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Church of All Saints, Speldhurst

Description: Church of All Saints

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 24 August 1990
English Heritage Building ID: 439019

OS Grid Reference: TQ5418039168
OS Grid Coordinates: 554180, 139168
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1310, 0.2021

Location: Langton Road, Speldhurst, Kent TN3 0JB

Locality: Speldhurst
Local Authority: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
County: Kent
Country: England
Postcode: TN3 0JB

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Listing Text

TQ 53 NW SPELDHURST THE GREEN (south side),LANGTON
GREEN
7/493 Church of All Saints

GV II*

Parish church. Built 1862-63 on a small plot of land on The Green donated by
Charles Powell of Hollonds. According to Newman the architect was Sir George
Gilbert Scott. According to the church notes in 1889 the original small
vestry was demolished and the present organ chamber was built in its place.
At the same time the north aisle was built and dormer windows put through the
nave roof on that side, new vestry (present south transept) was built giving
the church a cruciform plan. Then in 1902 the east end was extended to
include the present sanctuary, the south aisle was added and the vestry thrown
into the church. Present vestry built in 1912. The church notes report that
the south aisle was built from designs by John Oldrid Scott. Newman reckons
that it was all part of the original scheme. Certainly the style is
consistent. Built of coursed sandstone ashlar rusticated with chisel marks;
peg-tile roof.

Plan: Nave with north and south aisles, north and south transepts (former is
the organ loft), and lower chancel. Vestry is parallel to the chancel
attached to the north transept. Bellcote over the east end of the nave.
South porch.

Exterior: Consistent Early English style. The windows are lancet set singly
or in series of 2 or 3 with chamfered reveal and hoodmoulds with label stops
carved as stiffleaf foliage. Most of the lancets on the south aisle have
cusped heads. West end has 2 gables which (like all the others) have stone
coping and fleuree apex crosses. West end of the nave has 2 tall lancets with
a vestica window above. Nave section defined by buttresses. Lean-to north
aisle to left has a pair of lancet and gabled end of south aisle has a taller
pair with cinquefoil heads. Angle buttresses on corners. South porch at west
end of south side of aisle. It is tall and steeply gabled with low clasping
buttresses. Outer arch is 2-centred with moulded surround, shafts on outside
and imposts tapering to stiffleaf corbels. South door behind a 2-centred arch
with moulded surround and hoodmould and contains double plank door with ornate
strap hinges. 3 triple lancets to right. South transept has double lancets
and the one on the east side has a gable over. On the chancel the buttresses
rise past the eaves with gabled tops. Here single and double lancets have
moulded reveals and trefoil heads. East window large 5-light window of
lancets rising higher towards the centre. North aisle has lean-to roof and
here windows more vernacular in style. There are timber gabled windows, 3
lights with trefoil heads. Gables are shingled and have cusped bargeboards.
Nave dormer windows are also timber with gabled roofs.

Interior: Nave has open common rafter roof, scissor-braced with ashlar posts.
South aisle has 4-bay roof of tie-beam trusses with octagonal crown posts.
North aisle has common rafter lean-to roof. Chancel roof similar to nave
except for the sanctuary which has a boarded ceilure. 4-bay arcades to the
nave of low octagonal piers with moulded capitals including friezes of
nailhead ornament, and hoodmoulds with label stops carved as human heads.
Double arch from south aisle to transept with central twin octagonal piers.
Plainer arch to north transept/organ loft. Ornate chancel arch is a richly
moulded tall 2-centred arch on clustered shafts, the outer ones with moulded
caps the inner ones on raised shafts on corbels carved as angels. Another
full height stone arch between chancel and sanctuary. Most windows have plain
rere arches but those in chancel have shafts and the east window rere arch is
moulded. Floor of red and black tiles with encaustic tiles in the baptistry
and marble used in the chancel. Bare sandstone walls.

Fittings and Furniture: Large and highly ornamental Decorated style reredos
of carved coloured marble with mosaic decoration and features the Supper at
Emmaus. Flanked each side by sandstone blind arcades carved with foliage in
the spandrels. Gothic-style piscina and sedilia to south. Sanctuary lined
with wainscotting dated 1935. Altar table is C19 with its sides carved with
Gothic tracery including the Sacred Monogram in a cusped roundel. (The chapel
in the south transept has a less elaborate version.) Ornate oak Gothic-style
stalls with poppyhead finials, arcades along the frontals and bench ends (they
date from 1912). Semi octagonal pulpit built into the masonry of the church.
Its panels are carved with quatrefoils containing Sacred Emblems on a Gothic
diaper ground. Front corner has marble shaft with stiffleaf capital
supporting the bible rest. Plain pine benches. Good alabaster and coloured
marble font. Square bowl has sides carved, one side representing the return
of the dove to Noah's ark. Font cover dated 1901 complete with pulley chain
and counterweight.

Memorials: Few and of no more than local interest.

Glass: Is excellent and high quality including some important early work by
Morris and Co. to designs by Rosetti, Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown besides
Morris himself. Others by Clayton and Bell and Kempe. East window is an
excellent product of the Kempe workshop featuring the Tree of Jesse. Glass is
described in more detail in sources.

Sources. Some Notes on the Church, reprinted from the Parish Magazine,
December, 1919. Anon but possibly Goodhart-Rendel. This includes much
information on the beneficiaries and describes how some of the glass has been
moved around.
J. Newman. West Kent and the Weald. Penguin Buildings of England Series
(1969), p.366.

The Church of All Saints is one of an attractive and varied group of buildings
around The Green.


Listing NGR: TQ5435539273

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.