TQ8742 : St Michael's church, Smarden

near to Smarden, Kent, Great Britain

St Michael's church, Smarden
St Michael's church, Smarden
Grade I listed.

The church was erected between 1325 and 1350.
The tower is four storeys and dates from the end of the 15th century. It has an embattled parapet and a stair turret which is carried above the parapet of the tower. This is similar to many Kentish churches and was doubtless used for beacon fires. There is a North and South porch, the South porch is the main entrance and has old stone seats.
The nave is very wide, at 36 feet from wall to wall. This is why the church is known as "The barn of Kent". Because of this width, the roof is a type of truss rafter roof, scissored beam in style. This is also used in the chancel.
The font is 14th century, and consists of eight columns of Bethersden marble. These are not original.
There is a grotesque figure inside the building, the creature is possibly pagan in origin.

In 1392 a chantry was founded by Stephen Morton and Simon Chedmynden for a chaplain to celebrate divine service for them at the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the east wall either side of the chancel arch are wall paintings that date from the early part of this century, the old two tiers of blank arcades each formed a reredos to a side altar in the past.
The rood loft stairs remain in excellent condition, they are approached by an archway in the South wall. The rood loft was erected in 1508.
In the chancel there is a triple sedilia, and also a piscina. Both are from the 14th century.
East of the piscina is an arched recess, only discovered in 1910. It is thought to be a wafer oven.
In the South East corner of the chancel is a low side window. This was not for handing out communion to lepers, but was originally not glazed so that the ringing of the sanctuary bell during mass could be heard by those outside.
On the east wall there is a possible reliquary, and in the north wall is an Easter sepulchre.
Both of these are now just plain arches.
A vestry was added in 1815.
There are six bells. The organ is a single manual by Bevington.



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year taken
2012
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TQ8742, 45 images   (more nearby)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 2 December, 2012   (more nearby)
Submitted
Wednesday, 5 December, 2012
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
Smarden 
Church (from Tags)
St Michael the Archangel 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 879 422 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:8.9398N 0:41.1783E
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 879 422
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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