NETTLESTEAD MAIDSTONE ROAD
TQ 65 SE
1/3 Church of St. Mary
Parish church. C13, circa 1438, 1460s, circa 1496 and 1841, with alterations
of 1858 by Joseph Clarke. Tower small lumps of roughly-coursed ragstone.
Larger blocks of more evenly-coursed ragstone to nave and chancel. Slightly
larger blocks still to porch. Wood shingles to tower, plain tile roofs to
rest. West tower, nave, south porch, chancel (narrower than nave).
West tower: C13. Two stages, with battered plinth. Pyramidal roof.
Louvred pointed lancet towards top of each face of belfry except east.
Pointed west lancet and small rectangular south lancet towards base of
belfry stage. Pointed west and south lancets to lower stage. Medieval west
doorway inserted 1858 and said to have come from Teston church (demolished
c.1736); moulded pointed-arched outer architrave containing tracery of two
cinquefoil-headed lights and quatrefoil over low doubly plain - chamfered
pointed inner architrave. Ribbed and studded door. Nave: c.1438 or
slightly earlier. Deep moulded plinth, continued round buttresses and
exposed sections of gable ends. Moulded stone string at window-cill level,
interrupted by buttresses. Four buttresses reaching to eaves, one at each
end of south elevation and two towards centre, with moulded stone coping
to offsets. Moulded strings returned along gable ends from offsets of
outer buttresses. Three tall C15 south windows virtually filling bays
between buttresses, moulded, with cambered heads, three cinquefoil-headed
lights, tracery of vertical bars, and moulded hoodmoulds with pendant ends.
South-west window has higher cill to accommodate doorway. South porch:
c.1496. Fills south-west bay of nave. Chamfered plinth, continued from
base of nave plinth. Moulded stone coping to plain parapet. Diagonal
buttresses. Small niche with squared hoodmould over doorway. Small
rectangular light to east side only. Moulded four-centred-arched outer
doorway with squared architrave, moulded hoodmould, and plain shields to
spandrels. Four-centred-arched cavetto-moulded inner doorway with squared
architrave, hollow spandrels and moulded hoodmould, head of which is also
continued horizontally for short distance each side of doorway. Door with
six fielded panels. Chancel: 1460s?. Moulded plinth continued from nave.
Moulded string. Lower eaves and ridge than nave. Integral diagonal
north-east and south-east buttresses. One moulded pointed-arched C15
south window set towards west end, with cinquefoil-headed lights, tracery
of vertical bars, and hoodmould. Pointed-arched cavetto-moulded C15
east window, with three cinquefoil-headed lights, tracery of vertical bars
and quatrefoils, and moulded hoodmould. North elevation as south.
Nave: north elevation : as south, but with mid-C19 stair-turret extension
in coursed square stone blocks, overlapping north face of tower, with small
bevelled four-centred-arched doorway to base. Interior: structure: tall,
moulded pointed-(almost four-centred)-arched chancel arch, inner section
of moulding springing each side from engaged column with moulded capital
and base. Shorter tower arch, altered in 1841; pointed or four-centred
arch of two plain-chamfered orders, inner order springing each side from
engaged semi-octagonal shaft with scroll-moulded capital and moulded base.
Cavetto-moulded architraves to nave and chancel'windows. Medieval window
from Teston church inserted above chancel arch in 1858; pointed arched,
with two cinquefoil-headed lights, tracery with quatrefoil, and moulded
hoodmould. Roof: chancel roof has cornice, collar-purlin, central and
gable-end principal rafters, all roll-moulded, and plain broad common
rafters(?), curved, and, with curved ashlar-pieces, forming four-centred
arch with collar purlin as apex. Slightly recessed boarded infilling
between rafters. Bosses at junction of collar-purlin and principal
rafters. Plastered nave roof has same outline as chancel roof, and
moulded cornice. Fittings: C15 wooden screen from Teston Church
(now under tower) of four traceried two-light panels with moulded
mullions; boarding below midrail renewed or replaced. Octagonal stone
font on broadly-chamfered stem and plinth. Stained glass: central
north window of c.1438, depicting St. Thomas, St. Bartholomew and
St. Matthew, with canopy work (two heads renewed). North-west window
contains small scenes from life of Thomas Becket. C15 tracery glass,
of angels holding heraldic shields, in all six nave windows and east
chancel window. North chancel window (1460s?) with St. Stephen and
St. Lawrence on a decorative ground, with angels and beasts in the
tracery. Crucifixion in east window 1909 by T.F.Curtis (of Ward and
Hughes); the Virgin and St. John said to be largely old. North-east
nave window 1894 by T.F.Curtis, in a convincing C15 style, depicting
St. Simon, St. Matthias and St. Thaddeus with canopies. South-east nave
window 1911, with St. Peter, St. Andrew and St. James Major. Monuments:
monument on east wall of nave, to south of chancel arch, to Katharine
Scott, d.1616; kneeling woman and child in round-headed recess with
Tudor roses to soffit and heraldic shields to spandrels, flanked by
Corinthian capitals. Frieze containing inscription. Open-topped
triangular pediment with reclining putti, and achievements. Pulvinated
bay-leaf plinth, and scrolled base-plate with text. Monument on east
wall of nave, to north of chancel arch, to Elizabeth Scott, d.1598;
kneeling woman in round-headed recess with panelled soffit and plain
spandrels, flanked by Corinthian capitals. Moulded cornice with
encircled shield over. Consoled plinth with inscription between consoles.
Scrolled base plate. John or Reginald Pympe of Nettlestead Place (q.v.)
put glass in nave c.1438 and (John's son?) left money for porch c.1496.
(J. Newman, Buildings of England Series, West Kent and the Weald,
1980 edn. Measured drawings, including moulding details, in National
Monuments Record. Church guide, no date. Country Life October 16th 1958).
Listing NGR: TQ6854552056