It was a freezing day when we visited this church so we didn't dally too long, impatient to return to the heated interior of the car!
The majority of the church is 14th century, including the nave and tower. The chancel is 15th century.
Here are two views of the nave, looking east from the tower arch and west from the chancel.
The St Michael Window in the east end of the south aisle has glass which dates to about 1450. It depicts St Michael the Archangel weighing souls. This representation is very old in Christian art. In his right hand he holds the scales, his left is upraised in blessing. In one of the scales is a figure of the devil, in the other is the figure of a Christian woman whose hand is held up in prayer. The Christian is weighing down the devil. The glass was removed to this place from the Chantry Chapel in 1928, the cost being met by the descendants of General Sir Stanley de Burgh Edwardes K.C.B. and Adelaide his wife, in loving memory of them.
Adjacent to this window, in the south wall is the window below. The brass inscription below it reads:
"Fragments of 15th century glass removed from the north aisle in this church and re-erected in 1929, by Mabel Sophia Cleland in blessed memory of her husband Arthur Charles Stewart Cleland of Stormont Castle Co. Down B.1865, D.1924 and of their daughter Olivia Mabel B.1897, D. 1915 and of her parents Henry Torrens D'Aguilar Lt Col. Grenadier Guards B.1819, D, 1895, son of Sir George & Lady D'Aguilar & Frances Catherine his wife daughter of the Hon. Lionel & Lady Elizabeth Dawson and of her brother Lionel George Henry D'Aguilar Lt. Grenadier Guards B.1859, D. 1888."
These two windows are in the chancel.
Ancient glass in window tracery.
The north wall of the north aisle has an attractive modern etched glass window depicting St Nicholas himself. It was very hard to photograph against the grey sky.
Here are the two church banners displayed either side of the sanctuary.
This small cupboard in the chancel would have been used for storing holy oils. In mediaeval times sacred vessels, relics and books were kept here.
Below is a picture of the stairs that once led to the rood loft - contained within a column. At the top of the stairs there was at one time a door leading to the rood loft. The iron hinges for the door still remain. In 1487, Robert Kryan was buried in the middle of the Nave, before the Great Cross of the Rood. Several bequests are recorded as having been made to the Rood in Sandhurst Church.
The rood stairs are at the entrance to the Chantry Chapel, known as Betherynden Chapel, in which the pipe organ is now situated. This chapel was probably built about 1450 by Sir Ruchard Betherynden, of Old Place, Sandhurst. He died in 1455, and in his will left money to the church. The chapel remained the property of Old Place until about 1875 when it was given to the Rector of the parish.
This holy water stoup is in the wall next to the south door which was blocked in 1875. It indicates this was once the main entrance to the church. The blocked opening now housed plaques commemorating the war dead of the parish. The bell now resting on the tower floor is the old number 5 (The 'John' bell) and dates from around 1450.
This final picture of the east end is from the graveyard - Alan has crept into the picture!
The 1831 Topographical Dictionary for Kent has the following entry:
"Sandhurst, a parish in the hundred of Selbrittenden, lathe of Scray, county of KENT, 7 miles (S.W. by W.) from Tenterden, containing 1182 inhabitants. The church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is principally in the later style of English architecture. The river Kennet separates this extensive parish from the county of Sussex."
The Kent Archaeological Society has interesting early pictures of this church, here.
Visitors to this album since June 2003
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