John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: Chris Luscombe
Dominating its tiny village square, St Mary's Church is obviously the result of much Victorian intervention. Records show that the church was in a poor condition until rescued by the architect Daniel Bell in 1879. He used Bath stone for his new dressings- quite out of place in a flint-built church where Ragstone is a more suitable material. However the church retains its original floor plan and was not enlarged, as was so often the case. The interior really is a late 19th century treasure trove - with brass candelabra aplenty. The east window depicting the Crucifixion was designed by Evie Hone to replace a Victorian window destroyed in the war and dominates the interior. Other 20th century glass commemorates the round the world yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnston. Ledger slabs in the floor hold some small medieval brasses, but a huge brass has been taken up and placed at the west end of the church. It commemorates Giacomo Verzelini, the Venetian glassmaker who worked for Queen Elizabeth I. It is a rare thing to find in an age when brasses were very much on the way out. This is a much loved church and one wishes it was open more often for visitors to appreciate.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 150
Morning Attendance: No service
Afternoon Attendance: No service
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: 1872 Bell
Second Restoration: 1879
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