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Description: Church of St John the Baptist
Date Listed: 26 April 1968
English Heritage Building ID: 173741
OS Grid Reference: TQ8748553006
OS Grid Coordinates: 587485, 153006
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2454, 0.6848
Explore more of the area around Harrietsham, Kent at Explore Britain.
TQ 85 SE
Church of St. John
26.4.68. The Baptist
Parish church. Late C11 or C12, C13, C14 and C15. Ragstone,
with plain tile roof. West tower, nave, south aisle, south porch,
south chapel, chancel, 2 stages of a north tower (converted,
probably in C14 to chapel with parvis above), north aisle. West
tower: C15 (after 1479: J. Newman, North East and East Kent, 1969).
Ashlared ragstone base with roughly coursed galletted stone above.
3 stages on plinth with diagonal buttresses and south-east stair
turret, both with battlemented parapets. 2-light uncusped belfry
windows. Perpendicular west window in coved architrave with hood-
mould. West door with moulded 4-centred arched head with carved
spandrel either side, each springing from a slender attached
column with moulded capital and base. Architrave coved either side
of arch, outer architrave square-topped with further moulding and
hood-mould with angles as label-stops. South aisle: walls C15,
of mixed flint and stone, with fragments of re-used tufa. On
moulded plinth, with moulded string and corner gargoyles below
battlements. 3 stone buttresses on moulded plinths. Polygonal
battlemented south-east rood stair turret. C15 west window and two
C15 south windows, all with hood-moulds. South porch: in same
materials, with continuation of moulded plinth. C19 sundial. Moulded
3-centred arched doorway with decorative cast iron gates. Moulded
crown-posts, other members chamfered. 3-centred arched moulded inner
doorway. South chapel: C14 on C13 site. Roughly knapped coursed flint
interspersed with stone and incorporating small pieces of tufa.
Separately gabled. Plinthless, with two C15 buttresses. C15 south
window with hood-mould and blocked recticulated windows, one south
and one east. Chancel: walls C13 or earlier. Mixed uncut flint and
stone rubble on coursed stone base. Stonework broadens at base.
Diagonal east buttresses, possibly added. Restored C15 south window
with hood-mould. 3 tall stepped east lancets. Single north lancet
and Cl5 north window with hood-mould, both restored 1952. North tower:
Late Cll or C12. Roughly coursed uncut flint and stone rubble, interspersed with
tufa. Tufa quoins to north-east, north-west and south-east. Stonework broadens
at base. North west diagonal buttress. Reticulated east window to ground floor.
Single cusped first floor north light with ogee head. C15 style ground floor north
window with hood-mould probably C19. C19 2-centred arched east door.
North west stair turret to north tower: C15, but possibly with C14
origins, on moulded plinth, reaching to top of first stage of tower.
North aisle: C15 walls of roughly coursed ragstone interspersed with
flint. Possibly earlier base with pieces of tufa. Plinthless.
Moulded string beneath battlements, with corner gargoyle. Two C15
north, and one west, windows with hood-moulds. Interior: Structure:
North tower has C13 quadripartite vault to ground floor with thick
chamfered ribs springing from slender shafts set in corners, with wall
ribs forming pointed arches between. 2 east shafts missing. South
doorway with pointed arch springing from rectangular east pier with plain
abacus. West side of doorway blocked in connection with C14 chancel arch.
2-bay arcade between chancel and south chapel; pointed arches,
chamfer-stopped rectangular piers on square stepped bases with
undercut capitals surmounted by roll and hollow string. 3-bay
nave; south arcade early C14 with octagonal piers with moulded
capitals and bases and double-chamfered arches; north arcade
shorter, abutting north tower, raised, similar, but probably late
C14. Plain-chamfered 3-centred west arch to south chapel, C14 double-
chamfered chancel arch, C14 chamfered west arch to north chapel,
and C15 tower arch with attached columns. Small C15 doorways
with hollow chamfer, pointed arch and broach stops containing C15
ribbed and traceried doors, to north and south rood-loft
(and parvis) stairs and west tower stair turret. Upper rood-
loft door to south; and another very high up in south wall of
north tower. C19 roofs to chancel and south chapel. C15 crown-
post roof to nave, restored. Moulded side-purlin lean-to roofs to
aisles. Fittings and decoration: Finely-carved and possibly
restored late C12 font of Bethersden marble and chevroned stem
and large rope motif to bowl; "one of the finest Norman fonts in
the country". (J. Newman: Buildings of England, North-East and
East Kent, 1969). Piscina in south wall of chancel and east
wall of ground floor of north tower. Aumbries in east wall of
chancel. C13 moulded string-course to chancel. Patterned
medieval encaustic floor tiles to chancel. C15 traceried screen
between nave and chancel, with further fragments in south chapel,
restored and added to in 1885. C17 communion rail with moulded
rail and turned balusters, possibly restored. Royal Coat of Arms
dated 1795 over south door. Large Benefactors Board 1805 on south
wall.Monuments: Matrix of brass in floor of east end of chancel.
In south chapel: C14 ogee-headed tomb recess with crocketted
pinacles, in south wall. Wall monument above it to Sr. Edwyn
Stede Knt. (Lieutenant Governor of Barbados), d. 1695. Erected 1715.
By James Hardy. Tablet surmounted by skulls and cherub's head.
Base carved with flowers and cherubs head. Side panels have
elongated scrolls to base with foliage springing from them up sides
towards Composite capitals. Slightly projecting twisted columns
between side panels and tablet, also with Composite capitals.
Moulded frieze, projecting over the columns, surmounted by open pedi-
ment containing excutcheon. Table tomb partly let into recess in
south wall, to William Stede, d. 1574; moulded plinth, plain
cornice to lid, inscription in recess. 2 wall monuments above this;
tablet to Constance Stede, d. 1714, also by Hardy, but plainer than
that to Sr. Edwyn Stede; brass set in moulded stone, to Susanna
Partieriche, d. 1603, woman and children kneeling on paved floor
shown in perspective, with 3 shields above. On east wall, large mem-
orial to Charlotte Baldwin, d. 1788. Rectangular tablet with
fluted boarder and striated side panels, moulded cornice with 2
vases and very tall grey obelisk above. Below this, tablet to
William Baldwin, d.1839; white marble sarcophagus in low relief
on larger black marble panel. (J. Newman, Buildings on England,
North-East and East Kent, 1969).
Listing NGR: TQ8692552897
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.