785/10/132 CHURCH ROAD
31-MAY-54 CHURCH OF ST MARTIN OF TOURS
(Formerly listed as:
CHURCH OF ST MARTIN)
Probably late C11 or very early C12 in origin, greatly extended in the C13, including the chancel, S aisle, N tower and former NE chapel. C15 S porch. Restored and partially rebuilt by Edwin Nash in 1857. NW extension of 2007.
Flint and stone rubble with stone dressings and some brick, especially at the E end. Tiled roofs.
Chancel, nave with short S aisle or chapel, S porch and N tower.
A small, low church, the short tower with a broach spire. The short S aisle is roofed continuously with the nave, with the roof coming down very low. It has a small, late C12 or early C13 window in the S wall and a 2-light Perpendicular window in the E wall. The boxy C15 S porch terminates the S chapel roofline and has an embattled parapet with brick dressings. The porch outer opening has continuous mouldings and an outer hood mould. The chancel has a triplet of C13 lancets in the E wall, and two Perpendicular windows and a door in the S wall. C19 NE vestry with Perpendicular-style windows and a tall chimney on the site of a former NE chapel. One C12 window to the W of the NE tower in the nave N wall and Perpendicular windows to the W of that, a change in masonry indicating that the nave was lengthened. One round-headed window in the W wall, the remains of a set of three, and a W door. The N tower is of three stages and has a shingled broach spire, narrow late C12 or early C13 openings, and large buttresses. NW extension of 2007.
Plastered and painted inside with a long, narrow nave. Two bay early C13 S arcade to the aisle, possibly of two phases, the inner order of the eastern bay order with half-round responds with moulded capitals. The remains of a former C12 S window visible internally. Tall, early C13 tower arch with chamfered imposts. The C19 chancel arch is of two orders in a C13 style, and the chancel lancets have rere-arches with slim shafts. A squint in the chancel must originally have opened into the NE chapel on the site of the present NE vestry, and there is an early C15 tomb recess in the N wall. The nave has a king post roof, and the chancel ceiling is plastered.
Probably C15 font, polygonal with square panels and a band of fleurons. Altar rails with short, turned balusters. Simple C19 choir stalls and nave benches. C20 timber screens under the S aisle arches and N tower arch. Two windows in the chancel of 1925 by Veronica Whall.
Good monuments, the most notable of which is the Collett monument of 1607. Kneeling figures within an architectural frame, and reclining figures of deceased children propped up on sculls. Peter Heyman, another deceased child, has his own small, adjacent monument. Brasses to Walter de Brun, rector, d.1417, in a recess in the chancel N wall, a coped, marble tomb chest with indents for brasses of a rood group. Brasses for a priest of c.1400, another to William Robroke, priest, d.1420, to a lady of c.1480, Alicia Bray, d.1507. Also some good C18 and C19 wall tablets including one to Brass Crosby, d.1793, an Adam-style tablet with mourning figures.
Herringbone flint work in the S wall of the chancel and nave N wall suggest a late C11 or very early C12 date for the church. There was considerable addition and rebuilding in the late C12 and early C13, when the S aisle, N tower and chancel were built. The trefoil-headed squint in the chancel may also suggest a C13 date for the demolished NE chapel. The nave was also extended at an uncertain date. There was further work in the C15, with the addition of new windows and the S porch. The former NE chapel was demolished and replaced by a vestry in 1857 to designs by E Nash, who also rebuilt the chancel arch. A NW parish room complex was added in 2007. It was named after Brass Crosby (1725-93), Mayor of London and late C18 lord of the manor of Chelsfield, a political radical who successfully campaigned for the publication of parliamentary proceedings, and to whom the saying `bold as Brass' is said to refer.
Buildings of England, London 2: South, (2002) 174-5
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The church of St Martin is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Parish church of late C11 or early C12 origin.
* Late C12 or early C13 chancel, S aisle and N tower.
* A significant monument and several late Medieval brasses.