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© Mr A. C. A Seinet

IoE Number: 285999
Photographer: Mr A. C. A Seinet
Date Photographed: 14 January 2003
Date listed: 25 January 1985
Date of last amendment: 25 January 1985
Grade I

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TM 15 SE WITNESHAM CHURCH LANE 1/37 Church of St. Mary - I Church. Mediaeval; several alterations in C19, the main phase in 1845. Nave, chancel, south aisle, south-west tower with porch. Vestry added 1868. Flint rubble, mainly plastered apart from tower; freestone dressings. East chancel wall rebuilt c.1800, mainly of limestone rubble (the east window, in the Decorated style, was described as 'modern' by D.E. Davy in 1827. Nave roof slated, chancel roof plaintiled, aisle roof leaded. The plain south chancel doorway is probably C13; its C17 door has reused C14/C15 hinges and closing ring. Major alterations in early and mid C14; a number of Y-traceried windows and a large 3-light west window with intersecting tracery. 2-bay south aisle, the arcade having heavy capitals and bases; the 3-light east aisle window is flanked by image niches, and nearby is a piscina for a side-altar. Plain C14 north nave doorway (now blocked), and beside it and opposite a single-light window each with cusped head. Tower added mid C14 with crenellated and flush- work panelled parapets; 2-light belfry openings and lion-head gargoyles. The simple early C14 south doorway was reduced in size mid C14, and given a moulded stone frame; the door has original ironmongery, and cusped framing at the head. Over the outer doorway is a clock by Fordham 1737, and an earlier sundial (said to be of 1729). The nave walling was raised mid C15 and given 2-light clerestory windows; good 6-bay moulded hammerbeam roof with arch- braced high collars. The roof was ceiled below the collars in C17 with moulded plaster ribs. Good octagonal C15 limestone font with figures and shields on alternate faces of bowl, and animal sculpture around the stem; high octagonal plinth. Fine octagonal pulpit of c.1600 with carved and arcaded panels. Benches are mainly of c.1845 by Henry Ringham; a number at the west end have reused poppyhead standards from C15 benches, and a choir-stall also has a well-carved C15 end. On the nave walls are 13 panels with scriptural texts painted in early C18, directly onto the wall-plaster (there is one more in the chancel). On painted boards are The Lord's Prayer, Credence and Ten Commandments. Another panel is painted with the arms of King Charles II. 3 good early C19 wall tablets to Revd. John King and members of his family, and another to Philip Meadows of Bergersh House. In the chancel floor are 5 ledger slabs of C17 and C18, and in the nave floor a further 7. A fragment of C14 stained glass in the south-west nave window. Glass by Baillie, c.1846, in the east window, and by Ward and Hughes c.1873 in the nave.

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