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Monument details

HER Number:TR 15 SW 9
Type of record:Listed Building
Name:All Saints' Church, Petham


Church (13th c and later) Grade I listed building. Main construction periods 1066 to 1922. There is strong evidence to suggest that Petham was a minster in a secondary wave of minster creation in the 8th to mid 10th centuries. The church has a Norman nave and north porch. The chancel, south aisle and base of the tower were built in the 13th century. The top of the tower was added in 1760. The church was restored after a fire in 1922 and the south arcade was rebuilt in a classical style. The church is built of flint.

Grid Reference:TR 1306 5124
Map Sheet:TR15SW

Monument Types

  • MINSTER? (CHURCH, Early Medieval or Anglo-Saxon - 701 AD to 950 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval to Modern - 1066 AD to 1922 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1336595: CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS

Full description

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[TR 13055124] All Saint's Church (NAT) (1) The Church of All Saints, Petham, is 13th/18thc, restored in 1922 after a fire. (2) In normal use. (3) Church of All Saints, Church Lane, Grade I. Norman nave and north porch, C13 chancel and south aisle. Base of tower C13 but top of tower added in 1760. (For full description see list) (4) Additional references. (5-9)

This church was unfortunately gutted by fire on 28th March 1922, and as a result it has completely new nave and south aisle roofs of 1922-3. The south arcade was also completely rebuilt at this time.

The earliest visible remains are in the north wall of the nave where herringbone flint work can be seen. This perhaps suggests a date for the eastern two-thirds of the nave of the late 11th or early 12th century.

Above the 13th century north door into the nave, a fine mid-12th century round-headed arch has been uncovered. It is decorated with chevron work. The inner jambs to this doorway are made with diagonally-tooled blocks, also suggesting a 12th century date, and this doorway (and no doubt other features) was perhaps put in not long after the church was given to St. Osyth's Priory in Essex.

At the very end of the 12th century, or in the early years of the 13th century, the nave was extended westwards (presumably due to population increase in the parish), and a contemporary tower was constructed on the south-west. On the lower east face of the tower, the scar for a low sloping roof can also be seen, suggesting that a smaller south aisle was first built as this time. The tower has simple pointed arches into both this aisle and the west end of the extended nave. It also has simple lancets in its west and south walls. Unfortunately all of the lower external walls of the tower have been rended. There is, however, another early lancet on the north side of the nave, and this has Reigate stone jambs (with some cement repairs). The masonry around this window is contemporary, and contrasts with the herringbone masonry further east. Some of the original Caenstone quoins of the extreme north-east corner of the nave also survive. Two painted roundels were found inside the west doorway, on either side, in 1922.

In the later 13th century the chancel and south aisle were both rebuilt on a much larger scale. The chancel was given four lancets on either side and two in the east wall. Only on the south wall, which is rendered externally, have some of these windows subsequently been replaced. In the north wall the fine row of four tall lancets survives with Reigate stone jambs (and many later tile and cement repairs - of c. 1923). These windows still contained some of their original stained glass until the early 19th century. Some of this glass can now be seen in Canterbury Cathedral (see Councer - op.cit. below). Also in the north wall of the chancel, nearly at its west end, is a small contemporary doorway with a frieze all around it of four-petalled flowers (cf some of the Henry of Eastry work at Canterbury Cathedral).

Inside the chancel there are two piscinas in the south wall. That on the east has a simple 'blind' trefoiled block as its top, and there is a bar stop on the east chamfer. The seven-canted trussed rafter roof may also be late 13th century. It was not burnt in the 1922 fire, and was restored in 1923. The chancel arch springing from octagonal corbels, may also be contemporary; it has pyramid stops on its west side, however, and this may indicate a slightly later date.

The rebuilding of the south aisle probably took place at about the same time as the reconstruction of the chancel. It also has two tall eastern lancets, though its south wall windows were replaced later. Inside the South aisle, there is a continuous internal moulding, and a late 13th century piscina (with shelf above) in the south-east corner. Before the 1922 fire, there was an arcade with octagonal piers (shown in early photographs). This may have been late 13th or 14th century, but it appears already to have been replaced in the 1857 restoration.

During the earlier 14th century, two two-light windows were inserted into the south wall of the chancel, as well as another into the east end of the south wall of the south aisle. These have unfortunately been heavily restored externally and contain Y-tracery in Bath stone, as well as some Portland stone repairs. Only a little of the original Caen and Ragstone jambs survive.

At the west end of the nave is a Ragstone doorway with a two-centred arch and hood over it, and above this a two-light early Perpendicular window (with hood), above which the top of an earlier lancet can been seen. This west window and doorway were perhaps put in in the late 14th century.

The two two-light square-headed windows on the north side of the nave, as well as the three two light windows in the south side of the south aisle are all heavily restored externally in Bath and Portland stone. They must, however, have been inserted in the late 15th century. There was also a perhaps late medieval porch on the north side but this was replaced by the present porch in the later 19th century, probably in 1857 when the main restoration took place. The chancel contains late 17th century altar-rails with turned balusters.

The top of the tower, which has an embattled parapet, was completely rebuilt in red brick in 1760 (dated in a panel on its west face with the name 'W. FORD C.W.'. It contains six bells. As we have already seen much external repair was also done in the later 18th and 19th centuries. The major restoration was carried out in 1857. (10)

Description from record TR 15 SW 143:
The following text is from the original listed building designation:
Church of All Saints TR 1351 37/515 30.1.67
2. Norman nave and north porch, Cl3 chancel and south aisle. Base of tower C13 but top of tower added in 1760. The church was restored after a fire in 1922 and the south arcade was rebuilt in a classical style. Built of flint. Top of tower is red brick and crenellated. Four bay nave having roof with restored crown posts. Lancet windows. Some C18 wall monuments. Two piscinas in the chancel, one trefoil-headed. Similar piscina in nave. North porch with outward pointing zig-zag. The churchyard contains some C18 headstones with cherub, skull or urn motif and some oval bodystones and chest tombs. Listing NGR: TR1305551246 (11)

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

<2> MHLG (1953/11/A Dec 1960) 53 (OS Card Reference). SKE46954.

<3> F1 ASP 20-JAN-65 (OS Card Reference). SKE42206.

<4> DOE(HHR) Dist of City of Canterbury Kent Mar 1980 172 (OS Card Reference). SKE40908.

<5> BOE NE and E Kent 1983 415-416 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE38246.

<6> Ant J 2 1922 262-63 (OS Card Reference). SKE33152.

<7> Field report for monument TR 15 SW 9 - January, 1965 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5499.

<8> Buildings of England North East and East Kent 1983 415-6 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE38417.

<9> Aniquaries J 2 1922 262-3 (OS Card Reference). SKE33097.

<10> Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown), 1994, Petham, All Saints:Diocesan church survey (Unpublished document). SKE29466.

<11> 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) 53.
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 20-JAN-65.
<4>OS Card Reference: DOE(HHR) Dist of City of Canterbury Kent Mar 1980 172.
<5>OS Card Reference: BOE NE and E Kent 1983 415-416 (J Newman).
<6>OS Card Reference: Ant J 2 1922 262-63.
<7>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TR 15 SW 9 - January, 1965.
<8>OS Card Reference: Buildings of England North East and East Kent 1983 415-6 (J Newman).
<9>OS Card Reference: Aniquaries J 2 1922 262-3.
<10>Unpublished document: Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown). 1994. Petham, All Saints:Diocesan church survey.
<11>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #44067 Listed Building, ]