Description: Church of St Mary and St Ethelburga, and Remains of the Older Church to South
Date Listed: 29 December 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 441475
OS Grid Reference: TR1610740862
OS Grid Coordinates: 616107, 140862
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1263, 1.0870
Explore more of the area around Lyminge, Kent at Explore Britain.
TR 14 SE LYMINGE CHURCH ROAD
4/145 Church of St.
Mary and St.
of the Older
Abbey church, now parish church. Site of a mixed-sex (Augustinian?)
Abbey founded by St. Ethelburga (wife of King Edwin of Northumbria) in
circa 633. Present church c.965, late C12, C14 and early C16. Nave
and chancel flint, sandstone and ragstone, with considerable areas
of herringbone work. North aisle uncoursed flint and sandstone.
Tower roughly coursed ragstone and sandstone. Stone dressings. Lead
roof to nave, slate roof to chancel. North aisle roof not visible.
Nave and chancel substantially c.965, but south wall of nave, towards
west end, apparently raised on vestiges of north wall of (a "porticus"
of?) the c.633 church. Square-ended chancel, very slightly narrower
than nave. Early C16 north aisle to nave, incorporating vestiges of
an earlier north-west tower. West tower, for which bequests were made
in 1508 and 1527. West tower: two stages, on high chamfered and
moulded stone plinth. Battlemented above a hollow-chamfered string.
Shingled octagonal spirelet. Uncusped two-light window with
hexagonal upper light, and unglazed spandrels, in pointed-arched
architrave with hoodmould, to each face of belfry. Small round-
headed light in rectangular architrave with level hoodmould to base of
north face of belfry stage. Three-light pointed-arched west window to
lower stage, with cinquefoil-headed lights, tracery of vertical bars,
cavetto-moulded architrave and moulded hoodmould. Pointed-arched
hollow-chamfered west doorway in rectangular cavetto-moulded outer
architrave with shields to spandrels, and with squared moulded hoodmould,
the upper part of which is continued horizontally as a hollow-chamfered
string. C16 door of feather-lapped planks. Polygonal north-east
stair turret taller than tower, on continuation of tower plinth, and
with plain parapet above a hollow-chamfered string. Small plain-
chamfered rectangular lights. Integral diagonal north-west and south-
west buttresses. Tower is slightly overlapped by nave wall to south,
from which south-east buttress rises. Lower buttress angled from this,
resting on excavated foundations of c.633 wall. Nave: no plinth, but
foundations of c.633 towards west end. Hollow-chamfered stone string-
course. Galleted stone repair work to east end of south elevation.
Plain parapet with moulded stone coping. Small, round-headed single-
splayed Cll or earlier window under eaves towards centre. Two C15
pointed-arched three-light south windows with cusped intersecting
glazing bars, and hoodmould. Recess with segmental head low in wall
to west of porch, said to have been a window through which tomb of St.
Ethelburga (in the c.633 ruins?) could be seen. Plaque to east of
porch records her burial. Scratch dial to south-east corner. South
porch: C19. Two timber-framed bays on coursed flint and stone base.
Glazed chamfered side-lights. Gabled plain-tile roof with moulded
crown post. Medieval pointed-arched plain-chamfered inner doorway
with broach stops. Chancel: no plinth. Lower eaves than nave. Small
round-headed single-splayed Cll or earlier south window under eaves to
west of centre. Two C15 south windows, each of two cinquefoil-headed
lights, with tracery of vertical bars, almost triangular head and no
hoodmould. Low C13 pointed-arched stone doorway west of centre.
Medieval doubly plain-chamfered flying buttress from south-east corner
to a free-standing pier. C15 pointed-arched east window of three
cinquefoil-headed lights, with tracery of vertical bars, and hoodmould.
Two Cll or earlier north windows, similar to south. Early C16
untraceried north-west window of two cinquefoil-headed lights and
squared head. Large central patch or repair of dressed stones.
North aisle: hollow-chamfered stone plinth except to west end. Plain
parapet above hollow-chamfered string. Diagonal north-east buttress,
north-west angle buttresses, and one north buttress. One east window
and two north windows similar to north-west chancel window. Low, moulded,
pointed-arched north doorway. Tall, narrow west window of two trefoil-
headed lights, recessed in moulded architrave with cambered head. 1971
two-storey rectangular stone vestry in a C16 style towards west end of
north side. Interior: structure: early C16 three-bay north arcade to
nave of moulded four-centred arches springing from engaged semi-circular
shafts with moulded semi-octagonal capitals. Outer mouldings continue
to ground on each side of slender lozenge-section piers. Pointed C14
chancel arch of three plain-chamfered orders, resting on much broader
rectangular piers, which are bevelled to west side, with remains of
a C13 bar stop. Pointed early C16 tower arch in similar style to nave
arcade. Evidence for former north-west tower includes increase in
thickness of north aisle wall, with stone quoins and off-set to the
rebate. Triangular head of a blocked opening (possibly a C7 window,
or medieval doorway to non-extant rood-left stair turret) set low to
east end of south wall of nave. Moulded three-centred-arched C15 or
C16 doorway towards centre of north wall of chancel. Hollow-chamfered
four-centred-arched doorway to tower stairs, with broach stops, and
medieval door of feather-lapped studded boards, with fleur-de-lys
hinges. Roof: shallow-pitched roof to nave, with three king-post
trusses probably early C16. Moulded tie-beams, with hollow-chamfered
arch braces springing from moulded pendant posts on stone corbels (not
all extant). Each truss has moulded octagonal king post, braced only
to moulded ridge purlin, and short vertical queen posts with moulded
leading edges, arch-braced to moulded side purlins. Moulded common
rafters, and fragment of a moulded wooden cornice. C19 chancel roof
with king struts on collars. Partly C16 lean-to roof to north aisle
with moulded tie-beams with solid-spandrel arch braces springing from
moulded pendant posts; firing-pieces carry side purlin. Moulded
wooden cornice. Fittings: fragment of stiff-leaf decoration beside south
chancel doorway. C17 hexagonal panelled pulpit. Single stall with
carved handrests and brattished desk with blind traceried panels.
Octagonal font with moulded base. Two funeral hatchments. Two
Benefactors' Boards dated 1819. Alabaster Reredos by Sir Ninian Comper.
Monuments: tablet on north wall of chancel to Mrs. Catherine Holloway,
d.1743; plain marble tablet with beaded edge, open-topped triangular
pediment with shield, moulded plinth on plain consoles, and shaped
black marble base-plate. Tablet adjacent to the last, to Jane Tylden,
d.1836; marble, with rectangular consoles, plain base band, lightly-
moulded cornice; and draped urn, against shaped black marble base-plate,
signed Saunders, New Rd., London. Tapering stone tomb slab with cross
in relief, against east wall of nave, north of chancel arch. Abbey's
last known charter granted 964. Body of St. Ethelburga (d.647) moved
to Canterbury 1085. (J. Newman, Buildings of England Series, North-
East and East Kent, 1983 edn.).
Listing NGR: TR1614640971
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.