John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Vigar
How wonderful to find an unlocked isolated church in an area where many are kept closed! This charming flint building stands on a well-used public footpath (the former Roman Salt Road) that runs across a dry valley outside Canterbury. Its tree-shaded churchyard contains venerable yews and the church itself, dedicated to Ss Cosmas and Damian (see also Challock) is welcoming indeed. The nave and chancel are thirteenth century - see the typical lancet windows - but the huge north aisle, doubling the church in size, dates from the 1860s. Its arcade, however, is a good copy of thirteenth century work with huge cylindrical piers and an easternmost arch that stops short of the floor as if to allow space for a Rood Screen. The interior is light and spacious with much emphasis on the rustic medieval roof timbers. The twin-lancet east window contains some good mid-Victorian glass by Henry Holiday. The altar rails are seventeenth century whilst tucked behind the main door is a huge early eighteenth century memorial. As part of their millennium celebrations the locals reordered the church to great effect, moving the clumsy organ to the back and replacing it by the pulpit. These works have improved the interior no end.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: No return
Morning Attendance: 84
Afternoon Attendance: 133
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
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