John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Salmon
Difficult to find, but more than worth the effort. It consists of a Norman nave and chancel to which a south aisle and chapel were added in the mid-fourteenth century. The aisle and chapel are now laid out as the main nave and chancel. The exterior has wonderful striped walls, like a smaller version of nearby Cliffe, whilst the fourteenth-century south door is the highly carved original. Inside the contemporary pulpit is one of the earliest in the county with six carved traceried panels. Behind it is a fifteenth-century rood screen, which, despite the loss of its loft, is a surprising survival. In the north-east corner of the Lady Chapel is a table tomb whose top is made up from the original stone altar slab, or mensa, with its five consecration crosses showing prominently. In the south wall of the same chapel is a medieval aumbry with its original hinged door. The stained glass is all nineteenth and twentieth century - the excellent south chancel window showing the Agony in the Garden is dated 1863 unfortunately by an unidentified artist. Of the same date is the tortoise stove in the north aisle, which displays on its lid the motto 'Slow but sure combustion'. The church is excellently maintained by The Churches Conservation Trust - the congregation worshipping in a replacement church in the village, built in 1860 by E.W. Stephens of Maidstone.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 280
Morning Attendance: 163
Afternoon Attendance: 80
Evening Attendance: 81
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: 1863 Speechley
Second Restoration: -
The Churches Conservation Trust
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