John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: 1960s postcard
The tower staircase is the feature most visitors remember, a wide circular construction of timber enclosed within vertical posts. It is quite an eye-catcher and has stood here for nearly five hundred years. The church has something of a Victorian feel to it by virtue of the thorough restoration and enormous amounts of money lavished on it at that time. Yet there are earlier features of note - most importantly the Royal Arms of Edward VI. They are painted on a wooden board, not stretched canvas, and the supporters - which include a dragon (unicorns didn't come along until 1603) - are very tall and lean. In fact the lion is little more than a pussy cat with his crown at quite a jaunty angle! The church also contains some very fine sixteenth-century memorial brasses, and a consecration cross may be picked out at the base of the tower. The south chapel has a fourteenth-century piscina with a credence shelf. However, when it comes to furnishings it is the stained glass that impresses. The east window is by Holiday (1882), the south chapel east window Crucifixion by Kempe (1888) is particularly good, whilst a north aisle window is by Morris and Co. to the designs of Burne-Jones and dates from 1909.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 800
Morning Attendance: 486
Afternoon Attendance: 394
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: 1854 SS Teulon
Second Restoration: 1882
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