St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

Newenden church was built around the end of the 14th century, possibly on the site of an earlier Saxon building.  It was originally considerably larger but fell into disrepair.  The chancel collapsed at the end of the 18th century, soon to be followed by the demolition of the tower, which had been at the north west end.  A new clock tower was built in the 19th century, and the present small chancel was constructed in 1931.  The clock was installed to commemorate the Coronation of George V in 1911.  It is hand wound, with the hours being struck on the single bell which hangs in the tower, made a the London foundry of G Mears in 1860.

St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

The porch has well preserved 14th century stonework around the door and exposed oak beams.  The oak seat was fitted in 1931.  Over the porch is a small chamber accessed by an old oak door in the south wall of the nave.  It is reputed to have been used as a prison in the past.

The pulpit is Elizabethan or Jacobean, of hexagonal shape with carved oak panels; the newest one is dated 1639. Here is a picture of the nave looking east into the chancel.

The nave looking east, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

Here is a photo of the nave looking west from inside the chancel. The south aisle is a vestry, the dividing screen is from the 15th century.  It may have been part of the screen of the original chancel and has bible quotations on the inside panels.

The nave looking west, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004Vestry screen, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

Here is a photo of the three light 15th century west window which depicts St Peter with the keys of heaven in his hand.  The two light window in the vestry was installed in memory of the Rev. John Pugh and his wife, Ann, Rector here from 1855 to 1878.

West window, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004South window, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

Here is the enormous font and the small pipe organ.  The font is perhaps the most important object in the church and is believed to be Saxon, or at the latest early Norman (1100-1120).  For a time it was removed to St Mary's church in Rye, where a copy was made which is in use there today. 

Font, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

The chamber organ is a historic instrument built between 1750 and 1770 and installed in this church in 1956.  Its maker is unknown.

Organ, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

The portrait of the Rev. John Pugh, hangs on the north wall.  He was Rector of Newenden 1855-1878, and the picture was painted by S.B.Godbold in 1855.  The Royal Arms hang on the west wall and is dated 1825, and is a particularly fine example of the Royal Coat of Arms of George IV.

John Pugh, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004Royal Arms, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

The east window of the chancel was installed in 1941 - apologies for the overexposed image.

East window, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

The two side windows of the chancel are older than the east window but are in poor condition. The first, in the south wall of the chancel, has a brass inscription iunderneath reading: "Charlotte wife of Francis Tress: died 30th July 1859".  The second in the north wall's inscription reads: "Francis Tress of Gate Court, Northiam died 7th August 1833".

Chancel window, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004Chancel window, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

The final picture is of the church banner, with the emblem of St Peter, the Keys of Heaven.

Church banner, St Peter, Newenden, Kent - 19th February 2004

The Kent Archaeological Society has an interesting early picture of this church, here complete with the former tower.

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