Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

30/10/2023 04:17


c 1215 Grade I Listed
St Mary the Virgin Parish Church
Vicarage Lane
No demography records found for this building

No demography records found for this building

YearText Photos 
c 1180 This is an exceptionally fine village church, built of flint rubble and ragstone, and dating from about 1180. It has good lancet windows, and later Decorated work. There were many alterations and additions during the 15th century, and these include the clerestory, the aisle windows, and the north chancel chapet. The church is, however especially noteworthy for the superb quality of its furnishings, a number of which were the gift of a former vicar, the Rev. Alard Charles de Bourbel, B.O., (1900-1935), with other items contributed by the Rev. Robert Henry lsaac Williams, M.A., (1935-1957), and others of the parish. Amongst the many objects of interest in this church are:-

OLD NORTH DOORS, these are late 14th century.

ANCIENT SHRINE, on the easternmost pillar of the north arcade; this has a double canopy with pinnacles, and was once painted. It was originally used for displaying the lights of St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist - hence the double canopy. It is now a war memorial.

ANCIENT CHEST, of circa 1200. The ironwork is original but the locks are modern. The three locks had separate keys, and were kept individually by the vicar and two churchwardens. The chest had been hewn from the solid trunk of a yew tree - hence the name travelling trunk - and it is believed to have been placed here originally by Royal Command, to collect for the Crusades.

WINE-GLASS PULPIT. This is Tudor, and is in its original state, except for the top moulding.

OLD OAK SCREEN, near the pulpit, is part of some 16th century linenfold panelling which was discovered in 1936 in the old Smithy in the High Street, when that building was demolished to make way for the present garage. The panelling had been placed, reversed, against the wall of the smithy, for horses to kick against.

PLAQUES OF DERBYSHIRE ALABASTER, in the triptych over the altar in St. Catherine's Chapel, are perhaps the greatest treasure in the church. The two left hand panels are of 15th century work, and show (left) Henry 11,Becket and the four knights, and (centre), the martyrdom of St. Catherine. The right hand panel is modern, the work of an Italian named Tossi.

ANTIQUE BRASS CANDLE SCONCES. These are on the arcade pillars, and are particularly handsome. They were installed in 1937 as a gift by the Rev. Isaac Williams.

THE LEWIS ORGAN, also given by the Rev. lsaac Williams, came from Bexley.

THE EAGLE LECTERN, is 17th century, and came from Calais. The FONT is believed to be 12th century, and was formerly a 'cupboard font', that is, it had once domed and semi-circular doors to enclose the bowl.

Elham Study
c 1850 Water Farm Church Bryan Badham 10169
St. Mary the Virgin Bryan Badham 10170
c 1915 Showing the now demolished cottages Derek Boughton 10115
1929 View from Elham Station Bryan Badham 10049
Five Bells St Mary's Church Derek Boughton 10159
c 1940 Five Bells St. Mary's Church Bryan Badham 10168
No ownership records found for this building

No ownership records found for this building