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Monument details

HER Number:TQ 85 NE 7
Type of record:Listed Building
Name:Church of St Giles, Wormshill


Grade II listed building. Parish church. First half 11th, 13th and 15th centuries, restored 1879-80 by Clarke. Flint with stone dressings and plain tile roof. West tower, nave, south porch, chancel, north chapel, north aisle.

Grid Reference:TQ 88185 57448
Map Sheet:TQ85NE

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Early Medieval or Anglo-Saxon to Modern - 1000 AD to 2050 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (II) 1060971: CHURCH OF ST GILES

Full description

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[TQ 88185743] St. Giles's Church [NAT] (1) The Church of St. Giles, Wormshill, contains Norman, 13th c. and 15th c. work. It was restored in 1879 and 1901. (2) In normal use. (3) Additional bibliography. (4)(5)(6)
In the south wall of the nave, just above the east side of the porch is a double-splayed window that at first sight looks like an Anglo-Saxon window. It was revealed in the major restoration of 1879 (and now contains, in the glass, a figure of St Giles commemorating this restoration). There are no stone quoins and the external jambs are now covered in cement render, so it is not possible to be certain that it is an Anglo-Saxon window. It is possible that it was an early Norman window which later had its external jambs removed. A church is mentioned here in Domesday Book when the pagan name 'Wodins Hill' is replaced by 'God's Hill'.

The external north-east corner of the nave (now in the north chapel) still has small-black, diagonally tooled quoins which must date from 12th century, while the western pier between the nave and north aisle has mouldings on either side at abacus level that suggest that it was originally a central pier for a smaller (? later 12th century) two arched entry into an earlier north aisle. The irregularity of the arch spacing also suggests this.

In the early 13th century a larger north aisle and north-east chapel (the Lady Chapel according to later wills) were added and a new arcade was made along the north side of the nave and chancel. This arcade has very plain chamfered pointed arches with equally plain abaci. Though restored in many places, it is possible to see quite a lot of the original Reigate stone jambs with comb-tooling, and a few bar-stops. The 2-light east window and the most eastern lancet in the north wall of the north chapel have medieval chalk-block jambs and rere-arches. They are both totally restored externally, but are perhaps originally of a late 13th century date. On the south side of this chapel is a square headed piscina. This chapel still contains a fine 'Hutch' chest with an incised decoration on the front. Compare a similar chest at Graveney church.

After piercing the west wall of the nave a small roughly square western tower was also added in the early 13th century. It too has a simple chamfered pointed arch into the nave. Above this arch on the south side is a now-blocked doorway into the first floor chamber of the tower. Externally (ie. on the N.W. + S sides), this chamber was lit by tall lancets. Those on the north and south are now blocked. There is an earlier (c. 13th cent.) roofline, above the present roof, in the east face of the tower.

The top stage of the tower above the string-course, was added in the 15th century. It has Perpendicular, 2-light trefoil-headed windows under square hood-moulds on the north, west and south sides and simple small rectangular window above the roof on the east side. The tower top has a crenellated parapet, and the whole of the outside of the tower was heavily restored in 1900. Externally it has a restored knapped-flint face with a slightly sloping plinth on the north and south sides.

The south doorway into the nave is also perhaps late 13th century, and there are the remains of an earlier (c. 13th cent.) window in the south wall of the nave (its Reigate stone west jamb and Rag sill). It was cut into and replaced by the early 16th century window. Also in the middle of the south wall of the chancel is a lancet which was reopened in the 19th century, but is perhaps an original feature.

The 3-light east window in the chancel is a fine late 14th century one with good early Perpendicular tracery in its head, and exceptionally its original stained glass is also there. Externally, however, the whole of this window has been restored with renewed Ragstone jambs with Bathstone tracery above.

In the 15th century, two 2-light Perpendicular windows with square hood-moulds were inserted into the south wall of the chancel. A similar window was also put into the north aisle. Both are in Ragstone with much renewal in Bathstone. The fine 2-bay crown-post roof in the north chapel must also date from the 15th century, as does the upper stage of the tower (see above). The semi-octagonal Ragstone bowl of the font (on a built plinth) is also probably 15th century).

Finally, in the early 16th century two-light windows with nearly rounded heads were inserted into the west wall of the tower and the south-east side of the nave. Only the former has a square hood-mould. Also at this time a new rood-loft must have been built. The now-blocked entrance door to this can be seen on the N.E. side of the nave (in the north chapel). A Fragment of the base of the Rood-screen now lies against the north wall of the north chapel. At about the same date, a stoup was added immediately east of the outside of the nave doorway, and a rough timber-framed porch was built with a small crown-post roof. It has large timber arch durns to the south, and now stands on a restored timber base-plate and flint socle. Externally it is weather-boarded.

There is a fine early 17th century hexagonal pulpit, with incised decoration, on the south-east side of the nave. It has, however lost its sounding board. The north-aisle roof, originally with a ceiling may also be 17th century. The Creed and Lord's Prayer Boards (now under the north side of the tower) were apparently made in 1794, and there is one bell of 1718).

This church was given a very heavy restoration by Joseph Clarke in 1879-80, and much of the external facing, window jambs, etc. date from this time. New lancets were added on the north side, as well as a new 2-light window at the west end of the north aisle. Three new external buttresses were added and the west side of the chancel arch was rebuilt. The nave crown-post roof and the chancel roof also date from this restoration, as do most of the fittings (pews, tile floors, etc.). (7)

Description from record TQ 85 NE 94:
The following text is from the original listed building designation:
1/265 Church of St. Giles 26.4.68. GV II Parish church. First half C11, C13 and C15, restored 1879-80 by Clarke. Flint with stone dressings and plain tile roof. West tower, nave, south porch, chancel, north chapel, north aisle. West tower : C13. 2 stages, slightly broadened to base, with moulded string beneath battlements. 2-light cusped belfry openings with hoodmoulds. Each face has one lancet (north and south blocked)towards top of lower stage. Uncusped 2-light hollow-chamfered window with hoodmould. Plain-chamfered 2-centred arched west doorway. Nave: first half C11, with later alterations. Plinthless. Broad restored lancet-type window to west of porch, small double-splayed round-arched window to right of porch, and tall 2-light C15 window in older blocked opening towards east end. South porch: possibly C14, repaired later. Timber-framed, weatherboarded, on flint plinth. Durns forming outer doorway. Plain, slender, 2 slightly octagonal crown post on small square base. Small plain inner door with 2-centred arched head, and deep stoup to east. Chancel: probably C13, plinthless, but narrower than nave. Two C15 windows of 2 cinquefoiled lights with hoodmoulds. Single lancet between them. Restored C15 east window of 3 cinquefoiled lights with tracery above. North chapel: C13, with one original lancet. Other C19 windows in C13 style. North aisle: One north lancet and one C15 cinquefoiled 2-Light window with hood- mould. C19 west window. Interior: Structure: 3-bay nave arcade of pointed arches with plain narrow chamfer. Rectangular piers, 2 with rolll moulding, 2 with plain impsots. Similar 2-bay chancel arcade with plain imposts. Broad C19 chancel arch. Lower C13 two- centred tower arch with broad plain chamfer with no imposts or piers. Blocked 4-centred arched opening in west wall of north chapel, to south side, possibly connected with a rood loft. Crown-post roof to north chapel, probably C15. Fittings: stone font built against east pier of central bay of nave arcade, said to be Cll. Aumbry in south wall of chancel, with shouldered head, adjacent to round- arched, hollow-chamfered piscina. Deep window seat to C15 south- east widnow, adjacent to piscina, possibly served as sedilia. Plain rectangular piscina in south wall of north chapel. C13 chest with trefoiled arcading, fragments of late C14 stained glass in east window, north chapel lancet and south-west chancel window. Fragment of Medieval screen with slender attached shafts and 4 cusped panels with ogee-moulded muntins. C17 communion table. C17 carved hexagonal pulpit with backboard. 2 early C19 boards beneath tower, with Creed, and Lord's Prayer. Monuments: Fragment of stone coffin lid set vertically in base of north wall of north chapel; tapering stone with plain raised stone cross. (J. Newman, Buildings of England Series, North East and East Kent, 1969).
Listing NGR: TQ8802757312 (8)

<1> OS 6" 1961 (OS Card Reference). SKE48369.

<2> MHLG Prov List Hollingbourne RD Nov 1960 93 12/1 (OS Card Reference). SKE47156.

<3> F1 ASP 28.06.63 (OS Card Reference). SKE42326.

<4> DOE (HHR) Borough of Maidstone Kent 14 December 1984 132 (OS Card Reference). SKE39915.

<5> Bldgs of Eng-North East & East Kent 1983 503-504 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE38130.

<6> Field report for monument TQ 85 NE 7 - June, 1963 (Bibliographic reference). SKE4401.

<7> Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown), 1993, Church Survey - St Giles' Church, Wormshill. (Unpublished document). SKE7590.

<8> English Heritage, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Map). SKE16160.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>OS Card Reference: MHLG Prov List Hollingbourne RD Nov 1960 93 12/1.
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 28.06.63.
<4>OS Card Reference: DOE (HHR) Borough of Maidstone Kent 14 December 1984 132.
<5>OS Card Reference: Bldgs of Eng-North East & East Kent 1983 503-504 (J Newman).
<6>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TQ 85 NE 7 - June, 1963.
<7>Unpublished document: Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown). 1993. Church Survey - St Giles' Church, Wormshill..
<8>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #28071 Church, ]