14th C. Wall painting, St George's church, Ivychurch
Grade I listed.
This large church dates from the mid-13th century. The first rector was appointed in 1242, and the remains of a moulded 13th century column base still exists in the north-east part of the sanctuary. This original church was the first on the site, it certainly had a north aisle, although probably narrower than at present. The current church measures 135 foot long and 62 feet wide, and has a battlemented west tower, a continuous nave and chancel, and north and south aisles and chapels. There is also a south porch with a parvis chamber.
The nave has seven bay arcades with octagonal piers from the mid-15th century. There is no chancel arch.
The nave has clerestory windows, however they were blocked when the roof was re-pitched. The windows on the South side of the chancel remain open. In the north-east aisle was the Lady Chapel, the east window is now blocked up. The North aisle is empty, and has an unrestored floor of tile and brick. At the east end of the North aisle, there is a 14th century wall painting featuring Acanthus leaves and three- lobed flowers.
The South aisle contained the Chapel of St Catherine.
The 60 foot high West tower was added in the mid-14th century, and like the rest of the church is built from Kent Ragstone. There is a fine 17th-century wooden tower screen.
The chancel has some excellent carved wooden screens dating from the late 15th century.
The octagonal font is probably late 14th century.
There was a period of restoration work carried out in the 18th century with the re-roofing of the south aisle, north aisle, and fitting of box pews.
The church was frequently used for storing smuggled contraband. It is said that when the church was being used for hiding these illegal imports, services were cancelled, and the church was firmly locked!
The church was sympathetically restored in the late 19th century, but in a very poor condition at the beginning of the 20th century. However in 1903 the new rector, John Miller, undertook repairs costing £800 and lasting seven years. The box pews were removed and today this huge space can be fully appreciated.
There are very few monuments, very little stained glass and no organ.
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