TQ 92 NE
HIGH STREET (south west side)
Church of St Augustine
Parish church. Mid C13, C14, C15 and C18, restored 1790 by Thomas White, and in 1950s and 1960s. Roughly coursed mixed stone with plain tile roof. Continuous nave and chancel. North and south aisles of unequal length, each slightly overlapping chancel, formerly with chapels within east ends. North aisle has schoolroom at west end, now chapel. North porch. Small medieval north stair turret.
Nave: mid C13, extended to west by two bays in C14. West end plinthless, with two buttresses. Stepped, chamfered, untraceried three-light west window with angular hoodmould, set in blocked two-centred arched architrave. Tw centred arched marble-stone west doorway of two chamfered orders. Ribbed door.
South aisle: east end mid C13, rest C13, extended with nave in C14. Plinthless, with one west, seven south and one east buttress. 1741 rainwater-head to west. Gabled. Square-topped west window of three cinquefoil-headed lights with cavetto mullions, blocked tracery above, and fragments of hoodmould. Four untraceried south windows of two pointed-arched lights, square-headed, with cavetto mullions but no hoodmoulds, probably of 1790. Broad C15 five-light traceried east window-with cavetto mullions, segmental head and hood-mould. South doorway with segmental-pointed arch and continuous bead moulding. Ribbed door.
Chancel: mid C13. Plinthless, with angle buttresses and gabled roof slightly higher than that of nave. Two chamfered lancets to south and three to north. Stepped three-light untraceried east window with cavetto mullions and hood-mould, restored except for head; resembling C18 aisle windows but said to be C16. (Anne Roper, The Church of St Augustine, Brookland, 1982 edition). Fragments of lower cill and chamfered jambs of blocked east lancets. Blocked rectangular chamfered openings in gable above.
North aisle: C13, extended with nave in C14. Low chamfered stone plinth to north elevation only. Angle buttresses and two to north. Lean-to roof. C14 east window with cusped intersecting tracery and hoodmould. Geometrical window to east end of north elevation with two cinquefoil-headed lights, a chamfered sexfoil and two plain open spandrels. Hoodmould with roll-and-hollow moulding and carved heads as label-stops.Two further north windows, one to east of porch and one between turret and lean-to, the former with broad C18 wooden shutters; both similar to C18 south aisle windows. Small medieval stair turret adjoining porch to west, on stone plinth with stone string and battlements; two small lights, one cusped, one rectangular. Second World War memorial clock. Lean-to to school room at west end of north elevation has rectangular wood mullion window of five leaded lights. West gable end has rectangular C19 window of two leaded lights above C19 ribbed door with cambered head, up three
North porch: gault and red brick in Flemish bond on stepped brick plinth with plain tile roof. Weatherboarded gable. Projecting eaves with moulded bargeboards. Formerly timber framed and probably partly open (evidence for large braces and a bracket). Beneath a collar, two large durns, moulded to outside with plain chamfer, roll and fillet. Large spandrels, each with quartrefoil circumscribed by roll and fillet, with a trefoil above and below. C18 shutter doors, lower panelled with ramped tops, upper boarded. Two-centred arched moulded stone inner doorway with broach stops. Ribbed medieval door.
Interior: structure: seven bay south arcade of double-chamfered pointed arches and six octagonal columns with moulded capitals and bases; two east capitals different from two central, but all four have similar bases; two to west added when church extended in C14.
Six bay north arcade, also of double-chamfered pointed arches only west two of which align with south arcade; five octagonal columns with moulded capitals and bases; that to east individual (and possibly marking chapel), two to centre similar to central capitals of south arcade, two west added during church extension. Bell capital corbels to east and west ends of both arcades, that to north east with carved face. Both arcades probably originally of dark marble stone, which has been extensively replaced. Continuous hood-mould to nave and south aisle arcade only, south east chapel down one step. Three internal flying buttresses to north aisle. West end of north aisle partitioned off as school-room from late medieval date. Narrow doorway to north turret with triangular head, hollow chamfer and broach stops. Three-centred arched doorway with hollow chamfer and broach stops in school-room wall, in north west corner of penultimate west bay of north aisle.
North and south chancel lancets have chamfered rere-arches springing from slender columns with bell capitals and bases. Continuous hood-mould to heads of lancets. Traces of outer jambs of original east window, and bell bases of columns of rere-arches. Continuous C13 string round chancel at cill level. Fragment of similar string half way up south wall of south chapel. Blocked fireplace in north east corner of school-room.
Roof: five rebated crown-posts to nave, all apparently same date, on square bases; with moulded tie-beams. Two square thick-set crown-posts to east end of south aisle (probably marking extent of chapel), broadly chamfered, with moulded capitals and bases on moulded tie-beams. Six crown posts to rest of south aisle; that to east set close to west post of chapel; all posts octagonal and slender but mouldings of five to east similar to those of chapel. Tie-beams differently moulded from chapel and moulding continued along cornices. West crown-post and tie-beam plain.
North aisle roof ceiled. C19 chancel roof. Fixtures and fittings: C13 stepped piscina and two-seat sedile to south wall of chancel, with pointed arches with roll-and-fillet moulding and continuous pointed-arched hoodmould. Column with bell capital and base between the two seats. C13 piscinain south wall of south chapel with stopped hollow chamfer, and five red ochre cinquefoils. Rectangular aumbry to centre of east wall of chancel. Cylindrical lead font of circa 1200 with signs of Zodiac and Labours of the Months in two arcaded rows under cable and zig-zag mouldings. Three C13 Resurrection castings below rim. Unique in Britain but similar to that at Saint Evroult-de-Montfort, Normandy. Possibly made in North France. (G. Zarnecki, English Romanesque lead Sculpture, 1957). Set on cylindrical stone base with concrete to top. Carved stone fragments by tomb in south chapel (possibly connected with font base?). Three medieval pews now north west end of nave.
Re-laid medieval floor tiles in various parts of church. Altar possibly a C17 Communion table. Mid C17 rails to east one and half bays of south arcade with moulded rail and symmetrical balusters on chamfered base. Bowed later C17 rails part of way across west end of south east chapel with plain hand-rail and turned balusters. C18 pulpit, formerly three-decker, now two, with fielded panels and Greek key pattern to cornice. Hexagonal veneered and corniced sounding board serves as table at west end.
Box pews circa 1738 with fielded panels, to north aisle, nave, and part of south aisle. Royal Arms 1739 over south door. Large chest, reputedly from Spanish Armada. Funeral hudd. Complete set of scales, weights and measures from Hundred of Aloesbridge, 1795, said to be oldest set in existence. Benefactors board 1821.
Decoration: wall-painting of second half of C13 at east end of south wall of south chapel, depicting martydom of St. Thomas a Becket. Traces of red and black paint on jambs and mouldings throughout church. C14 stained glass in east window of north aisle.
Monuments: Brass in north wall of chancel to Thomas Leddes, d.1503. Table tomb at east end of south chapel to John Plomer, d.1615; rendered brick on plain chamfered plinth with recessed side-panels and black Bethersden marble top bearing inscription. Memorial tablet, south wall south aisle, to Henry Read, d.1777; white marble with gadrooned gravy boats to top and black marble obelisk with white urn on consoled plinth.
Said to be on Saxon site. Detached belfry of circa 1200 (q.v.) (Anne Roper,Op.cit.; John Newman, Buildings of England Series, West Kent and the Weald, 1980).
Listing NGR: TQ9896825825
This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 27 October 2017.