John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Vigar
A romantic story and one of the most atmospheric Victorian churches in Kent. The story starts with the death of the six-year-old daughter of the local landowners whilst on holiday on the Isle of Wight. The daughter, Rachel was buried there at the Church of St Lawrence and here at Seal her parents started to build a church that resembled it. The architect was Howell and the builders Constable of Penshurst (both of whom were working on the patron's house to the north of the churchyard). The church - plain nave and chancel - opened in 1868. In 1876 two transepts were added in memory of another daughter of the patrons who had died aged 14 and the tower was a later addition of 1888. Today the interior is a period piece of late Victorian art. The east window designed by Henry Holliday is by Lavers and Barraud. In the south transept the faces in the glass represent the deceased daughter. Over the choir stalls are fine Venetian lamps, whilst the chandeliers in the nave were gifts from the patrons when the church was built.
1851 Census Details
Original Build Date/Architect: C H Howell 1867, Tower F W Hunt 1888
Second Restoration: -
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