John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Salmon
Sir Francis Drake's father was vicar here in the sixteenth century. The church is memorable for its odd spire, a little like that at Bexley. It is four-sided to start with and suddenly changes into an octagon a third of the way up. There seems to be no structural reason for this change and it may purely be for decorative purposes. Inside the church there is much work of the thirteenth century including three sedilia which, unusually, stand under the arch to the south chapel. The arch is finished by a very crisply carved head (possibly too crisp - it may result from Blomfield`s restoration of the church in 1875). Behind the sedilia, separating the seats from the chapel, is a charming wooden screen, with nine tall ogee-headed arches and a panel of pierced trefoils and quatrefoils. Both north and south chapels contain fragments of medieval glass while in the north chapel you may find a collection of medieval tiles, including one that shows a hunched figure with a staff and hat - possibly representing a pilgrim. This is a particularly rewarding church that stands in a little-visited part of the county.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 276
Morning Attendance: 78
Afternoon Attendance: 147
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: Medieval
Restoration: Arthur Blomfield 1875
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