John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Vigar
A puzzle to the uninitiated this Romanesque style church on the clifftop in Broadstairs has one of the widest naves in Kent. This is the result of an early twentieth century remodelling of a pre-Ecclesiological church of 1830. The original church was spiky gothick and the wide nave filled with huge galleries for the wealthy who came to stay in the area when it developed as a resort. Its west end was finished with a tall tower which, luckily, disappeared as part of the rebuilding. The interior today is unfinished – the original east wall with its tall lancet windows was never demolished and is an architecturally jarring statement amongst the grand Romanesque arches. The windows were never meant to be seen in the centre of a wide wall (the galleries originally taking up a third of the space) so they look rather mean. The fine set of Stations of the Cross was made by Sister Dorina of The Sisters of the Church then based in Kilburn in the 1920s. The church contains a treasure. The south chapel is an unrecorded work of Sir Ninian Comper with blue parclose screens, painted ceiling and three rather good windows of 1925.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 827
Morning Attendance: 387
Afternoon Attendance: 371
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Barnes 1828
Restoration: 1914 Durrant
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