John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Salmon
A lovely church set in a huge churchyard seemingly miles from the harbour around which more recent Whitstable has grown. The story starts with a thirteenth century building to which was added a north aisle and chapel. Slightly later a tower was added to the SE corner, giving a familiar Kentish plan. Then in the mid nineteenth century Charles Barry Junior was asked to restore the church which meant new a new roof, rebuilt chancel and new window surrounds throughout. The lectern and pulpit date from this period, the latter given by Somerset Maugham’s uncle. The in 1962 a south aisle was built – its arcades perfectly matching those of the north – quite an achievement for the period! Recent re-ordering has created a central nave altar – a refreshing variation on the familiar nave sitting. Its frontal, or rather four-sided frontal is by Polly Hope – always an artist to study in detail and a joy to behold. The main altar has a set of candlesticks and cross by Omar Ramsden, that doyenne of the arts and crafts movement. Of similar period is a fine window in the north aisle by Margaret Aldrich Rope in striking arts and crafts colours. The main item of interest, however, is the lovely plain and solid fifteenth century font with a fantastical cover. It is onion shaped, familiar in many Kent churches, but here lavished with carving dating from the earliest years of the 17th century incorporating the Scottish Thistle and Prince of Wales feathers. In the churchyard are two important graves – the Egyptian Mausoleum of the Wynn Ellis family, designed by Charles Barry Jnr., and a charming Arts and Crafts brick and flint enclosure of 1913.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: No return
Morning Attendance: No return
Afternoon Attendance: No return
Evening Attendance: No return
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: Charles Barry Junior 1875
Second Restoration: -
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