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Monument details

HER Number:TR 15 SE 15
Type of record:Listed Building
Name:St Mary's Parish Church, Church Lane, Nackington, Lower Hardres


St Mary's Church Norman and later Grade I listed building. Main construction periods 1066 to 1899

Grid Reference:TR 1569 5458
Map Sheet:TR15SE

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval to Modern - 1170 AD to 2050 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1085575: CHURCH OF ST MARY

Full description

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(TR 15685459) St. Mary's Church (NAT) (1) The Church of St. Mary, Nackington, contains Norman, 13th, 18th and 19century work. (2) In normal use. (3) Church of St Mary, Nackington. Grade I. Built of flint with brick patching. Chancel with south or mortuary chapel of the Miles family, nave, north porch and west tower with spire. The nave is Norman. Thechancel is C13, also the tower except for the top portion in brick andthe spire which dates from the C18, as does the south chapel. The north porch is C19. (For full description see list). (4) Additional bibliography. (5)
The earliest visible remains are of a c.12th century rectangular nave, and also probably the chancel north wall. There are three surviving original plain round-headed windows (two on the north side, and one on the SW side of the nave), with external jambs and voussoirs of Caen stone. There also appears to be a blocked 12th century window in the west gable of the nave. Only the north-east quoin of the nave (also of Caenstone) is original. The main masonry is of coursed whole flints which was originally covered by a plaster face, externally as well as internally. The church was perhaps rebuilt (or erected for the first time) by St Gregory's Priory in Canterbury after they had acquired it early in the 12th century.

In the middle of the 13th century two lancets were inserted into the north wall of the chancel and a small tower was added to the west end of the nave (on the north side). A slightly larger lancet was also put into the west wall of the nave (the round-headed window in the gable wall above had been blocked by the S wall of the tower). New opposing doorways were also put into the north and south sides of the nave. The tower also has 13th century lancets in its N, S and W faces.

At perhaps a slightly later date in the 13th century, a large chapel was added to the south side of the chancel. It is connected with the nave by a wide 2-centred arch, and has a wide doorway from the churchyard on its north west side (this required the cutting away of much of the south east quoin of the nave). This chapel appears originally to have had two lancets on its south side (see Petries 1808 view from SW) and a further pair of lancets in its east wall. Hasted tells us that 'in the two east windows of this chancel (ie. the Milles family's 'South Chancel') are good remains of painted glass' (Hasted IX (1800), 297). This fine glass is now in the two north windows of the chancel, and despite restoration in 1935 is mainly of a 13th century date. There is apparently a double piscina in the south wall of the chapel, perhaps suggesting that the chapel originally contained two altars.

St Gregory's Priory acquired much land in Nackington in the 13th century (see Woodcock (ed) p.178, etc), but there is no mention of the new chapel.

The church seems to have suffered a lot from settlement problems (there are still various open cracks in the walls), and when the nave was given a new crown-post (2 bay) roof in the 15th century, large buttresses were added to the north and south sides of the west wall, as well as to the middle of the S nave wall (a new N porch may have acted also as a buttress). At some later stage the top of the west tower seems to have been take down (perhaps after becoming unstable). Two stone corbels in the north-east and south-east corners of the nave were perhaps inserted in the 15th century to support the rood beam.

In Archbishop Parker's Visitation of 1573, we hear that 'the parsonage house and chancel is like to fall downe'. (Also 'the parson is not Residente' - see Arch. Cant. 29 (1911), 275. This is also perhaps partly due to settlement. This was finally dealt with in a major mid 19th century restoration when the east walls of the chancel and south chapel (and the south wall of the south chapel) were completely rebuilt. A new two-light east window was created in the chancel, but no windows were put in the S chapel east wall. It was, however given a new 2-light S window (in 'Decorated' style). The north wall of the chancel was heightened in brick. The outer jambs and arch to the lancets were restored in Bathstone and a new roof was put on the chancel.

The south chapel contains burial vaults of the Milles family, and there are smaller vaults for the Faussetts in the chancel and Foxes (N side of nave).

At about the same time the west tower was given a new brick upper stage with a small spire on top. The tower contains one bell which was perhaps moved from a bell-cote in the nave roof above the N door (see rubbing marks on rere-arch of N door). Hasted says that the church had 'at the north-west corner a low wooden pointed turret, in which hangs one bell'. The tower contains an internal N->S tie-bar (on the west) and also a west altar and a 19th cent. font in the SE corner. The boiler room (with steps down) is immediately south of the tower. There is also an oil tank south of the nave.

The north porch was also completely rebuilt in the later 19th century. There is an iron tie from the porch west to the NW buttress, and a new vestry with lobby was built west of the south chapel. It has flint facing and a 'perp' 3-light W window. The SE nave window was also restored in Bathstone (bricks above) with a round-headed top at this time.

The chancel screen and panelling around the chancel walls was added in 1909 by W D Caroe and a pulpit was made in 1924. The earlier organ, recently restored is now at the NE corner of the nave. The panelling in the tower was also added by W D Caroe in 1909. (7)

Description from record TR 15 SE 217:
The following text is from the original listed building designation:
Church of St Mary, Nackington TR 15 SE 13/507 30.1.67
2. Built of flint with brick patching. Chancel with south or mortuary chapel of the Miles family, nave, north porch and west tower with spire. The nave is Norman. Its windows are of Caen stone. The chancel is C13, also the tower except for the top portion in brick and the spire which dates from the C18, as does the south chapel. The north porch is C19. The north window of the chancel contains some C13 stained glass thought by some to have come from Canterbury Cathedral. Piscina. The nave has a crown post roof. The churchyard contains some C18 skull and cherub headstones.
Listing NGR: TR1544954586 (8)

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

<2> MHLG (1953/11/A Dec 1960) 48 (OS Card Reference). SKE46952.

<3> F1 FGA 19-JAN-65 (OS Card Reference). SKE42947.

<4> DOE(HHR) Dist of City of Canterbury Kent Mar 1980 161 (OS Card Reference). SKE40907.

<5> BOE NE and E Kent 1983 374 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE38244.

<6> Field report for monument TR 15 SE 15 - January, 1965 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5483.

<7> Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown), 1992, Nackington, St Mary: Diocesan church survey (Unpublished document). SKE29541.

<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 (1953/11/A Dec 1960) 48.
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 FGA 19-JAN-65.
<4>OS Card Reference: DOE(HHR) Dist of City of Canterbury Kent Mar 1980 161.
<5>OS Card Reference: BOE NE and E Kent 1983 374 (J Newman).
<6>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TR 15 SE 15 - January, 1965.
<7>Unpublished document: Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown). 1992. Nackington, St Mary: Diocesan church survey.
<8>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #43940 Listed Building, ]