Church of St Mary, Lenham
Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 26 April 1968
English Heritage Building ID: 173866
OS Grid Reference: TQ8991752127
OS Grid Coordinates: 589917, 152127
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2367, 0.7192
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10/132 Church of St. Mary
Parish Church. C12, C13, C14 and C15; east wall dated 1867 on
rainwater heads. Ragstone with plain tiled roofs. West tower,
nave, chancel with north vestry to east and north chapel to
west, north aisle to nave, north porch. West tower: 3-stage C15
ragstone tower on plinth with angle buttresses, battlemented
parapet with gargoyled string below, and north east stair turret,
also battlemented. Cusped belfry lights, 3-light west window
and moulded west door, all with hoodmoulds. Nave; plinthless,
of random flint, south-east corner with tufa and tiles to base
and tufa to top. 2 buttresses. Small worn rectangular stone
scratch dial, possibly reset, to east of blocked south door.
Three 3-light Perpendicular south windows with hoodmoulds, one
partly restored. East gable with one cusped and one quatrefoil
light above chancel roof. Chancel: also plinthless. West 1/3 of mixed
random flint and stone, rest rebuilt or extended in C12 in random
flint. 3 buttresses. Restored 3-light Perpendicular window in
west 1/3, 2 hoodmoulded lancets and one flat-topped former lancet
to rest. Narrow C19 shouldered blocked door in restored flint
patch to east of straight-joint, corresponding with 2-centred
arched internal door. East wall rebuilt 1867 in knapped flint
with stone dressings on plinth. Vestry: C15 on low stone plinth
over vault. Large random blocks of ragstone interspersed
with flint. Flint gable above a moulded string. Narrow square-
headed 2-light Perpendicular east window with hoodmould, and
similar window in north wall. North wall buttressed. Chamfered
3-centred arched doorway at west end of north wall. North Chapel:
probably Norman. Plinthless, of random flint, with roof higher
than vestry but lower than north aisle and nave. Extends further
east than straight-joint in south wall of chancel, but has partly
blocked round-headed east window visible internally. Large 3-light
reticulated north window. North aisle; C15 east bay projecting
further north than chapel, of roughly knapped flint with stone
dressings on flint and stone plinth. Rood loft stair turret in same
materials adjoining at east end, overlapping north chapel. North
wall has large 3-light Perpendicular window with hood-mould. Rest
of north aisle C14, in same plane, but of coursed ragstone on high
stone plinth with 2 reticulated north windows and a similar west
window, all with hoodmoulds. Buttresses. North Porch C15, of
coursed ragstone on stone plinth. Gable close-studded with moulded
bargeboards and central niche. Moulded 4-centred arched outer
doorway. King-post roof with hollow-chamfered rafters, moulded
cornice and broad moulded ridge-piece. Inner door with moulded
semi-circular headed architrave. Interior: Structure: 4-bay north
arcade to nave; 3 west bays C14 with octagonal piers with moulded
capitals and bases, arches with one plain and one hollow chamfer,
east bay remodelled in C15 with similar pier with plainer bases and
larger arch of 2 hollow chamfers. Chancel arch and arch between
north aisle and north chapel also C15, with 2 hollow chamfers
and corbelled imposts. 2 -bay C15 arcade to chapel,also with
2 hollow chamfers; central pier with 4 attached shafts with
moulded capitals and bases, east and west piers with corbelled
imposts for arch set on remains of earlier rectangular piers with
roll-mouldings to corners. Tower arch C15. 3 blocked 2-centred
arched doors with hollow chamfers, one in south wall of nave, one
to west end of north wall of chapel and one half way up east wall
of north aisle, the latter two for rood-loft stairs. Door to
vestry with 3-centred arched head and moulded jambs. North chapel
has round-headed window high up in east wall which is partly
blocked by a later 2-light and quatrefoiled window. Narrow blocked
window, probably a lancet, in north wall of chancel, visible
from vestry. 3 Reticulated windows of north aisle have slender
shafts to jambs with bell capitals and bases. Roof: nave roof
scissor-braced, with collars, ashlar-pieces and tie-beams.
Chancel roof C19. Plain crown-post roof to vestry. Chapel has
plain collar-rafter roof with sous-laces and ashlar pieces.
East end bay of north aisle has squat moulded King-post on
moulded tie-beam with hollow-chamfered rafters and ashlar-pieces.
Rest of north aisle plain, with rectangular hollow-chamfered
King-posts with broach-stops and 4 upward braces. Fittings: C13
Piscina in large chamfered recess and projecting sedile with
shaped arms, moulded capitals and cinquefoil head with hoodmould,
both in south wall of chapel. In north chapel, C15
table tomb of Bethersden marble, panels carved with various motifs:
C15 octagonal font with panelled steal and moulded base. Largely
medieval stalls with moulded misericords and simple poppyheads.
Seat in north chapel in similar style with leaf hand-rests
dated 1862. Pulpit with back and tester, richly carved with
Renaissance motifs. Tester dated 1622, base possibly 1574.
Medieval and C19 lectern with linenfold panelling and feet with
toes. Iron-bound parish chest, also with carved feet. Much C17
panelling incorporated into nave pews. Heavy ribbed and studded
Medieval north door. C18 brass chandelier in chancel. Decoration:
Large wall-painting on south wall of nave depicting St. Michael
weighing Soules,dated circa 1350 by Professor Tristram. Painting
of bishop in west reveal of east lancet in south wall of chancel.
Monuments: tablet in west end of south wall of nave with cherub
at base and surmounted by broken pediment with vase, to Richard
Bead, d. 172(3). Stone set in south-east end of chancel floor,with
finely carved shield, to the Hon. John Hamilton Esq., d. 1714.
Brass in north-east end of chancel floor, to Robert Thompson,
d. 1642. Stone effigy of robed and cushioned priest in open coffin
with bar across, inset in north wall of chancel. Traces of paint.
Said to represent rector who died 1327. Wall memorial in north wall
of chancel, with scroll-work base and painted shield, surmounted by
broken segmental pediment containing plinth inset with skull and
surmounted by further painted shield, to Henry Thompson, d. 1648.
Simple marble wall tablet on north wall of chancel, with cherub to
base and escutcheon above, to Dame Alicia Colpeper, d. 1737.
(J. Newman: Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald, 1980
Listing NGR: TQ8991552126
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.