Church of St Mary, Hadlow
Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 20 October 1954
English Heritage Building ID: 179459
OS Grid Reference: TQ6345449714
OS Grid Coordinates: 563454, 149714
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2232, 0.3394
Location: 1 Church Street, Hadlow, Kent TN11 0DB
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TQ 63 49 HADLOW CHURCH STREET
7/23 Church of St Mary
Parish church. Saxo-Norman origins, much of the fabric from the late C12 or
C13, partly rebuilt and extensively refurbished in the C19; chancel rebuilt in
1847, in 1853 south porch blocked and north aisle added; repaired in 1936.
Local ragstone rubble with ashlar detail, some of the quoins of Tunbridge
Wells stone, south side and chancel are cement-rendered like Hadlow Castle
(q.v.) close by that side. Chancel roof is slate, nave and aisle roof are red
tile with scallop-tile bands, and tower is shingled.
Plan: Nave, north aisle with porch and transept-like organ loft, chancel with
vestry on the north side, west tower. Tower has Saxo-Norman work. Chancel
arch, south wall of nave and top of the tower are late C12 or C13. The rest
is C19. Mostly Early English and Decorated style.
Exterior: Single stage west tower with diagonal buttresses and low spire
surmounted by cast iron weather vane. C19 2-light belfry lights. Late
C12/early C13 lancets in north and south walls. West doorway, a 2-centred
arch with moulded surround and hoodmould under the relieving arch for an
earlier doorway. It contains a very good oak plank door, panelled with
studded coverstrips and dated 1637 with the initials WB and ES, and good
South side of nave is cement-rendered. It has a 3-window front, all C19
replacement windows. Left window has Perpendicular tracery, others are
Decorated with hoodmoulds and right one has label stops carved as human heads.
East window an Early English-style triple lancet with continuous hoodmould,
the others have Decorated-style tracery. Private porch on south side in the
Gothick style of Hadlow Castle (q.v.); it has a small fireplace. The C19
north porch is timber-framed on stone sleeper walls; gabled with rows of
trefoil-headed lights each side complete with their original leaded glass.
Its 2-centred outer arch contains a large plank door with ornate strap hinges.
north doorway a 2-centred arch with chamfered surround and hood. C13 south
doorway is blocked but 2-centred arch with moulded surround is exposed.
Interior: Saxo-Norman tower arch, round head on plain imposts. Late
C12/early C13 chancel arch is 2-centred with double arch ring on simple
moulded imposts. The rest is C19. Nave has a boarded barrel-vault ceiling.
Chancel has a boarded angled vault with coverstrips and is painted with Tudor
roses, stars and the like. Rere arches of the east window are moulded and
have half-engaged shafts. Tall 2-centred arch to organ loft has a stone
screen pierced by trefoil-headed lancets. 4-bay arcade to aisle. Centre
circular pier and others are octagonal, plain moulded capitals and double-
chamfered arch rings. Aisle roof carried on arch-braced trusses springing
from plain stone corbels. The MacGeagh chapel at the east end of the aisle
has ornate carved oak screens in Gothic style on 3 sides, made in 1926. Circa
1970 most of the aisle was floored and screened off for community use. Floor
is mostly carpeted but flagstones show in the chancel and red and black tiles
in the nave. Some old graveslabs. Walls are plastered.
Fittings and Furniture: C19 Gothic reredos of 4 slate prayer boards in stone
frame with carved spandrels and moulded hoods. Now behind curtains. In front
is a carved oak crucifixion carving. It was formerly on the altar of 1885
with richly carved front in Gothic style which now sits in the MacGeagh
chapel. C19 simple Gothic prayer desks and C20 stalls. Altar rail now
between nave and chancel, oak rail on brass standards with foliate brackets.
C19 Gothic pulpit, oak octagonal drum on stone base; brass lectern and C20
chairs in nave. 019 stone font has octagonal bowl carved with cusped panels,
moulded base and octagonal stem on chamferedplinth. Aisle contains the
Coverdale chair, presented to the church by T. E. Foster MacGeagh of Hadlow
Castle in 1919. Made of oak, it is said to be the chair of the C16 Bishop
Coverdale of Exeter and although the carving is magnificent it seems the chair
was put together in its present form in the C19.
Memorials: Apart from a couple of plain brass plaques memorials are confined
to the walls of the chancel. The oldest and best is on the south side in
memory of Sir John Rivers (d. 1583). The lower part, including the
inscription is missing but the remaining part is good. Carved stone and
marble featuring a kneeling man and woman at prayer facing each other over a
prayer desk. Each is in a round headed arch on fluted Corinthian columns with
moulded entablature surmounted by heraldic achievements. High on wall to
right oval plaque in memory of Robert White (d. 1613) in a frame with broken
pediment. The rest are C18 and C19 and of little more than local interest.
Painted arms of George II in nowy headed frame over chancel arch and various
C18 and C19 heraldic hatchments.
C19 stained glass in the chancel, C20 stained glass in the nave.
J. Newman. vest Kent and the Weald, Buildings of England (1969), p.312.
Church Guide by W. V. Dumbrech (1963)
Listing NGR: TQ6345449714
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.