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Monument details

HER Number:TQ 55 NW 1
Type of record:Listed Building
Name:Church of St Bartholemew, Otford

Summary

Nave 11th century Saxon. Tower late 12th century in origin. Chancel rebuilt in the 14th century. South aisle and South chapel early 16th century. Probably 16th century North vestry. West porch of 1637. Church restored and the South arcade rebuilt in 1863 to designs by G E Street. Further restoration in the 20th century. Flint and stone rubble. Some brick in the tower, which is rendered. Timber West porch. Tiled roofs and shingled spire. Nave with South aisle. West tower with West porch. Chancel with North vestry and South chapel.


Grid Reference:TQ 5285 5930
Map Sheet:TQ55NW
Parish:OTFORD, SEVENOAKS, KENT

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Early Medieval or Anglo-Saxon to Modern - 1001 AD to 2050 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1273170: CHURCH OF ST BARTHOLOMEW

Full description

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[TQ 5284 5930] St. Bartholomew's Church [NAT] (1) The Church of St. Bartholomew, Otford, has Norman foundations. (2) In normal use. (3) 5280 OTFORD OTFORD The Green Church of St Bartholomew TQ 5259 21/744 10.9.54. B GV 2. Nave and chancel, South aisle with South chancel chapel, West tower with porch. Flint rubble masonry of early Norman period. Squat, rendered battlemented tower with low, shingled spire. Timber West porch dated 1637. Small North-east vestry with Tudor windows. Tower circa 1200. North aisle windows C14, South aisle early C16. Restoration of 1863 by G E Street included new arcade and chancel arch. Restored Jacobean font cover. Some C17 stained glass panels, and 2 windows by Hardman. Late Perpendicular wall tomb; and monuments to Polhill family by Cheere. All the buildings in The Green form a group. (4) St Bartholomew. The north and west walls cannot be later than 11th century. An internal recess in the west wall has been identified by A D Stoyel as a wafer oven. On the south side a late Perp Aisle, called the 'the newe ile' in a will of 1532 according to A. D. Stoyel, gabled and continuing eastwards as a chapel. The Dec. east window is of 1845. The tower is Transitional. Full architectural description. (5) TQ 528593 St Bartholomew. The east wall of the Norman west tower of Otford church is built over the west wall of an earlier nave which has quoins of rubble. The tower is not very obviously Norman when seen from outside, but the inner faces of its windows and west door- way are straight-forwardly Norman. The surviving north wall of the earlier nave is thus indicated as Anglo-Saxon.


Listing Text:

OTFORD

771/21/744 THE GREEN
10-SEP-54 OTFORD
CHURCH OF ST BARTHOLOMEW

GV I
NAME OF CHURCH: St Bartholomew, Otford

DATES OF MAIN PHASES/ NAMES OF ARCHITECTS
Nave C11. Tower late C12 in origin. Chancel rebuilt in the C14. S aisle and S chapel early C16. Probably C16 N vestry. W porch of 1637. Church restored and the S arcade rebuilt in 1863 to designs by G E Street. Further restoration in the C20.

MATERIALS
Flint and stone rubble. Some brick in the tower, which is rendered. Timber W porch. Tiled roofs and shingled spire.

PLAN
Nave with S aisle. W tower with W porch. Chancel with N vestry and S chapel.

EXTERIOR
A small, low church with a massive, squat W tower. The tower, which is rendered, is unbuttressed and undivided externally, and has an embattled parapet and a low broach spire. There are tiny, narrow lights in the lower part of the tower. The W porch is dated 1637 and has a pair of panelled outer doors. The porch walls have close set, heavy framing with an open colonnade of chunky, turned baluster shafts above, and there is an openwork pendant in the gable. The N and W walls of the nave are C11, possibly pre-Conquest, and retain early quoins; the buttresses are of 1863. The two N windows are C14, and are of two lights in two different patterns. The chancel is also C14, and has an excellent, and very large, E window of five lights, renewed c.1854, with Decorated tracery and a blocked N window similar to one in the nave. C16 NE vestry at right angles to the chancel with Tudor arched widows and an inserted N door. The S aisle and S chapel have C16 windows with cusped lights under depressed heads with hood moulds, and there is a C16 S door in the aisle, also with a depressed head and hood mould.

INTERIOR
The three-bay S arcade, which replaces a timber arcade, of 1863 by G E Street, in a C13 style with round piers with moulded capitals and arches of two, chamfered orders. Street also rebuilt the arch to the S chapel and replaced the chancel arch, which is wide and has continuous chamfers. The entrance to the W tower is of door, rather than arch, proportions, and is closed by a door. Probably of the late C12, it is pointed and has two orders towards the nave. The NE vestry has an internal recess that has been identified as a wafer oven for baking communion wafers. The chancel is dominated by the very large monument to Charles Polhill, d.1755, and it also has an excellent C16 Easter Sepulchre tomb in the N wall.


PRINCIPAL FIXTURES
The monuments are particularly notable. Excellent early C16 Easter Sepulchre-style tomb in the chancel N wall, with a damaged panelled tomb chest and above it a recess with panelled vaulting and a canopy with a brattished cornice. Also in the chancel a group of monuments to members of the Polhill family, including David Polhill, d.1754, by Cheere, a fine bust on a scrolly pedestal with an obelisk behind. Charles Polhill, d. 1755, very large monument, also by Cheere, with a full length standing figure in a toga leaning on an urn and below him, two reading female figures. Also Charles Polhill, d. 1805, by J Bacon, Jnr, a hanging monument with a portrait profile and a willow tree over an urn. Good collection of hatchments.

Polygonal font with good C17 font cover. Glass: two small C17 panels in the E window, including the arms of Lennard, and two S aisle windows by Hardman c.1868. Mid C19 nave benches, low with shaped ends and doors, probably c.1845.

HISTORY
There was Bronze and Iron age settlement in Otford, and Roman remains have also been found. The Archbishops of Canterbury held Otford from as early as the late C9, and the archiepiscopal palace there was rebuilt by Archbishop Warnham in the early C16 in magnificent style, but it is unclear if this was in any way related to the rebuilding of the S aisle and chapel of the church at much the same time. Otford church was a chapel of nearby Shoreham, and the earliest fabric in the church is the C11 N wall. The tower was probably added in the late C12. The chancel was rebuilt in the C14 and the nave provided with new windows. The S aisle and S chapel are early C16, and were referred to as `the newe ile┬┐ in a will of 1532. The Easter Sepulchre tomb in the chancel may be connected to the rebuilding work. The church is said to have been damaged by fire in the mid C17, and the timber arcade replaced by Street was apparently installed after the fire, presumably replacing a medieval arcade. The tower is unusually short, and photographs of it with some of the render removed show that the SW corner, at least, is brick, and it is possible that this is a C17 repair. The low door to the tower may also be a C17 reworking using older materials. There was some refurnishing and repair c.1845, when the E window was renewed; the nave seating is probably also of this date. The church was extensively restored in 1863 to designs by G E Street (1824-81), who was a leader of the Gothic Revival, including the replacement of the nave and chancel arcades and of the chancel arch. There were further repairs in the C20.

SOURCES
Lambeth Palace Library ICBS 06082, 11938
Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald (1969), 427-8
Lewis, S. A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The church of St Bartholomew, Otford, is designated at Grade I for the following principal reasons:
* Parish church, with C11 nave. Tower late C12, chancel C14. S aisle and S chapel early C16, W porch of 1637. Church restored, S arcades and chancel arch rebuilt 1863 to designs by G E Street.* Excellent C16 Easter Sepulchre tomb. Two monuments by Cheere, to David Polhill, d.1754 and Charles Polhill, d. 1755. * C17 font cover.

Description from record TQ 55 NW 321: The following text is from the original listed building designation: 1. 5280 OTFORD OTFORD The Green TQ 5259 21/744 Church of St Bartholomew 10.9.54. B GV 2. Nave and chancel, South aisle with South chancel chapel, West tower with porch. Flint rubble masonry of early Norman period. Squat, rendered battlemented tower with low, shingled spire. Timber West porch dated 1637. Small North-east vestry with Tudor windows. Tower circa l2OO. North aisle windows Cl4, South aisle early C16. Restoration of 1863 by G E Street included new arcade and chancel arch. Restored Jacobean font cover. Some Cl7 stained glass panels, and 2 windows by Hardman. Late Perpendicular wall tomb; and monuments to Polhill family by Cheere.
[All the buildings in The Green form a group.] Listing NGR: TQ5285159308 (9)


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

<2> MHLG (2360/11/A, April 1949) 71 (OS Card Reference). SKE47020.

<3> F1 CFW 07-AUG-64 (OS Card Reference). SKE42465.

<4> DOE(HHR) Dist of Sevenoaks Kent RD 1975 188 (OS Card Reference). SKE40999.

<5> Bldgs of Eng W Kent and the Weald 1980 445-446 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE38003.

<6> AS Architecture 3 1978 1075 (H M Taylor) (OS Card Reference). SKE37384.

<7> Field report for monument TQ 55 NW 1 - August, 1964 (Bibliographic reference). SKE2789.

<8> Diocese of Rochester (Tim Tatton-Brown), 1994, Otford, St Bartholemew: Diocesan church survey (Unpublished document). SKE29459.

<9> 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 (2360/11/A, April 1949) 71.
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 CFW 07-AUG-64.
<4>OS Card Reference: DOE(HHR) Dist of Sevenoaks Kent RD 1975 188.
<5>OS Card Reference: Bldgs of Eng W Kent and the Weald 1980 445-446 (J Newman).
<6>OS Card Reference: AS Architecture 3 1978 1075 (H M Taylor).
<7>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TQ 55 NW 1 - August, 1964.
<8>Unpublished document: Diocese of Rochester (Tim Tatton-Brown). 1994. Otford, St Bartholemew: Diocesan church survey.
<9>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #29258 church, ]