933/17/146 HARTY FERRY ROAD
CHURCH OF ST THOMAS THE APOSTLE
(Formerly listed as:
HARTY FERRY ROAD
CHURCH OF ST THOMAS)
The nave is C11 or early C12 in origin. The N aisle was added c.1200 and the chancel built or rebuilt around the same time. The S porch is also C13. The church was renovated in the late C14 or early C15, when the windows were redone, the buttresses added, the N chapel added, and the S chapel added or rebuilt. Some earlier elements, including the chancel windows and the arch to the S chapel may have been reset at this time. The church was restored in 1878-80 by Joseph Clarke, and has had some C20 restoration.
Stone rubble, mostly ragstone but also including some tufa, septaria and flint. Tiled roofs, Timber weatherboarded bellcot.
Nave and chancel without structural division, N aisle, N chancel chapel, N porch, S nave chapel. Small belfry over W end of nave.
A small, low church. The nave and chancel roof ridge line is continuous, but the roofs are all distinct. The N aisle is roofed with the nave and has a catslide roof coming down too low for windows. The N chapel is taller with a low pitched roof and two-light Perpendicular windows; the S chapel is similar, but somewhat smaller. Gabled N porch with C13 outer opening. There is a massive offset buttress in the centre of the W wall, with two further offset buttresses of differing forms on the S nave wall and on the S chapel. Perpendicular windows on either side of the central W buttress. Blocked S nave door with a four-centred head, and one Perpendicular two-light window in the S nave wall and another in the S chapel. Chancel E window is Perpendicular, but there is a C12 round-headed window in the N wall, and a similar window in the S wall with a square-headed low-side window to the west of it. Small weather boarded belfry over the W end of the nave.
The C12 origins of the church are more clearly apparent inside. There is no chancel arch, but the mid C14 screen stands in its original position. Door and stair to former rood loft in the N wall. The door cuts an earlier aumbry recess. There is a fine, late C14 image niche in the chancel. The S chapel opens through a C12 arch on chamfered imposts, possibly the chancel arch reset. The two bay N arcade of c.1200 has plain pointed arches and chamfered arches; the central pier is formed from a length of walling, and has a partial, blocked C12 window above it. Simple late C14 or C15 chamfered arches to the N chapel. The bellcot is supported by a massive, probably C15, frame at the W end of the church that has corner posts with diagonal and crossed braces.
Rood screen of c.1350-75 with square-headed lights with ogee tracery, plain lower panels, and a moulded cornice. The screen goes around the N chapel E respond with original, plain panelling, and then continues across the N chapel. The loft is lost. Fine late C14 image niche in the chancel with a nodding ogee, gabled and pinnacled frame has traces of paint on the back. It stands on a C19 corbel. Another image niche in the S chapel, and a partial, rebated aumbry in the N chapel. A very fine chest or 'Flemish Kist' of c.1375 carved with a battle scene. Following the theft, and return, of this chest in 1987, a delicate metal screen to close the S chapel was installed.
The N and S chapels have late medieval low pitched roofs with moulded beams. C19 roofs in nave and chancel, the nave roof with crown posts. C19 timber pulpit with open tracery panels based on the screen. Very plain C19 nave benches.
Only a few monuments, including two brasses, one in the nave for Habram Fare, d.1512, the other C17 inscription in the N chapel. Very good late C19 and C20 glass, notably a late C20 window of grazing sheep and another with an owl. There are two pieces of medieval glass in the W windows. Royal arms of George II.
Three good chest tombs in the churchyard.
Harty is now very isolated, and has little settlement, but it was once more important as a crossing point of the Swale, with a ferry in use until 1946. Harty the place is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086, but there is no record of a church at that date, but this does not necessarily mean that one did not exist as many churches were omitted from Domesday book. The earliest fabric is C11 or early C12, and as was common, the church was extended with a N aisle and larger chancel at the end of the C12 or the beginning of the C13. The chancel was renovated or refurnished in the late C14. The screen is dated to c.1350-75, and the Flemish chest to c.1375. The image niche, with its nodding ogee arch, is probably contemporary. The N and S chapels are of a similar date, although it is possible that the S chapel, entered through a C12 arch, was rebuilt at this time. Like most medieval parish churches, Harty was restored in the C19. The architect, George Austin, was the Canterbury diocesan architect.
Pevsner, N., Buildings of England, North-East and East Kent (1977), 343-4
Lambeth Palace Library, Incorporated Church Building Society, file 08322.
St Thomas the Apostle, Harty: Guidebook (1999)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The church of St Thomas the Apostle, Harty, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Late C11 or early C12 parish church with N aisle of c.1200
* N and S chapels late C14 or early C15
* Fine medieval furnishings, including very good screen of c.1350-75, contemporary image niche, and chest of c. 1375.
* Sympathetically restored in 1887-90 with some good C20 stained glass
* Very beautiful setting on the north bank of the Swale, opposite Whistable, as one of the last vestiges of the medieval settlement of Harty.