Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of CHAPEL OF EASE OF ST LUKE
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Statutory Address:

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

Tunbridge Wells (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 65376 40842


TQ 64 SE BRENCHLEY MAIDSTONE ROAD, MATFIELD (east side) 6/147 Chapel of Ease of St Luke


Chapel of ease to Brenchley parish church. 1874-76 by Basil Champneys (Igglesden). Snecked local sandstone, the lower courses and those below the eaves brought to course; peg-tile roof; porch partly timber-framed; belfry roofed with wooden shingles; stack with stone shaft. Eclectic mixture of Decorated and Early English styles.

Plan: Nave; chancel; 3-bay south aisle; north west porch; south east organ chamber and vestry; west end bell turret with a broach spine riding the ridge.

Exterior: The chancel has low clasping buttresses with moulded batters. Moulded string course clips below the sill of the east window which is a Decorated style 3-light traceried window with a hoodmould. The north side of the church is the show front. The north wall of the chancel has a statue niche set high up with traceried spandrels with mouchettes, a cusped arch and a statue of St Luke. 2-light square-headed chancel window with a hoodmould and flamboyant mouchette tracery in the head. The nave has a low clasping buttress at the north east corner and 2 high set Decorated style 2-light north windows with hoodmoulds. The south aisle is under a catslide roof with 3 square-headed 3-light windows with trefoil-headed lights with pierced spandrels. Organ chamber under a catslide roof; flat-roofed vestry. The east door into the vestry is original with ovolo-moulded cover strips and a square- headed doorway with a decorative depressed ogee arch above. The west end masonry is thicker at the base of the west wall and rises to form a deep sill to the west window, which is square-headed with a relieving arch above, a coved architrave, a hoodmould with carved label stops and 3-lights, the tracery based on Decorated forms. Weatherboarded belfry with 2-light trefoil- headed mullioned windows on the north and south faces and a broach spire. This may be loosely based on the spire at St Mary Magdalen, Cowden. The north west porch is a timber-framed structure on a stone base with moulded cusped bargeboards on shaped brackets. Tall timber outer doorway with a deep hollow moulding and runout stops. Eclectic inner doorway with cylindrical jambs on 3-sided bases with idiosyncratic stops. The mouldings of the arch die into the jambs; hoodmould with vine-carved label stops. The door has ovolo-moulded cover strips and big strap hinges.

Interior: Plastered walls with exposed stone dressings to the windows. The design of the 3-bay nave roof may be based on the C14 roof at the parish church of Brenchley (q.v.). Moulded tie beams with traceried spandrels support tall, slender crown posts, each with 4 up-braces to a 6-sided canted, boarded roof divided into panels by moulded ribs. The chancel roof is 6-sided with carved bosses at the junctions of the ribs. The south aisle roof is a boarded panelled lean-to. Narrow 3-bay south aisle, the arcade, with octagonal piers with moulded capitals and double hollow-chamfered arches, the eastern respond is an Early English style engaged shaft with a bell capital. Tall, moulded chancel arch with similar engaged shafts; arch of matching design into the organ chamber. The most unusual feature of the interior is the openwork timber structure supporting the west end belfry: this functions internally as the baptistry, the bases of the 4 massive posts encased in panelling, each side with a tier of plain bracing high under the nave roof.

The chancel has a cinquefoil-headed recess on the south wall with an engaged crocketted finial and a trefoil-headed aumbry to the east. Doorway into the vestry matching the external vestry door on the east side. 1926 crested timber reredos with blind traceried panels flanked by dado panelling to north and south. Late C19 choir stalls. Book rests and communion rail with wrought iron standards. The nave and aisle have dado panelling and a set of late C19 open-backed benches, the bench ends with shaped moulded heads with carved scrolls. Small 1900 brass eagle lectern of a conventional design; pulpit tucked into the north east corner of the nave with dado panelling against the walls and a simple partition of panels with blind cusped arches. Octagonal font on a moulded wineglass stem.

Stained Glass and Monuments: The north side of the chancel has 2 identical wall tablets in a late C17/early C18 style commemorating Katherine Storr, died 1900 and Charles Storr, died 1922. East window 1892 by Kempe, chancel north window by Kempe, memorial date of 1896 but dated 1904 by Pevsner. Eastern window in the nave with a memorial date of 1906 by Kempe and Towers; western window with a memorial date of 1916.

The church cost £2,000 (Homan) and was built on land given by Mr Philip Roberts of the Hat Mills, Brenchley (Igglesden). The use of local precedents in the design is particularly interesting.

Sources. Homan, Roger, The Victorian Churches of Kent (1984). Pevsner, West Kent and the Weald (1976 edn.), Buildings of England series. Igglesden, C., A Saunter through Kent with Pen and Pencil, 36 vols. (1900- 1946), Vol.4.

Listing NGR: TQ6592541934


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Homans, R, Victorian Churches of Kent, (1984)
Igglesden, C, Saunter through Kent with pen and pencil, (1947)
Newman, J, The Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald, (1976)


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: 07 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/00763/20
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Laurie Jonas. Source Historic England Archive
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