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Monument details

HER Number:TR 14 SE 136
Type of record:Listed Building


Grade I listed building. Main construction periods 1167 to 1932.. Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Grade A. The church was built between 1170 and 1200 with later works. The tower is probably 14th century. The clerestory, the roof and the Jesus Chapel were added in the 15th century.

Grid Reference:TR 1772 4381
Map Sheet:TR14SE

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval to Modern - 1167 AD to 2050 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1260547: CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN

Full description

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Description from record TR 14 SE 19:
[TR 17724382] Church [NAT] (1)

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Elham - c.1170-1200 with probable 14th century tower and 15th century work elsewhere. (2)

In normal use. (3)

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Grade A. The church was built between 1170 and 1200 with later works. The tower is probably 14th century. The clerestory, the roof and the Jesus Chapel were added in the 15th century. (For full description see list). (4)

Additional bibliography. (5)

Listed Grade I. (6)

A watching brief on an electricity service trench across the churchyard in 2011 encountered disarticulated human remains, most likely disturbed when the paths through the churchyard were constructed. A grave cut was also seen but the burial was below the depth of the service trench. The foundations of the door in the tower's western wall were exposed and seen to be of crushed chalk and flint gravel on to which the walls had been built. (8)

The following text is from the original listed building designation:

TR 1643-1743 ELHAM THE SQUARE (south side)
9/77 Church of St. 29.12.66 Mary the Virgin
Parish church. Late C12, C13, C14 and C15. Restored and re-fitted circa 1908-1911 by F.C. Eden for the Revd. A.C. de Bourbel. Flint stone dressings. North chancel chapel mixed flint and stone. Leaded roof to nave and north chancel chapel. Plain tile roof to chancel and porches. West tower, nave, south aisle, south porch, chancel slightly narrower than nave, north chancel chapel, north aisle, north porch. West tower: late C14 or early C15. Three stages. Flint plinth with chamfered stone dressing. Integral angle buttresses to each corner and further single buttress to north face. Battlements above a chamfered string. Leaded octagonal spirelet with weathervane. Pair of tall, chamfered, pointed lancets to each face of belfry. Single hollow-chamfered pointed lancet to second stage to north and west. Pointed-arched west window to lower stage with three trefoil- headed lights and tracery of vertical bars. Cavetto-moulded pointed- arched west doorway with hoodmould. Polygonal north-west stair turret, slightly taller than tower, and with plain parapet. Nave: four C15 clerestorey windows, each of two cinquefoil-headed lights with squared head and hoodmould, to south elevation, and four to north. South aisle: late C12 origin, re-fenestrated in late C14 or C15. No visible plinth. Two south buttresses and south-east angle buttress. Stone-coped parapet above a moulded string. Tall cinquefoil- headed west window without overall architrave. Three untraceried south windows, each with two cinquefoil-headed lights and cambered head and hoodmould, one to west and two to east of porch. East window similar but with square head. South porch: C19 or early C20. Timber-framed and rendered, on a brick and flint base. Gabled plain tile roof with bargeboards and pendant. Each side wall has wooden frieze of four hollow-chamfered four-centred-arched lights. Pointed- arched doubly plain-chamfered C14 inner doorway, with broach stops and scroll-moulded hoodmould. Chancel: C13. No plinth. Diagonal north-east and south-east buttresses and one south buttress. Four south windows; one C14 with two ogee-headed lights, a quatrefoil in an ogival, squared head and hoodmould, two tall and one shorter pointed plain-chamfered lancets. Plain-chamfered south doorway, with cambered head. Three separate stepped lancets to east end. North elevation rebuilt or refaced in red and grey brick towards top, rendered below; no windows. North chancel chapel: C15. Base of east wall battered (evidence of a north chancel vestry?). Low chamfered plinth to north. One east and two north buttresses. Lean-to roof behind plain stone-coped parapet. Hollow-chamfered gable-end string to east. East window of two cinquefoil-headed lights and squared head, with hoodmould partly formed from string. Two similar north windows with hoodmoulds. Rectangular recess (vestry aumbrey?) with brick head, stone jambs and chamfered stone cill, towards base of east wall. North aisle: late C12 origin, re-fenestrated in late C14 or C15. No plinth. Parapet and coping continued from north chancel chapel. String to west gable end. Two windows east of porch; one- with four-centred-arched head and two cinquefoil-headed lights, one pointed-arched with two ogee-headed lights and quatrefoil in an ogival. Window similar to the latter, to west of porch. Cinquefoiled west window without overall architrave. North porch: flint, with plain tile roof. 2 storeys, upper storey partly rebuilt, probably in early C20. North-east and north-west angle buttress. Shaped gable to north, the upper part red and grey brick above a cogged brick band. Unshaped south gable. Chamfered two-light brick mullion first-floor window to east, and another to west. Small pointed plain-chamfered ground- floor lancet to east. Doubly plain-chamfered pointed-arched north doorway with broach stops and hoodmould. Panelled double doors. Moulded pointed-arched late C13 or early C14 inner doorway, with undercut hoodmould (partly restored in wood) angled up at the ends with scrolled stops. Boarded medieval double doors. Interior: structure: four-bay late C12 north and south arcades to nave, of bevelled pointed arches with bar-and-ogee stops, each arch with a moulded hoodmould. Rectangular piers on low, chamfered plinths, with chamfered leading edges and moulded abaci. Broad pointed C14 chancel arch of two plain-chamfered orders, the inner order springing from a moulded image corbel. Late C14 or early C15 doubly hollow-chamfered pointed arch springing from moulded semi-octagonal columns, between chancel and north chancel chapel. No arch between chapel and north aisle. Pointed C14 or early C15 tower arch, outer moulding descending to ground with broach stops, inner springing each side from engaged semi-octagonal column with moulded capital and base. Scroll-moulded hoodmould with image-stops to three north-aisle and three south-aisle windows. Engaged colonnette to each side of west window of south aisle. Small hollow-chamfered rectangular window between parvis chamber and north aisle. Jamb of a blocked north-west chancel window. Moulded round-headed blocked doorway in north wall of chancel. Plain- chamfered pointed-arched doorway to north porch stair turret. Roof: combined king-post and side-purlin roof to nave. 5 trusses, with solid-spandrel arch-braces to tie-beams, and pendant posts on stone corbels. All members, including cornice, hollow-chamfered. King posts have hollow-chamfered leading edges with broach stops, and head- braces to ridge purlin. Very short queen posts with apparently integral braces to chamfered side purlins. Chancel roof boarded in seven cants. Lean-to butt-purlin roof to south aisle. C14 roof to north aisle, with three horizontal tie-beams between pendant posts. Arch braces with spandrel pierced with geometrical designs, forming pointed arches under tie-beams. Continuous purlin with firring- pieces between it and tie-beams. Grooves for boarded infilling between tie-beam and rafters. North chancel chapel has purlin borne on tie-beams with pendant posts and solid-spandrel arch braces. Fittings: pillar piscina to east end of south wall of chancel, with shelly black marble shaft, square bowl rectangular base, and triangular head. Heptagonal pulpit with traceried panels, offsetts to corners, and moulded base and cornice. Cylindrical font with deeply-chamfered bowl, short shaft, and ashlared base. C17 altar table with turned legs and shaped aprons. C18 altar rails with some moulded and some barley-sugar balusters, re-used at back of nave. Fittings, in a late C17 style, introduced by F.C. Eden, including black-and-white marble floor to sanctuary, nave pews with integral rear foot-ledge and inlaid scrolled supports, eight turned and enriched stalls to chancel, raised and moulded marquetry panelling with festoons, cherubs' heads, and inlaid double sedilia, tosmctuary, canopied reredos painted in L90? by J. Ripley Wilmer, canopied altars to north chancel chapel and south aisle, panelling in a C17 style with strapwork frieze dated 1924 round outer walls of chapel and aisles, north chapel screen of 1917 with open-topped segmental pediment, inlaid organ loft and enriched organ case, paintings, gilded candlesticks etc. Faldstool 1767. C15 alabaster tripych in south aisle. Hewn wooden chest, said to be C13. Set of eight C17 or C18 text boards to nave. Pair of early C19 Benefactors' boards. Decoration: medieval wall-painting to north- east pier of nave, a geometrical design in red on a cream ground. C17 or C18 painted text with gold oak-leaf surround, to same pier. Two C16 Netherlandish stained-glass roundels in east window of north chancel chapel, and some C15 heraldic glass. Monuments: fragment of a (?fan-) vaulted medieval stone canopy with green and red-painted pinnacles, against east pier of north nave arcade. Rest of monument replaced by small C18-style fluted, reeded and enriched stone altar with a shelly marble slab. (J. Newman, Buildings of England Series, North-East and East Kent, 1893 edn.).
Listing NGR: TR1772643819(10)

Historic England archive material: (11)

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

<2> MHLG (2074/11/A) September 1960 11 (OS Card Reference). SKE47007.

<3> F1 ASP 26-APR-63 (OS Card Reference). SKE42302.

<4> DOE(HHR) District of Elham RD Kent September 1960 11 (OS Card Reference). SKE41142.

<5> John Newman, 1969, The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent, Buildings of England North East and East Kent 1983 310-311 (J Newman) (Monograph). SKE7874.

<6> Phillips, A., 1963, Field report for monument TR 14 SE 19 - April, 1963 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5419.

<7> DNH Listing 17-Oct-1988 (OS Card Reference). SKE39786.

<8> Canterbury Archaeological Trust, 2011, Negative Watching Brief: St Mary's Church, The Square, Elham (Unpublished document). SKE17027.

<9> Diocese of Canterbury (Hugh Richmond), 2001, Elham, St Mary: Diocesan church survey (Unpublished document). SKE29617.

<10> English Heritage, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Map). SKE16160.

<11> Historic England, Archive material associated with St Mary's Church, Elham, Listed building (Archive). SKE54585.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>OS Card Reference: MHLG (2074/11/A) September 1960 11.
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 26-APR-63.
<4>OS Card Reference: DOE(HHR) District of Elham RD Kent September 1960 11.
<5>Monograph: John Newman. 1969. The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent. Buildings of England North East and East Kent 1983 310-311 (J Newman).
<6>Bibliographic reference: Phillips, A.. 1963. Field report for monument TR 14 SE 19 - April, 1963.
<7>OS Card Reference: DNH Listing 17-Oct-1988.
<8>Unpublished document: Canterbury Archaeological Trust. 2011. Negative Watching Brief: St Mary's Church, The Square, Elham.
<9>Unpublished document: Diocese of Canterbury (Hugh Richmond). 2001. Elham, St Mary: Diocesan church survey.
<10>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #32449 church, ]
<11>Archive: Historic England. Archive material associated with St Mary's Church, Elham, Listed building.

Related records

TR 14 SE 73Part of: Elham (Place)