St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005

The stained glass windows are on a separate page, here.

The original church was probably located in the space currently occupied by the south aisle.  The tower was originally topped with a tall spire which in 1637 was struck by lightening and destroyed by fire.  The shorter rebuilt tower included neo-classical features, including the arched pediment and Corinthian pillars comprising the door surround.  The tower is open to visitors on some summer Sunday afternoons, after a steep climb up the spiral staircase, fantastic views of the surrounding countryside are the reward.  Take a look at some of the views here.

St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTC

Here are two views of the nave, the first looking east and the second looking west.  The nave and chancel date from the early 13th century.  Their length has remained unaltered since that date.  The two arcades were under construction for more than one hundred years, the two piers at the end of the northern arcade are 13th century while the rest are 14th century except for the most easterly of the southern piers which is a 15th century replacement.  A rood loft formerly spanned the church  across both aisles and the nave until about 1560.  Parts were uses in the construction of the screens of the two side chapels.

St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTCSt Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTC

Here is a view looking east down the north aisle and a view looking west down the south aisle, which is very wide and covered by a high pitched roof.  The windows in both aisles were restored in the 19th century.

St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTCSt Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTC

The pipe organ was completed in 1854 and rebuilt in 1963.  It originally stood in the Bedgebury Chapel but was later moved to its present position.   The base of the font was carved in the 15th century, although the actual bowl is modern.  The pedestal displays the four emblems of the evangelists.

St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTCSt Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTC

The main treasure of the church is the rare monument in painted wood to Sir Alexander Culpeper and his wife (below).  The knight's funerary helm hangs above. The monument was carved and painted in 1537 during the Reformation and is one of only eighty or so of its kind in the country.

St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTC

This small monument (below) is mounted on the wall of the Bedgebury Chapel.  The inscription below reads "To the memory of Ethel Rosa Keefe, artist, Goudhurst, died 1952.  This carving is given by her husband, H. J. Keefe".   It is next to another large memorial to other members of the Culpeper family (not illustrated).  This chapel also contains three ancient brasses, the oldest dated 1424.

St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTC

Here is a view across the nave into the south aisle, with the Bedgebury Chapel at its eastern end.

St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTC

Here is a final view of this church from the north west.  The tower contains eight bells, the earliest dating from 1690.

St Mary, Goudhurst, Kent - 26th June 2005 - MTC

The historical notes on this page are gleaned from an excellent guide book available in the church.

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Visitors to this album since June 2003


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