John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Salmon
An extraordinary building comprising a medieval chancel and transepts, eighteenth-century nave and nineteenth-century tower and spire. Despite heavy-handed restorations of the nineteenth century - by Sir George Gilbert Scott and Ewan Christian in 1873 - which have resulted in loss of character, there is much to see. The fourteenth-century transepts are aisled - a most unusual feature in an ordinary parish church. The medieval authorities probably decided to invest in a lavish building to counteract the pulling power of the famous abbey which stood to the east. One of the pillars of the north transept has a series of contemporary small paintings of biblical scenes. You are advised to take a pair of binoculars to see them to advantage. The stalls in the chancel have misericords with a good selection of carved armrests, and there is also a crypt and an unforgettable east window of 1911.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 1359
Morning Attendance: 700 estimate
Afternoon Attendance: 600 estimate
Evening Attendance: 300 estimate
Original Build Date/Architect: Dance 1754
Restoration: GG Scott and Ewan Christian 1873
Second Restoration: -
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