John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
The east wall of the churchyard is all that remains of the medieval Palace of the Bishops of Rochester and the size of St John's Church reflects the prestige of its ecclesiastical neighbour. That said, the character of the church is distinctly Victorian - the result of overly-harsh work over a century ago. On first impression the eccentric skeleton clock looks completely out of place, but then we remember that the lane down the side once lead to a popular ferry across the River, and this timepiece had to be visible across the water to those waiting for their passage. The highlight of the church has to be the late brass plaque to Sylvester Dalison, sometime wife of the sixteenth century historian, William Lambarde, who rented the Palace in the late Elizabethan age. She is shown in her bed surrounded by her children. Not an item of beauty, but certainly one of great interest.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 130
Morning Attendance: No service
Afternoon Attendance: 130
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: 1889 Bensted
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