St Mary's Church, Kemsing  Church

Image Source: 1914 postcard

 

A chocolate-box church in a well-maintained churchyard. The nave is twelfth century in date, remodelled in the fourteenth century when the present roof was constructed. The chancel is also early but was reconstructed in the sixteenth century. A north aisle was added in 1890. The character of the church derives almost entirely from the nineteenth-and twentieth-century furnishings with which it is blessed. The rood screen is of the correct proportion and design and in the main dates from 1894 with minimal amounts of old woodwork. The wonderful figures on top are of 1908 and were designed by Sir Ninian Comper - the angels balance on their wheels like unicyclists! Comper also designed the wall paintings in the chancel, the altar, reredos and canopy. In the north aisle is an interesting collection of furnishings. There is a painted tile picture of Kemsing by the Kent artist Donald Maxwell, one of only a handful to survive. The central window is of two bishops and is typical of Comper's work, but it does not carry his usual signature of a strawberry plant. The west window of the north aisle is by Douglas Strachan, 1935, and is an excellent example of his angular figures. By the font is a bronze Arts and Crafts panel of the Virgin and Child by Henry Wilson, the famous turn-of-the-century designer who lived in a neighbouring village and whose work may also be found in the churchyard.

 

 

Church Data

 

1851 Census Details

 

Seating Capacity: 150

Morning Attendance: 82

Afternoon Attendance: 101

Evening Attendance: No service

 

Architecture Details

 

Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval

Restoration: 1890 Sir T Jackson

Second Restoration: -

 

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