John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Salmon
An impressive church in a depressing location, on the very edge of a massive chalk quarry. The lavish thirteenth-century work was not completed during the middle ages, and was only finished by George Edmund Street who carried out a scholarly restoration in 1859. It is now known that the stonemasons who worked here in the thirteenth century were the same that had worked at Westminster Abbey. There is much emphasis on Purbeck marble shafting and carved stonework, especially in the chancel where the twenty spandrels of the wall arcading are covered in decorative work. One of the designs is of a lizard (with a handsome row of teeth) eating a leaf. The chancel is vaulted in stone, the result of Street's restoration. The pulpit was carved by Earp (1860) and the east window, of the same date, is by Wailes. There is an excellent brass to John Lambarde, Rector (d. 1408), showing him in his vestments. A later hanging monument to George Sharp (d. 1810) is by R. Watson, a local stonemason from Dartford.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 400
Morning Attendance: 198
Afternoon Attendance: 56
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: 1859 G E Street
Second Restoration: -
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