Church of St Peter and St Paul


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of St Peter and St Paul, Church Street


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Statutory Address:
Church of St Peter and St Paul, Church Street

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

Sevenoaks (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 52279 61590



SHOREHAM CHURCH STREET (north side) Church of St Peter and St Paul

10-SEP-1954 I Church sited on the edge of a village rich in historic buildings. The foundations of the Norman chancel were found under the nave in 1956-1957. C14 north wall; north chapel early Perpendicular; other features mostly late Perpendicular; c.1775 west tower, rebuilt after a fire. Chancel rebuilt and the north east vestry/organ chamber added in the 1860s restoration by Woodye; restoration in the 1950s.

MATERIALS: flint and stone rubble with freestone dressings; the tower flint with red brick dressings; tiled roofs.

PLAN: nave and chancel in one, west tower; south bay south arcade; north chapel, north east vestry/organ chamber; south east chapel, south west porch.

EXTERIOR: chancel with coped gable, diagonal buttresses with set-offs and three-light east window of 1953 (following war damage) with reticulated tracery. One Decorated and one Perpendicular style window to the nave. The C14 north chapel (now the vestry) has a two-light window (tracery much renewed), Woodyer's eastward extension is largely Decorated style but has a three-light Perpendicular east window. The south aisle is buttressed, one buttress partly rebuilt in red brick with three-light Perpendicular windows (much stonework renewal) with cinquefoil-headed lights and Tudor arched heads. Very lively design to three-stage tower with red brick banding to the lower and clasping toothed pilaster buttresses to the upper stages, above a red brick platband. The tower has a pierced red brick parapet and obelisk pinnacles with ball finals. Windows and doorways in the tower have proud architraves with keyblocks and capitals; pedimented clockface on west face, 1857 clock. The south west porch is remarkable: timber-framed and gabled with renewed cusped and pierced bargeboards. Although it has been extensively repaired the front posts and spandrels each side of the doorway are constructed out of the solid. The spandrels are carved with blind tracery. Much of the construction above the doorway and of the side walls appears to be C19 with ad hoc repairs, but the design of a plain crown post braced to the collar purlin may be original. The timber framed sides of the porch sit on a flint base and the tier of panels below the middle rail have flint infill. Above the rail are, to the front, five-light square-headed timber mullioned openings with traceried heads and, to the rear, panels filled with diagonal boarding.

INTERIOR: The nave has a medieval four bay Perpendicular crownpost roof, the crownposts with moulded capitals and bases and four-way bracing. The south chancel chapel has a probably late medieval boarded, panelled roof with flat carved bosses at the intersections of the ribs and a C19 parclose screen, made locally. Six bay south arcade with engaged shafts with capitals and moulded arches, one and half bays to the chancel. Probably late medieval tie beam and common rafter roof to the south aisle. The chancel roof is 1860s and is boarded and panelled, including one bay of the nave. C19 reredos of stone panels with painted figures under ogee arches, the stone panelling extending across the width of the sanctuary. Octagonal responds to the moulded arch into the north chapel. Stone flag flooring to nave, salvaged from Shoreham Place and laid in 1955-1957. Impressive late medieval (restored) timber screen with rood loft with lierne vaulting extends across the width of the nave and south aisle, the main doorway to the nave off-centre and the south end projecting across one of the aisle windows. This is said to be the only surviving screen in Kent that extends across the full width a church.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Plain medieval octagonal stone font with a rustic conical font cover, said to be Tudor. 1827 timber drum pulpit designed by Blore, originating from Westminster Abbey: a timber drum with well-proportioned blind Gothic tracery below crocketted gables. Organ case 1730, also from Westminster Abbey. Simple nave benches with open backs and ends. Stained glass includes a 1903 Morris and Co window to Burne-Jones's design. C14 tomb canopy on north wall. Wall monuments include four of early C18 date by Henry Cheere (Pevsner) to members of the Borrett family.

The path to the church from the village is planted with Irish yews, said to date from 1867. SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: St Peter and St Paul is a largely medieval church with an outstanding late medieval timber-framed porch and very lively polychromatic C18 tower. The interior includes a late medieval rood screen, late medieval roofs and good quality fittings re-used from Westminster Abbey.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Payne, A, Gliddon, P, Edwards, V, Benbow, , David, E, St Peter and St Paul, Shoreham, Kent, (1995)
Pevsner, N, Newman, J, The Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald, (1980), 521-522


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 16 Feb 2006
Reference: IOE01/15032/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ron Garvey. Source Historic England Archive
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