St Mary, Sundridge, Kent - 13th September 2008

St Mary's church is a fine 13th century rebuilding of an early building.  It consists of nave, north and south aisles, western tower and chancel.  There is a chapel at the east end of the north aisle.  The church is regrettably usually locked, however we visited on a day when the church was open to visitors taking part in a sponsored cycle ride, so were able to see the glorious interior.

St Mary, Sundridge, Kent

The interior of the church, looking from the south west corner showing the north arcade and lofty north aisle.  One of the former clerestory windows, blocked when the arcades were raised to their present height in the 15th century is visible at the top of the image.   Originally the 13th century aisles would have had lean to roofs.

St Mary, Sundridge, Kent

The images below show the nave, firstly looking east, then west.  The 13th century arcades, together with the tower and chancel arches are shown to good effect.  Note also the high walkway at the west end - accessed from a small door into the tower.

St Mary, Sundridge, KentSt Mary, Sundridge, Kent

A closer view of the sanctuary, where the elaborate reredos of painted Caen stone can be seen.  This is by James Forsythe of the Royal Academy and cost 190 in 1877.  The remains of the original outer lancet windows are exposed on either side of the east window.

St Mary, Sundridge, Kent

The pipe organ now occupies the eastern end of the south aisle and the octagonal font is situated in the south west corner of the nave.

St Mary, Sundridge, KentSt Mary, Sundridge, Kent

A beautiful 18th century brass chandelier, dated 1726, hangs over the nave - donated to the church by the cousin of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

St Mary, Sundridge, Kent

There is some lovely glass in the windows. In the north wall of the nave are two contrasting designs, representing the 19th and 20th centuries.

St Mary, Sundridge, KentSt Mary, Sundridge, Kent

The chapel has a depiction of St George surrounded by heraldic devices in the north wall commemorating those who died in the First World War, and a series of images telling the nativity story in the large eastern window.

St Mary, Sundridge, KentSt Mary, Sundridge, Kent

The western window of the south aisle contains a lovely depiction of the Annunciation and is by Kempe.  The photo is rather marred by the shadow of the protective bars on the outside of the window.

St Mary, Sundridge, Kent

The 19th century windows below are in the south wall.  The eastern most one was hard to photograph as it is obscured behind a partition.

St Mary, Sundridge, KentSt Mary, Sundridge, Kent

The Royal Arms hang on the south wall.

St Mary, Sundridge, Kent

The western window in the base of the tower depicts Christ in the central light and John the Baptist to his right.

St Mary, Sundridge, Kent

Returning outside, here are a couple of views of the west end and tower of this lovely church, from the north and south sides respectively.

St Mary, Sundridge, KentSt Mary, Sundridge, Kent

And finally the view from the church approach showing the lych gate.

St Mary, Sundridge, Kent

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