John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Salmon
The little cupola on the west tower is topped by a weathervane dated 1734, and summons us to a large church, heavily restored in the 1860s, but worth travelling a long way to see. The nave roof has two interesting features - one is a form of celure or canopy of honour over the third bay from the west. It must have served some long-forgotten purpose. At the east end of the nave there is a real Canopy of Honour in its more usual position over the chancel arch. The south transept contains many interesting features - niches in the walls, bare stonework walls and a good arcaded tomb chest recessed into the south wall. There is a telling string course that suggests a thirteenth-century date, although the two windows in its east wall are Decorated in style. The most recent feature in the church - and by far the most important - is the engraved glass window in the chancel. It was engraved by Laurence Whistler in 1979 and commemorates Edmund Blunden, the First World War poet. It depicts a trench, barbed wire, a shell-burst and verses from Blunden's poems. This feature apart it is the nineteenth-century work that dominates Yalding - especially the awful encaustic tiles with arrow-like designs, the crude pulpit with symbols of the evangelists and the poor quality pews. The glass isn't much better, the Light of the World in the south chancel window being especially poor, but the south window of the south transept (1877) showing scenes from the Life of Christ redeems the state of the art.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 970
Morning Attendance: 300
Afternoon Attendance: 520
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Second Restoration: -
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