John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: Dave Godden
On the very edge of open countryside and virtually invisible from its now urban surroundings, St Gile`s church sits in a beautifully maintained churchyard containing some interesting memorials. The church has had some very poor times and has been much messed-about, especially following storm damage in the 17th century, which explains the rather odd square headed windows in the nave. It was made slightly more conventional by Joseph Clarke in 1886 who picked up on surviving 13th century evidence and incorporated it into a newly enlarged chancel of fine proportions, with triple lancet east window. He moved the memorials around as part of this rebuilding as can be evidenced from old photographs displayed in the church. There is an odd narrow north aisle that was originally a north chapel - outside the extension of the wall makes it easier to understand. The font is a fine late medieval structure which seems to have been split across the centre-possibly during the same storm that damaged the church in 1641. Several fine examples of 20th century art abound - including a bronze of the risen Christ by local artist Elsie March and a series of stained glass windows by the firm of Lowndes and Drury depicting saints with heavily leaded outlines set into clear glass - a most effective technique. They contrast with a small window opposite which contains early glass by Morris and Co.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: No return
Morning Attendance: no return
Afternoon Attendance: No return
Evening Attendance: No return
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Second Restoration: 1886 Clarke
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