St Mary's Church, Higham   Church

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.

 

 

Church Data

 

1851 Census Details

 

Seating Capacity: 280

Morning Attendance: 163

Afternoon Attendance: 80

Evening Attendance: 81

 

Architecture Details

 

Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval

Restoration: 1863 Speechley

Second Restoration: -

 

Notes

 

The Churches Conservation Trust

 

Website

 

http://www.visitchurches.org.uk

 

Contact Form

 

Queries Relating to this Church

 

Whilst I am happy to answer any historical or architectural questions for all churches on this site, I cannot answer day-to-day queries relating to Family History, services, burials etc. Please see the Contact page, for details of other organisations that may be able to assist with those sort of enquiries.

 

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