserted, but were removed in the Victorian era. The chancel floor was raised and underfloor heating installed, a vestry was erected and a gallery was built at the west end. This was pulled down around 1860.
Some of the windows were damaged in the Second World War, and the East window was replaced in 1954.
See other images of St Nicholas' church, Pluckley