Snargate Church stands on an artificial mound and is surrounded by trees. It is a large building comprising chancel, nave, north and south aisles, a south porch and a tower. It was constructed c.1200 in the Early English style and underwent considerable "restoration" at the hands of Rev. Edward Wilkinson in 1871 which removed many of the ancient features. The brick porch was built in the early 18th century.
The nave is early 13th century, enlarged in about 1250 by the addition of north and south aisles, probably at different times as the north aisle is slightly longer than the south. The arcade comprised four arches, north and south, which are supported by three circular pillars with square bases and simple moulded capitals. Here is a view looking east.
Here is a view of the nave looking from the altar towards the tower arch. There is no chancel arch.
At each end of the south arcade there is a carved respond in the shape of a female head, here is the most westerly one.
On the north wall is a wall painting of a ship of about the year 1500. It was discovered under a layer of whitewash. A local tradition maintains that the painting of a ship on the north wall opposite the main door of a marsh church meant that the church was a safe place to hide smuggled goods.
The font has a square bowl and stem, and dated from c.1220. It retains its original lining of lead and has a flat oak lid, probably 16th century.
The manually operated reed organ (W Bell & Co., Canada) was installed in 1871, in the same year that the box pews were removed and replaced with the present pews.
Before the 1871 restoration, there was a wooden partition up to the roof at the west end of the nave, separating it from the tower. At the foot of this (thankfully removed) partition there was a box pew for visitors which was aptly named "the strangers pew". Here is a view of the tower arch with semi-circular engaged shafts.
The two stage embattled tower dates from the Perpendicular period, c.1400. The west window of three lights surmounts a good doorway, with a rectangular top on carved heads. It contains three bells, the oldest being the treble (c.1275). The middle bell was recast in 1672 and the tenor bell is probably later.
Here is a view of the north side of the church - a perfect setting for a gothic melodrama under the dark overhanging trees!
Here is a final view of the church from the east (into the sun!) showing the window at the east end of the south aisle.
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