St Mary's Church (remains of)
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1004208
Date first listed: 17-Jun-1975
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Ashford (District Authority)
Parish: Little Chart
National Grid Reference: TQ 93459 46682
St Mary’s Church.
Reasons for Designation
A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible.
Despite damage in the past, St Mary’s Church survives well with much of its tower and walls still standing. It includes some significant medieval architectural details such as the pointed doorway and windows in the west tower. The site is relatively undisturbed and has potential for archaeological investigation. It will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the use and history of the church.
This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a medieval parish church surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated on a north-east facing slope near the bank of the River Great Stour, north-west of Little Chart. The church is orientated ENE to WSW and is about 30m long and 11m wide. It includes a west tower, a nave with a north aisle and a chancel with a north chapel. It was originally a single-celled aisleless church but the north aisle was added at a later date. The building is constructed of ragstone but is now roofless and only the walls survive. The west tower is about 15m high with a pointed Caen stone arch in the east side and two string courses above. In the west elevation is a pointed doorway, a large pointed window with surviving tracery including cinquefoil ornament, and a small single light window above. All have hood moulds. The angles are supported by heavy buttressing in this side. There are tombstones and Victorian tiles in the floor of the church.
The tower of St Mary’s was built by Sir John Darell in about 1500, although the church itself has earlier origins. In his ‘History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent’ (1798), Edward Hasted states that it was built by Peter de Bending during the reign of Henry III (1207-1272). The church was heavily damaged by a V-1 flying bomb on the 16th August 1944 and has since been ruinous.
The upstanding remains are Grade II listed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: KE 282
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
'Parishes: Little Chart', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Vol 7 (1798), 455-463, accessed from http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63433&strquery= little chart church
Kent HER TQ 94 NW 4. NMR TQ 94 NW 4. PastScape 419484. LBS 181054.,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing