This enormous building was erected between 1360 and 1370 and has three parallel aisles without structural division running the complete length of the church, which is 133 feet.
Here is a view of the east end of the building.
The building is the first ancient church I have visited which contains no pews (they were removed in the early 20th century) - giving a real sense of how the building would have felt and appeared in medieval times - which is very impressive and spacious. The only seating in those days would have been the stone benches still visible against the south wall for the elderly and infirm who literally "went to the wall".
This view, taken from the west end, clearly demonstrates this vast space.
The plainly carved font dates from the late 15th century and is made of Kentish ragstone.
The three eastern bays are divided from the nave by a 15th century screen, but the Chinese Chippendale gate leading into the south aisle is said to have come from Old Romney.
The high tower, 7 bay arcades and clerestory windows (now blocked over the nave) are unusual in a parish church. Indeed the size of the building have caused the building to be nicknamed the "Cathedral of the Romney Marsh".
Here is a view looking back towards the tower arch from the chancel. The wonderful screens are late 15th century, and the choir stalls, which are turned at right angles as often found in cathedrals, were all locally made. Also like a cathedral, there are three steps up to the altar from the chancel.
There is a harmonium in the chancel, which looks wholly inadequate for the size of the building, however I am sure it is sufficient for the small congregations of today.
The Royal Arms of George III are above the north door, which is not in current use.
The north aisle, formerly the Lady Chapel, has a rather neglected air about it, not assisted by the blocked east window (late Perpendicular) and uneven brick floor, said to have been due to Cromwell using this area as stabling for his horses. There is a small bracket to the south of the window which is thought to have once carried a statue of the Virgin Mary. The north aisle also once contained a chapel to St Michael, but the location of the altar is unknown, and a chantry chapel. Today it is a storage area, partitioned off in the first decade of the 20th century with the remnants of the old box pews.
There are remnants of medieval glass in the west window of the north aisle and in the east window of the south aisle, below.
The west window, under the tower, has a coloured border.
Here is a view of the south aisle. The chapel was dedicated to St Katherine of Alexandria.
The south aisle chapel retains its damaged piscina and a lovely quatrefoil holy water stoup by the south door.
The final view is of the tower. There are currently five bells in the tower, dating from a recasting in 1624, and the fourth again in 1724. Sadly the bells have not been in a condition to be rung since the 1970s. At the north east corner of the tower is the octagonal turret which contains the staircase.
Visitors to this album since June 2003
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