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Monument details

HER Number:TR 13 NE 107
Type of record:Listed Building


Grade I listed building. Main construction periods 950 to 1899. Late Saxon and Norman Church constructed during the 11th century with 13th century alterations. A restoration took place during the 1870s. It is constructed of flint and stone with a plain tile roof

Grid Reference:TR 19506 39749
Map Sheet:TR13NE

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Early Medieval or Anglo-Saxon to Modern - 950 AD to 2050 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1242255: CHURCH OF ST OSWALD

Full description

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Description from record TR 13 NE 17:
(TR 19503975) St. Oswald's Church (NAT) (1) The church of St Oswald, Paddlesworth, contains Late Saxon and Norman work. (2) In normal use. (3) St Oswald. Paddlesworth. A tiny Saxo-Norman church in a field. Nave and short, low chancel. Primitive walling, but Caen stone quoins. Original north and south nave windows and two doorways, the south one shafted in a lame sort of way. Gouty left shaft decorated with zigzags. Big volute capital. The chancel arch also shafted with big scallops on the capitals. Lancets in the chancel. (4) 13/1C Church of St Oswald, Paddlesworth. Grade B. One of the smallest churches in Kent. Chancel and nave with arch for bell at its west end. Saxon. (5) Paddlesworth Church said to be the smallest in Kent. Some of the architectural features, and its dedication to St Oswald points to a pre-Conquest date. Restoration in the 1870s revealed fragments of a Norman arch in the west wall which was in a ruinous state and post-dated the rest of the building. In the centre of the nave under the church, a large stone without date or inscription was found and under it a massive oak coffin with no indication of who it belonged to. (6) Additional bibliography - not consulted. (7) TR 195397. St Oswald's Church, Paddlesworth. Main fabric: Saxo-Norman. The present church, picturesquely standing in the midst of open fields on the Downs, about 3 miles north-west of Folkestone is almost certainly a post-Conquest sructure but nevertheless has stong Anglo-Saxon affinities. These may be seen in the monolithic jambs and pseudo-arched, monolithic, round heads of the three small original windows of the nave. By constrast, the south doorway of the nave and the chancel-arch show marked and well-developed Norman technique, while the north doorway is of the type so common in the Saxo-Norman churches of the Cotswolds, with a flat lintel above which a semi-circular tympanum is enclosed beneath a semi-circular arched head. (8) Listed Grade I. (9)
The earliest visible parts of this small chapel must date from the 12th century. There is no evidence for late 11th cent. work (Quarrstone, herringbone, etc.) as at Lyminge or Postling, certainly nothing Anglo-Saxon.

The 12th century church has a small rectangular nave and chancel with opposing north and south doors in the nave. The door on the north is plain with a simple tympanum over it externally. The south doorway is more unusual in having as its west jamb a semi-octagonal shaft with chevron on it and a voluted capital, and on the east a pair of slender shafts on the inner and outer arises of the jamb, and with semi-scalloped capitals over. This doorway must be of later 12th cent. date. The chancel arch and jambs are similar with separate thin shafts (in two places) and scalloped capitals. Above are champered abaci and a semi-circular arch. The earliest windows are small, high up double-splayed affairs (an opposing pair at the west end of the nave, one on the S.E. side of the nave and one on S.W. side of chancel with Bath restored external heads). Externally they have monolithic semi-circular heads and small jambs (? all in Caen). Internally the jambs and head are of rough flint and ironstone, similar to the rough walling itself. There is a rough low plinth (? bench) at the west end of the nave against the N and S walls (w. of the doorway).

In the 13th century an opposing pair of lancets were put in at the east end of the chancel, and a widely splayed east lancet was also made. The eastern quoins were also remade at this time, and it is possible that the chancel was lengthened at this time. The eastern quoins are on end with some Hythe stone from the intratidal zone ( boring molluses) used for them. There is a mass dial on the S.E. chancel quoin. There are settlement cracks on the N and S sides of the chancel at the east end (are they over an earlier E. wall?). The are ? contemporary aumbry + piscina on the N and S sides. The piscina is on a corbel of stiff leaves.

At the east end of the south side of the nave is a recess, probably for an altar (? 12th or 13th cent.). It is partly obscured by the organ, and has a small squint through to the chancel.

On the north + south sides of the nave two-light windows were inserted later. That on the south has been totally restored externally in Portland stone (a pair of lancets) but it was perhaps later 13th cent. in origin. The north two light window is perhaps late pre-Reformation in date.

In the late 18th cent. (Hasted) the "east and only window in the chancel" was "boarded up, it is quite dark at noon-day". Hasted also describes the "large circular pillar, about two feet high, very ancient seemingly the basis of the font, which there is none now" (one was provided on this base in the mid 19th cent.). He also tells us that "there is no steeple or turret, but at the west end of the roof hangs one bell." A stone bell cote was also provided in the mid-19th century. Sir Stephen Glynne visited the church in 1868 and notes that the 13th cent. windows in the chancel had been reopened by this time (the east lancet contained coloured glass). He also says that "the nave is fitted with new open seats with heavy poppy ends" (they are still in place). Finally he mentions "the font is cup-shaped on a low base "and" a modern buttress of brick added on the west side.

Early in the 1870s, the Rector of Lyminge, Canon Jenkins brought in the Diocesan Architect, Mr Clarke, to carry out a restoration. The internal walls were stripped of plaster above the pew levels and three new massive buttresses were added at the west end (with large stone weatherings). Jenkins found "fragments of a Norman arch" in the west wall (? a west doorway) which he thought was of a later date. He then had a pair of large round-headed windows inserted in the west wall on either side of the central buttress (all the jambs are in Bathstone). The roofs were renewed (entirely in the nave, but the boarded ceiling in the chancel may conceal earlier rafters). There is one bell in the new stone bellcote apparently formerly there were three (Stahlschmidt), but in 1758, there was only one cracked bell. (11)

The following text is from the original listed building designation:

6/170 Church of St. Oswald 29.12.66 I
Parish church. Cll or earlier, with C13 alterations, restored C19. Flint and stone, with stone dressings and plain tile roof. Nave, with narrower chancel. Nave: no plinth. Three buttresses to west end. Bellcote with hollow-chamfered four-centred-arched head to west opening, to gable apex. Two large round-headed west windows. Three south windows; small doubly-splayed window under eaves towards west end, with rounded head formed from a single stone. Two-light window, with pointed lights and no overall architrave. Small window under eaves towards east end, with rounded head of one apparently splayed stone, but with singly-splayed jambs. Low round-headed doorway towards west end of south elevation, with small evenly-sized stone voussoirs and chamfered abaci. Engaged, chevroned, semi-octagonal column to west jamb, with moulded semi-octagonal base, and rectangular capital with large corner volutes. East jamb has a slender plain, engaged shaft to inner and outer side, the former with a moulded base, bothwith semi-scalloped capitals. Chancel: no plinth. Two south windows; one large, with slightly splayed or chamfered jambs and rounded head formed from single stone, and one plain-chamfered pointed lancet set high in wall. Broad, pointed plain-chamfered east lancet, and smaller similar window towards centre of north elevation. Nave, north elevation: one two-light medieval window towards east end, with plain-chamfered pointed lights and no overall architrave. Small, doubly-splayed window with rounded head formed from a single stone, set high towards west and. Unchamfered rectangular stone doorway towards west end, with rounded relieving arch of small evenly-sized stone voussoirs forming semi-circular tympanum with flint infilling. Interior: Structure: round-headed chancel arch with small, evenly-sized stone voussoirs, and chamfered abaci. Angle shaft with scalloped capital and moulded base in rebate to each side of west face of archway. Roof: C19 roof to nave. Chancel roof boarded in seven cants. Fittings: stiff-leaf bowl of a pillar piscina (shaft missing) towards east end of south wall of chancel. Small projecting stone with chamfered corners and base and scratch date 1570 towards south end of east wall of chancel. Rectangular aumbry with bevelled edges towards east end of north wall of chancel. Fort with shaped bowl on cylindrical plinth. Said to be one of the smallest churches in Kent. (J. Newman, Buildings of England Series, North-east and East Kent, 1983 edn).
Listing NGR: TR1512841576 (12)

Historic England archive material: BF051883 ST OSWALDS CHURCH, PADDLESWORTH File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued. Copyright, date, and quantity information for this record may be incomplete or inaccurate.

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

<2> Kent 1935 239 (J C Cox) (OS Card Reference). SKE45682.

<3> F1 ASP 26.04.63 (OS Card Reference). SKE42297.

<4> Bldgs of Eng NE & E Kent 1983 413 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE37770.

<5> DOE(HHR) Civil Parish of Paddlesworth Sept 1960 37 (OS Card Reference). SKE40879.

<6> Arch Cant 10 1876 xlix-liii (R C Jenkins) (OS Card Reference). SKE34517.

<7> Hants Newsletter 2 1975 nos 9 10 118 (OS Card Reference). SKE43688.

<8> AS Architecture 2 1965 483 (H M & J Taylor) (OS Card Reference). SKE37381.

<9> Field report for monument TR 13 NE 17 - April, 1963 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5341.

<10> DNH Listing 17-Oct-1988 (OS Card Reference). SKE39786.

<11> Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown), 1992, Paddlesworth, St Oswald:Diocesan church survey (Unpublished document). SKE29463.

<12> 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: Kent 1935 239 (J C Cox).
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 26.04.63.
<4>OS Card Reference: Bldgs of Eng NE & E Kent 1983 413 (J Newman).
<5>OS Card Reference: DOE(HHR) Civil Parish of Paddlesworth Sept 1960 37.
<6>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 10 1876 xlix-liii (R C Jenkins).
<7>OS Card Reference: Hants Newsletter 2 1975 nos 9 10 118.
<8>OS Card Reference: AS Architecture 2 1965 483 (H M & J Taylor).
<9>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TR 13 NE 17 - April, 1963.
<10>OS Card Reference: DNH Listing 17-Oct-1988.
<11>Unpublished document: Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown). 1992. Paddlesworth, St Oswald:Diocesan church survey.
<12>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #32393 Church, ]