Church of Holy Trinity, Westerham
Description: Church of Holy Trinity
Date Listed: 10 September 1954
English Heritage Building ID: 448467
OS Grid Reference: TQ4442450719
OS Grid Coordinates: 544424, 150719
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2374, 0.0675
Location: B2026, Westerham, Kent TN8 6ST
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771/44/1483 CROCKHAM HILL
10-SEP-54 CROCKHAM HILL
CHURCH OF HOLY TRINITY
1842, architect unknown.
MATERIALS: Tooled local sandstone ashlar from Limpsfield, Chiddingston and Crockham Hill. Clay tiled roofs.
PLAN: Nave, lower chancel, S porch, W tower, room N of nave (modern), NW vestry.
EXTERIOR: This is an archaeologically faithful, though rather severe Gothic Revival church. Perpendicular motifs are used in the nave and tower, Decorated ones in the chancel. The tower is of three stages, the ground stage having a square-headed window in its W face and diagonal buttresses. The belfry windows are of two lights and each has a transom. The tower is capped by an embattled parapet. In the nave the fenestration consists of two-light square-headed windows. The treatment is different for the chancel where the side windows (one N, two S) are pointed and have simple reticulated two-light forms; in the E wall there is a three-light flowing tracery window. A notable and rather curious feature are the numbers of grimacing heads forming head-stops to the window hoods.
INTERIOR: The interior is plastered and whitened and consists of a two-cell structure of nave and chancel, linked by a tall chancel arch. The dominating feature is the nave roof which is of hammerbeam design with long hammer beams and arch braces to a collar which carries a crown post and curved struts. In the spandrels over the hammer beams are tear-shaped infill pieces. The chancel roof is of similar construction. The floor of the choir consists of alternating bands of off-white and green wavy-patterned marble. The floor of the sanctuary is laid with patterned tiling.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: At the E end is a reredos with three Decorated arches set behind a stone altar with three panels of quatrefoil decoration. The arches and altar no doubt date to 1842 but the rich mosaic filling of the arches probably dates from a generation later. Either side of the reredos the walls have a pair of tall Decorated arches which form frames for the Creed, Lord's Prayer and Ten Commandments. In the NE corner is a tomb-chest to Octavia Hill (1838-1912) on top of which is her effigy, wearing a shawl; 'not particularly well carved but heartfelt', says Newman; carved by Dora Abbott. She lived in the village and is buried at the church with her sister Miranda. In front of the chancel is a large screen installed as a First World War memorial; it is of unusual design suggesting local design and craftsmanship and is an odd blending of Arts and Crafts with C17 touches. It is combined with a pulpit to the N. The solid oak nave seats are of square-headed form of a kind often used in Victorian seating schemes and whose design derived from medieval precedents. The font is a conventional octagonal piece with quatrefoils in the sunk panels of the bowl. Over the N door is a large high-relief royal arms. A particularly striking feature is the Victorian cast-iron radiators at the W end, signed J Weeks and Co, Chelsea; the horizontal piping is mounted between ends with Gothic detail. Among the stained glass is a window of 1995 to Octavia Hill by Chapel Studios of King's Langley, Hertfordshire.
HISTORY: The lack of a place of Anglican worship at Crockham Hill led Charles Warde of Squerryes Court, Westerham, to remedy the deficiency. His funding of the church building was augmented by his sister Mrs E Mildmay who provided the endowment. Holy Trinity became a separate parish in 1845. Unfortunately it is not know who designed the church although the name of the builder is known. This was a Mr Horseman who built the church with his son and lived at 2 Church Gates where the stone was cut.
John Newman, The Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald, 1969, p 242.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
Holy Trinity church, Westerham is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a good example of early Victorian church building which carefully follows medieval architectural precedent.
* It contains a number of fixtures of historic interest.
* It is associated with the philanthropist and social reformer, Octavia Hill, and contains two memorials to her.
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.