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Description: Church of All Saints
Date Listed: 27 June 1963
English Heritage Building ID: 444609
OS Grid Reference: TQ9883571422
OS Grid Coordinates: 598835, 171422
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4070, 0.8575
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933/13/130 HIGH STREET
27-JUN-1963 (North side)
CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS
Church. Rebuilt 1431-2 after the previous church fell into ruin. Pevsner suggests that the 2-light Decorated windows at the W end are reused. Chancel roof repaired after fire damage of 1922. Said to have been designed by William Nudds, a Cistercian monk of Boxley and built by lay brothers from Boxley Abbey. One major Perpendicular building campaign. MATERIALS: Kent ragstone rubble with knapped flint merlons to the embattled parapets and chequered flint and stone parapet to the tower; buttresses with knapped flint panels; lead roof. PLAN: West tower with west porch, nave, chancel, north and south aisles; north porch; north east organ chamber; south east chapel; north vestry.
EXTERIOR: Grand externally with deep battlemented parapets throughout above a moulded stringcourse. Diagonal buttresses to aisles, chancel and tower. Aisle windows mostly 2-light with shallow segmental heads and cusped lights, stonework much renewed; similar 5-light east window. Decorated style 2-light windows at west end of north aisle with quatrefoils in the heads. The porch is similar to the medieval north vestry. Shallow embattled west porch with a medieval west doorway. 3-stage west tower with 2-light medieval windows matching those of the aisles. North east porch with renewed Clipsham stone outer doorway.
INTERIOR: Porch has late medieval roof. Arcades with octagonal piers with concave sides, moulded capitals and arches. Wide chancel arch to match. Handsome shallow pitched C15 nave roof, an unusual design for Kent, with moulded tie beams with short curved braces springing from carved timber angel corbels holding shields. The roof is divided into large panels by moulded ribs with carved bosses and half bosses at the intersections and central bosses of very large winged angels holding shields. The chancel roof is similar, with 3 bays: the post 1922 repair is difficult to identify from the ground. Aisle roofs are similar but plainer, the braces on plain stone corbels. Double-chamfered tower arch on moulded corbels. Tower was intended to be stone vaulted and preserves the corbels and first courses of vaults in the corners. 11-bay chancel screen, the full width of nave and aisles with wide bays flanking the central entrance. The screen has lost its rood loft and has been extensively repaired. No reredos. North and south hagioscopes (squints) to chancel. South east chapel lined with unusually lavish Jacobean 2-tier panelling: similar panelling in the tower. The panelling originated from the former Cathedral of St Martin at Ypres.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Choir stalls with elaborately-shaped ends and poppyhead finials. Square-headed bench ends with recessed panels to nave benches. Plain octagonal stone font on moulded stem and base. Early C17 timber drum pulpit on a probably later bracketed stem, the sides of the drum decorated with strapwork and field panels. Two George II brass candelabra.
Monuments include, on the south side of the chancel a fine alabaster chest tomb with effigies commemorating Sir Gabriel Livesay, d.1622 and his second wife, Anne. An African's head is incorporated into the design. Marble monument on the north wall of the chancel to Vice Admiral Sir Richard King who captained HMS Achilles at the Battle of Trafalgar. Several late C19 stained glass windows. 1912 window by Karl Parsons Charles Stewart Rolls (of Rolls Royce) and Cecil Stanley Grace who died in a flying accident in 1910.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: The church is an outstanding example of a Perpendicular church, built largely in one phase in 1431-2. It has six medieval roofs, the nave and chancel of unusual design for Kent. Fittings of interest include a rood screen and monuments.
Pevsner, North East and East Kent, 1983, 303-304
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.