John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Salmon
A large and interesting church that is hard to miss - the enormous tower is about a hundred feet high and looms over the busy High Street. Although the church is Norman there is little visible work earlier than the thirteenth century. There is an aisled nave, chancel and north chapel. At the east end of the nave (there is no chancel arch) the ceiling is boarded to form a celure, or canopy of honour over the rood, painted with the sun in splendour, the symbol of King Edward IV. After the Wars of the Roses each sun had a Tudor rose inserted into it for good measure! On the south side of the chancel is a small length of decorative arcading of thirteenth-century date with one original lancet window remaining. Below this are three stepped sedilia and a pretty piscina. Between the high altar and north chapel is a large sixteenth-century chest tomb with panelled sides and a brass indent, while in the chapel itself is a series of monuments to the Tufton family, including two large marble statues. These commemorate the 2nd Earl of Thanet (d. 1670) and the 3rd Earl who died in 1679. The east window of the chapel shows the four parables and was designed as a thank offering after the Second World War by Francis Spear. The lovely church chest has a nine-bay blank arcade incised into it, showing decorated tracery, and dating therefore from the beginning of the fourteenth century.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 527
Morning Attendance: 226
Afternoon Attendance: 326
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: 1869 Joseph Clarke
Second Restoration: -
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