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Description: Church of St Mary the Virgin
Date Listed: 29 December 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 440454
OS Grid Reference: TR1772543817
OS Grid Coordinates: 617725, 143817
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1522, 1.1119
Explore more of the area around Elham, Kent at Explore Britain.
TR 1643-1743 ELHAM THE SQUARE
9/77 Church of St.
29.12.66 Mary the Virgin
Parish church. Late C12, C13, C14 and C15. Restored and re-fitted
circa 1908-1911 by F.C. Eden for the Revd. A.C. de Bourbel. Flint
stone dressings. North chancel chapel mixed flint and stone. Leaded
roof to nave and north chancel chapel. Plain tile roof to chancel
and porches. West tower, nave, south aisle, south porch, chancel
slightly narrower than nave, north chancel chapel, north aisle,
north porch. West tower: late C14 or early C15. Three stages.
Flint plinth with chamfered stone dressing. Integral angle buttresses
to each corner and further single buttress to north face. Battlements
above a chamfered string. Leaded octagonal spirelet with weathervane.
Pair of tall, chamfered, pointed lancets to each face of belfry.
Single hollow-chamfered pointed lancet to second stage to north and
west. Pointed-arched west window to lower stage with three trefoil-
headed lights and tracery of vertical bars. Cavetto-moulded pointed-
arched west doorway with hoodmould. Polygonal north-west stair
turret, slightly taller than tower, and with plain parapet. Nave:
four C15 clerestorey windows, each of two cinquefoil-headed lights
with squared head and hoodmould, to south elevation, and four to
north. South aisle: late C12 origin, re-fenestrated in late C14 or
C15. No visible plinth. Two south buttresses and south-east angle
buttress. Stone-coped parapet above a moulded string. Tall cinquefoil-
headed west window without overall architrave. Three untraceried
south windows, each with two cinquefoil-headed lights and cambered
head and hoodmould, one to west and two to east of porch. East
window similar but with square head. South porch: C19 or early C20.
Timber-framed and rendered, on a brick and flint base. Gabled plain
tile roof with bargeboards and pendant. Each side wall has wooden
frieze of four hollow-chamfered four-centred-arched lights. Pointed-
arched doubly plain-chamfered C14 inner doorway, with broach stops
and scroll-moulded hoodmould. Chancel: C13. No plinth. Diagonal
north-east and south-east buttresses and one south buttress. Four
south windows; one C14 with two ogee-headed lights, a quatrefoil in
an ogival, squared head and hoodmould, two tall and one shorter
pointed plain-chamfered lancets. Plain-chamfered south doorway, with
cambered head. Three separate stepped lancets to east end. North
elevation rebuilt or refaced in red and grey brick towards top,
rendered below; no windows. North chancel chapel: C15. Base of east
wall battered (evidence of a north chancel vestry?). Low chamfered
plinth to north. One east and two north buttresses. Lean-to roof
behind plain stone-coped parapet. Hollow-chamfered gable-end string
to east. East window of two cinquefoil-headed lights and squared
head, with hoodmould partly formed from string. Two similar north
windows with hoodmoulds. Rectangular recess (vestry aumbrey?) with
brick head, stone jambs and chamfered stone cill, towards base of
east wall. North aisle: late C12 origin, re-fenestrated in late C14
or C15. No plinth. Parapet and coping continued from north chancel
chapel. String to west gable end. Two windows east of porch; one-
with four-centred-arched head and two cinquefoil-headed lights, one
pointed-arched with two ogee-headed lights and quatrefoil in an ogival.
Window similar to the latter, to west of porch. Cinquefoiled west
window without overall architrave. North porch: flint, with plain
tile roof. 2 storeys, upper storey partly rebuilt, probably in early
C20. North-east and north-west angle buttress. Shaped gable to north,
the upper part red and grey brick above a cogged brick band. Unshaped
south gable. Chamfered two-light brick mullion first-floor window
to east, and another to west. Small pointed plain-chamfered ground-
floor lancet to east. Doubly plain-chamfered pointed-arched north
doorway with broach stops and hoodmould. Panelled double doors.
Moulded pointed-arched late C13 or early C14 inner doorway, with
undercut hoodmould (partly restored in wood) angled up at the ends
with scrolled stops. Boarded medieval double doors. Interior:
structure: four-bay late C12 north and south arcades to nave, of
bevelled pointed arches with bar-and-ogee stops, each arch with a
moulded hoodmould. Rectangular piers on low, chamfered plinths, with
chamfered leading edges and moulded abaci. Broad pointed C14 chancel
arch of two plain-chamfered orders, the inner order springing from
a moulded image corbel. Late C14 or early C15 doubly hollow-chamfered
pointed arch springing from moulded semi-octagonal columns, between
chancel and north chancel chapel. No arch between chapel and north
aisle. Pointed C14 or early C15 tower arch, outer moulding descending
to ground with broach stops, inner springing each side from engaged
semi-octagonal column with moulded capital and base. Scroll-moulded
hoodmould with image-stops to three north-aisle and three south-aisle
windows. Engaged colonnette to each side of west window of south
aisle. Small hollow-chamfered rectangular window between parvis
chamber and north aisle. Jamb of a blocked north-west chancel window.
Moulded round-headed blocked doorway in north wall of chancel. Plain-
chamfered pointed-arched doorway to north porch stair turret. Roof:
combined king-post and side-purlin roof to nave. 5 trusses, with
solid-spandrel arch-braces to tie-beams, and pendant posts on stone
corbels. All members, including cornice, hollow-chamfered. King
posts have hollow-chamfered leading edges with broach stops, and head-
braces to ridge purlin. Very short queen posts with apparently
integral braces to chamfered side purlins. Chancel roof boarded in
seven cants. Lean-to butt-purlin roof to south aisle. C14 roof to
north aisle, with three horizontal tie-beams between pendant posts.
Arch braces with spandrel pierced with geometrical designs, forming
pointed arches under tie-beams. Continuous purlin with firring-
pieces between it and tie-beams. Grooves for boarded infilling
between tie-beam and rafters. North chancel chapel has purlin borne
on tie-beams with pendant posts and solid-spandrel arch braces.
Fittings: pillar piscina to east end of south wall of chancel, with
shelly black marble shaft, square bowl rectangular base, and triangular
head. Heptagonal pulpit with traceried panels, offsetts to corners,
and moulded base and cornice. Cylindrical font with deeply-chamfered
bowl, short shaft, and ashlared base. C17 altar table with turned
legs and shaped aprons. C18 altar rails with some moulded and some
barley-sugar balusters, re-used at back of nave. Fittings, in a late
C17 style, introduced by F.C. Eden, including black-and-white marble
floor to sanctuary, nave pews with integral rear foot-ledge and inlaid
scrolled supports, eight turned and enriched stalls to chancel, raised
and moulded marquetry panelling with festoons, cherubs' heads, and
inlaid double sedilia, tosmctuary, canopied reredos painted in L90?
by J. Ripley Wilmer, canopied altars to north chancel chapel and south
aisle, panelling in a C17 style with strapwork frieze dated 1924 round
outer walls of chapel and aisles, north chapel screen of 1917 with
open-topped segmental pediment, inlaid organ loft and enriched organ
case, paintings, gilded candlesticks etc. Faldstool 1767. C15
alabaster tripych in south aisle. Hewn wooden chest, said to be C13.
Set of eight C17 or C18 text boards to nave. Pair of early C19
Benefactors' boards. Decoration: medieval wall-painting to north-
east pier of nave, a geometrical design in red on a cream ground.
C17 or C18 painted text with gold oak-leaf surround, to same pier.
Two C16 Netherlandish stained-glass roundels in east window of north
chancel chapel, and some C15 heraldic glass. Monuments: fragment of
a (?fan-) vaulted medieval stone canopy with green and red-painted
pinnacles, against east pier of north nave arcade. Rest of monument
replaced by small C18-style fluted, reeded and enriched stone altar
with a shelly marble slab. (J. Newman, Buildings of England Series,
North-East and East Kent, 1893 edn.).
Listing NGR: TR1772643819
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.