John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: 1930s photograph
An unappealing location, but nonetheless a church worth searching out. Views from the churchyard across the Medway to Rochester and Chatham are superb and the church spire is a well-known local landmark. The church suffered a severe Victorian restoration when a north aisle was added, yet attempts were made to salvage those parts of the old church that were appropriate. The architect was renowned John Loughborough Pearson. The tall chancel arch is Norman, as are the three round-headed windows in the east wall which retain some of their original paintings. There is a hagioscope from the ringing chamber to the church (for the Sanctus bell ringer) but the two large openings to either side of the chancel arch are nineteenth century. By the font is a rare wooden inscription to the Butler family dating from 1621. The font itself is fifteenth century and has a fine crocketed wooden cover with a counterbalanced weight adorned with the head of a winged cherub! The churchyard contains many headstones with Naval connections including one to a man who served at Trafalgar.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: No return
Morning Attendance: 387
Afternoon Attendance: 250
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: 1883 John Loughborough Pearson
Second Restoration: -
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