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Monument details

HER Number:TR 13 NW 91
Type of record:Listed Building


Grade I listed building. Main construction periods 1067 to 1899. C12th and later, on alleged pre-Norman foundations

Grid Reference:TR 14545 39092
Map Sheet:TR13NW

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval to Modern - 1067 AD to 2050 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1356217: CHURCH OF ST MARY AND ST RADEGUND

Full description

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Description from record TR 13 NW 5:
[TR 14543909] St. Mary's Church [NAT] (1) The Church of St. Mary, Postling, in its present form, dates from about the C12th with additions in the C13th and C14th. However, "the lower portions of the walls of the nave, and of about two-thirds of the church, are undoubtedly pre-Norman". (2) In normal use. (3) Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Radegund, Grade I, The Street (West side). Late C11th or C12th, C13th and C19th. Restored 1896-7. (For full description see list). (4,5) The building is of mixed materials, mainly pebbles and unknapped flint, intermixed with a few fragments of tiles. The original plan comprises a nave, and square-ended chancel. The west tower was the first addition, followed by an east extention of the chancel. The south porch was erected in 1825. The lower portion of the walls of the nave and west part of chancel are dated at the end of the C11th; and the upper portion to the C13th. The nave has a king-post roof of Perpendicular work. The chancel roof was renovated in 1885. A pair of stone corbels on either side of the chancel may have supported a platform or gallery across the chancel. In spite of its fragmentary character it may be said that there are very few churches which contain remains of early wall-decoration so complete. (Not mentioned in Taylor and Taylor, AS Architecture). (6,7)

The nave and the western half of the chancel date from the late 11th century, having rag, ironstone and flint masonry, much of it laid 'herringbone'. The nave quoins and south and west door jambs and chancel arch piers are in Quarr stone. The original east quoins of the chancel are in rough ironstone blocks. There is an original round-headed window on the N. side of the nave also with external quoins in Quarr. The blocking for another original window on the south side of the original chancel may also be seen and ? also a blocked window above the S. nave porch. In the 13th century lancets were inserted at the west end of the chancel and on the S. side of the nave; also a new S. nave door. A small western tower with W. facing buttresses was also added. This is of ragstone rubble and has small lancets half way up on the S. + W. walls; also a 2-centred W. doorway with a half-roll around it. (The upper part of the tower was added is 1852 -see below). It was originally of wood according to Glynne. The two-centred chancel arch (above original jambs) is also 13th century with only simple chamfered rag voussoirs. The unique dedication stone (on wall of N. side of chancel) is probably 12th/13th century.

In the later 13th century (after it came to St Radigund's Abbey) the chancel was extended eastwards with slightly knapped flint and ironstone/rag. rubble walls, and on edge ragstone quoins. The eastern angle-buttresses may be later additions. The eastern lancet windows have trefoiled heads (totally restored externally in Bath stone) with original ragstone jambs and rear arches with chamfered faces (it still has its original side jambs). The east window was totally renewed in the 19th century, but had 'three trefoiled lancet lights within a pointed arch' according to Glynne (see also Petrie's view from S.E.).

There is a renewed trefoil-headed (bathstone) piscina in S.E. corner of the chancel. The side jambs and its sink are original. Also a rough trefoiled recess in the N. wall. At the N.E. corner of the nave another ? early 14th century window has a more elaborate moulded rere-arch, mostly in chalk block. There was perhaps a pair to this on the N.W. side of the nave, but it is all renewed (internally and externally) in Bath stone.

The roofs over the chancel (2 bays) and nave (3 bays) are fine 15th century crown-post affairs. Ceilings were removed and external boarding was added in the 19th century.

Very unusually the ends of the late 15th century rood beam (on large stone corbels) still survive with a carved and painted west face. A slot at the back indicates a rood loft running back to an offset in the east nave wall at the level of the chancel arch springing.

A second 'loft' ran across the middle of the chancel (more stone corbels and a carved beam end on the south survive).

On the S.E. side of the nave is a two-light perpendicular window with a square hood- mould externally. It has original glazing bars (renewed cill), and internally appears to be set in an earlier pointed-headed window.

The small square font on five shafts on a Bethersden marble base is restored, but may be 13th century.

The south porch was rebuilt in 1825 (G.S.C.W. 1825 on stone over doorway), it is now pebble-dashed externally, and the ten commandment boards came in 1828 (George Skeene 1828 on them). They are now on the W. wall of the nave.

The pairs of lancets at the top of the tower on the N. + S. faces were renewed in 1852 (W.S. 1852 on S.W. cill) and the tower was heightened and given a new shingled spire.

There was a major restoration in 1896-7 when the external window jambs, eastern buttresses (and N. buttresses) quoins were renewed.

Vallance's and Livett's articles on the church are an excellent summary of the history of the fabric (see ref. below). Virtually nothing new can be added to this.

There are 3 bells in the tower, two are pre-Reformation with inscriptions: 'Ora pro nobis, Sancte Petre' and 'Ora pro nobis, Sancte Maria'. They were made by William le Belyetere of Canterbury in the 1320s. The third is by Joseph Hatch of Ulcombe (1623). They were repaired and rehung in 1979 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. (9)

The following text is from the original listed building designation:

3/57 Church of St. 29.12.66 Mary and St. Radegund
Parish church. Late C11 or C12, C13 and C19. Restored 1896-7. Roughly coursed stone and flint rubble with stone dressings. Plain tile roofs. Shingled spire. West tower, nave, south porch, chancel. West tower: C13. No stages, no plinth. Integral pilaster buttresses to west. Stone eaves band. Splay-footed spire. Two C19 lancets to north and two to south of belfry. Small rectangular louvred opening towards top of west face. Small louvred lancet lower down to west and another to south. Moulded pointed- arched west doorway. Nave: south elevation: late C11 or C12. Roughly coursed flint with trends of herringbone stone-work. No plinth. One C19 lancet. One C15 two-light window with cusped ogee-headed lights, squared head and hoodmould. South porch: 1825. Roughcast, with gabled plain-tile roof. Round-headed outer doorway with datestone G.S. Inner doorway C.W. 1825 pointed-arched and chamfered with broach stops. Chancel: late C11 or C12, extended later (probably in C13). No plinth. North-east and south-east angle buttresses. Two C19 trefoil-headed south lancets. C19 three-light pointed-arched east window with hoodmould. 2 restored north lancets of uneven size. Nave: north elevation: one buttress. Broad hollow-chamfered lancet towards east. Small round-headed central window. C19 lancet towards west. Interior: structure: chancel arch with late C11 or C12 nicked and chamfered imposts and imprinted enrichment; arch pointed and chamfered, rebuilt in C13. No tower arch. Moulded rere-arches to north nave lancets. Roof: crown-post roof to nave with four moulded octagonal crown-posts on moulded tie-beams. Sous-laces, ashlar-pieces and moulded cornice. Similar roof to chancel, but with renewed crown-posts. Fittings: piscina towards east end of south wall of chancel with renewed trefoiled head. Very small trefoil-headed opening in north wall opposite. Pointed-arched opening to east end of south wall of nave. Chamfered segmental-headed opening to north- west end of chancel. Font with deep rectangular tapering stone bowl on five shafts with bell bases. Stumps of moulded, coloured beams on stone corbels; north and south ends of rood beam towards east end of nave, and south end of a beam half way down chancel. Chamfered, uncoloured stump, also on corbel, about ½ metres to east of last beam. Small dedication stone to north wall of chancel giving date (14th August) but not year; a rare survival. Decoration: fragments of C12 wall-painting to south-west corner of nave; frieze of zig-zag bands with stylized flowers to angles, and key exposed above. Further fragment, probably C17, superimposed on west wall. (J. Newman, B.O.E. Series, North-east and East Kent, 1983.)
Listing NGR: TR1460239032 (10)

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

<2> Home Counties Magazine 5 1903 165-75 (AD Cheney) (OS Card Reference). SKE44176.

<3> F1 ASP 05-DEC-62 (OS Card Reference). SKE41938.

<4> DOE(HHR) District of Shepway Kent 15 May 1986 36 (OS Card Reference). SKE41153.

<5> Buildings of England NE and E Kent 1983 417-418 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE38415.

<6> Arch Cant 30 1914 193-197 illus (A Vallance) (OS Card Reference). SKE34985.

<7> Arch Cant 30 1914 198-202 plan (GM Livett) (OS Card Reference). SKE34986.

<8> Field report for monument TR 13 NW 5 - December, 1962 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5357.

<9> Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown), 1992, Postling, St Mary and St Radegund:Diocesan church survey (Unpublished document). SKE29468.

<10> 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: Home Counties Magazine 5 1903 165-75 (AD Cheney).
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 05-DEC-62.
<4>OS Card Reference: DOE(HHR) District of Shepway Kent 15 May 1986 36.
<5>OS Card Reference: Buildings of England NE and E Kent 1983 417-418 (J Newman).
<6>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 30 1914 193-197 illus (A Vallance).
<7>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 30 1914 198-202 plan (GM Livett).
<8>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TR 13 NW 5 - December, 1962.
<9>Unpublished document: Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown). 1992. Postling, St Mary and St Radegund:Diocesan church survey.
<10>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #32534 church, ]