TR 03 NE
CHURCH LANE (east side)
Church of St. Martin
Parish church. C11 (Saxo-Norman). Chancel extended C13, chapel and aisles C13/14. Tower 1507-1557 (evidence of wills), battlements 1911. Restored 1876 (with later work) by Sir Arthur Blomfield. Ragstone, squared and hammer-dressed to tower. Plain tiled roofs.
Chancel with south chapel, nave and south aisle with south porch and western tower. Large western tower of three stages with string courses and offset buttresses rising to full height of tower to battlements. Octagonal north-eastern angle vice. Triple, two tier belfry openings, single lights on second stage, and deep set restored three-light Perpendicular style west window, flanked by canopied niches, with cusped quatrefoil panels and ogee headed niche below, with four centred arched doorway with label hood, waterstoup and flanking quatrefoil panels. Nave with separately roofed south aisle with projecting vestry. C19 fenestration and timbered south porch. North nave wall with buttresses and exposed jambs of round headed C11 windows, now blocked, as is north door; C19 fenestration. C19 fenestration to chancel, with restored perpendicular five-light east window, with the jambs of C13 lancets. South chapel, projecting, with lancets.
Interior: fine, tall tower arch, with continuous wave moulding and attached inner piers with octagonal capitals. Four centred arched door to north to stair vice. Late.C13 two bay arcade to south aisle with round pier and octagonal responds. Nave roof with scissor- braced rafters in two levels, partly with tie-beams. South aisle with vestry at west end with blocked lancet to aisle and with massive walls and re-used timber ceiling, identified as base of C11 south-western tower. Lancet in gable to south chapel, with double chamfered arch below on corbels. Tenoned purlin roof. Rood passage door to south, and at gallery level to nave. Restored double chamfered chancel arch on octagonal corbels with carved heads. Exposed jambs of lancet east windows, with shafts and capitals, and also exposed jambs of east end of C11 chancel, before C13 extension. C19 scissor-braced roof.
Fittings: C14 priest's door and three sedilia in chancel with cusped ogee heads, roses in cusped spandrels with rose, oak leaf and heraldic enrichments and embattled top. Iron twist turned altar rails with moulded top rail. Choir stalls, inserted probably for use by Archbishop of Canterbury's entourage while resident in his adjacent hunting lodge. C15, partly restored, with poppy head bench ends, arcaded panels to front of benches; south range incorporates open screen to south chapel, with four bays with ogee tracery, brattished top rail and four centred arched doorway. Western range incorporates base of nave rood screen, north range with simple boarded panelling. Misericords mainly with foliage decoration, on south with foliage and castles. South chapel with C17 arcaded panelling with mannerist pilasters, with strapwork frieze and enrichment, with a separate panel with lozenge and guilloche decorations and inscribed AN 1617 WK . RA . WF . C, with yet a third different section to west wall. All introduced late C19, and possibly from the demolished Scott's Hall, Smeeth. Nave with two pulpits, with panelled walls behind, C17 with strapwork, geometric panels, and foliate enrichment, that to north of two tiers, probably made up from domestic panels, and incorporating a wooden relief panel of a Pelican in her piety, said to have come from Pattison's Farmhouse, Aldington. C12 square font bowl on five piers, with C17 wooden cover, with arcaded base with detached Ionic colonettes with modillion cornice and finial with ogee scrolled lantern with finial. Wrought iron gate and screen to tower, dated 1891, removed from Olantigh Towers, Wye, and set up here by Sir Reginald Blomfield.
Monuments: brasses; small inscription in south chapel to Margaret Blechynden, d.1596, John Weddcot, d.1475; 19 inch brasses of armoured knight and Lady. The reverse records George Sibley of Boston (d.1474). John Blechynden, d1607; black and white marble wall plaque, with scrolled and enriched base, simple aedicule with Arms Cartouche over. Latin hexameter inscription.
Glass: fragments in chancel north window. The Reverend George Blomfield (Rector from 1868) was brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Blomfield (restored the church 1876) and father of Sir Reginald Blomfield, who embellished the church and designed the lychgate. The quality of medieval work is linked to the church's use as a chapel to the adjacent hunting lodge of the Archbishops of Canterbury (see Court Lodge), who also appointed Thomas Linacre Rector 1509 (founder of Royal College of Surgeons) and Desiderius Erasmus, briefly in 1511.
Listing NGR: TR0751436350