John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Salmon
A characterful church with much Norman work but perhaps better known for its medieval wall paintings although I personally feel that the high quality Victorian furnishings are equally worthy of note. The south tower has an ugly red brick blocked opening in its east wall which adds nothing to the exterior appearance, but once past this the church becomes much prettier. Dominating the interior is the Norman north arcade with its square piers and scalloped capitals, whilst in a glass case is a mammoth's tooth found blocked up in the wall. Over the chancel arch is the date 1689 with an orb. This unusual feature commemorates the presentation of a new Vicar by the Crown as opposed to the Bishop of Chichester who had previously been Patron. Next to the Lady Chapel altar is a very fine thirteenth century piscina - much larger than most and unusually built into the arch separating the chapel from the sanctuary. Behind the Lady Chapel altar is a wall painting of the Crucifixion dating from 1300. The fine Victorian work climaxes with the altar designed by E W Pugin (see also Kingsdown Church). Built of stone at a time when these were illegal it shows the symbols of the evangelists. He was also responsible for the simple and angular font. Other artists to have left their mark on the church are stained glass designers. Warrington designed the 1865 window depicting `Suffer Little Children` which is bright to say the least, whilst Alfred Hemming came up with a slightly less powerful `Annunciation` in 1894.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 130
Morning Attendance: 119
Afternoon Attendance: No service
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Second Restoration: -
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