Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Canterbury (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TR 14964 58018



GV II* The church was almost its present size in the late C12 or early C13. NW tower, N chapel, chancel and nave are all late C12 or early C13 in origin. Some C14 windows. Nave and chancel arcade rebuilt c.1468. Church extensively restored, and tower and E wall partially rebuilt in 1882-9 to designs by Carpenter and Ingelow. Redundant and stripped of its fittings c.1980.

MATERIALS: Flint rubble with stone dressings, tiled roofs. Tower partly tile hung.

PLAN: Nave and chancel with full N aisle and N chancel chapel. NW tower and SW vestry.

EXTERIOR Three stage W tower, partially rebuilt in the C19. The upper part is tile hung, and it has a tiled, pyramidal cap. The tower serves as the porch, and the NW door is C15 and has a pointed head in a square frame with carved spandrels; it partially blocks a late C12 or early C13 lancet. The outer doors are plain and possibly C15. The inner doorway is late C15 or early C16 and has tiny mouldings on attached shafts; the inner door is contemporary and has two panelled leaves with linenfold and shields. The W end of the nave has a three-light window with restored, Decorated style tracery, and below it a low, C19 vestry. The E walls of the aisle and chancel front directly onto the street. Rebuilt in the C19, both have Perpendicular style windows with a buttress between them. The chancel chapel N wall has two C14 windows with a C13 lancet between them. The aisle N wall, distinguished from the chancel chapel by a moulded plinth with simple flint flushwork, has three late C15 windows of three cusped lights in square heads. The S side has restored C14 windows of two lights in square heads, a former priest's door, and a C13 lancet towards the W end.

INTERIOR The interior was stripped of many of its furnishings when the church became redundant, a gallery was inserted under the W tower, and the SW vestry was converted to toilets and kitchen. There is no chancel arch, and the nave and chancel are roofed in one with a five-bay, C15 crown post roof. The aisle and chapel are also roofed together with a C15 common rafter roof with tie beams. Plain, chamfered tower arch. The five bay arcade is continuous and has octagonal piers with moulded capitals supporting four-centred, hollow-chamfered arches. One pier has an integral image niche with a plaque below it commemorating Thomas Prude, d.1468, 'per quem fit ista columpna' (who built this pier), which probably provides a building date for the whole arcade. Very elaborate C15 door to the former rood loft with an ogee hood mould with head stops; it cuts a former window of the C12 or early C13. On the S wall, the profile of the former rood loft is visible in the plaster. The remains of a former triple lancet window are visible in the chancel E wall.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES C15 or early C16 font, polygonal with shields and roses on the bowl and a panelled stem. Font cover, probably C17, in an ogee shape, and has an elaborate contemporary bracket to lift it. Some medieval glass fragments reset, and a Continental grisaille panel of the crucifixion. Also some good C19 glass. The church retains a good collection of monuments, including a brass for a priest, Robert Gosbourne, d. 1523, and wall tablets from the C17 to the C19. There are also some hatchments.

HISTORY The earliest visible fabric is C12 or early C13, but there may have been a church here before that date. By the early C13, the remains of the lancet windows in the N wall of the aisle and chapel, and in the E wall of the chancel, indicate that the church had a N aisle and N chapel by that date. The tower is also late C12 or early C13 in origin. It was refenestrated in the C14, and in the mid C15 it was greatly remodelled with the construction of the arcade and the roofs; it is likely that it was also at this time that the arches between the chapel and aisle, and between the chancel and nave, were removed. It was briefly used by the Huguenot congregation in the late C16 before they moved to the crypt of the cathedral, where the French protestant church remains today. The church was extensively restored, including the rebuilding of much of the E wall and the W wall of the tower in 1882-9 to designs by Richard Carpenter and Benjamin Ingelow. The church became redundant in the 1970s. It was used for a time by the Canterbury Environment Centre, and in 2007 was bought by the King's School.

SOURCES Lambeth Palace Library, ICBS 08658 Buildings of England: North-East and East Kent (1976), 236.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION The church of St Alphege with St Margaret, Canterbury, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Significant medieval parish church, C12 or early C13 in origin, extensively rebuilt internally in c.1468. * Interesting remaining fittings, including font, monuments and glass.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 04 May 2006
Reference: IOE01/14608/11
Rights: Copyright IoE Ms Eve Wilson. Source Historic England Archive
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