Horsmonden Church is situated some distance from the modern village. The building is constructed of wonderful warm coloured sandstone and roofed in Welsh slate, which replaced a former roof of clay tiles in the late nineteenth century. Previously the roof was covered in wooden shingles (eighteenth century). The tower rises to 70 feet to the top of the battlemented parapet. A semi octagonal stair turret rises from ground level, graduated in three stages, to give access to the tower roof. The tower is an almost perfect, unspoilt, example of late 14th century work.
Here is beautiful the Perpendicular west door below the fine west window. The spandrels are decorated with curved cusped quatrefoils enclosing two heraldic shields of Poynings and Fitzpayn. The square surround terminates in two much weathered figures holding shields which are no longer readable. The doors, while not original, are probably Tudor.
Here are two pictures of the nave, looking west, where the fine proportions of the soaring tower arch are apparent, and east into the chancel. For details of the west window and the other windows, click here.
Here are the font and church organ. The font is an early 17th century copy of an early 15th century pattern and is of Perpendicular design. It is almost certainly made by the same person as the font at St Lawrence, Hawkhurst. The organ was installed in 1837. Originally single manual, it was enlarged c. 1890 by Hill & Son, London and was last overhauled in 1958. It now possesses two manuals (great, eight stops; swell six stops) and a pedal board with just one stop.
The church banner, depicting the patron saint, hangs in the chancel.
Here are the rood stairs in the south wall, together with the small window which illuminates the stair well. For details of this and the other windows, click here or on the photo of the window. The wonderful chandelier hanging in the nave is Flemish in style and is the third oldest in Kent. The orb is inscribed: "To this parish of Horsmondean The gift of Stephen Bate Rector. Anno 1703."
Here is a closer view of the chancel. For details of the east window and the other windows, click here.
Set into the floor of the chancel, just in front of the altar rail, is this magnificent brass in memory of Henry de Grofhurst, rector for fifty years from 1311 - 1361. It is one of the most important treasures of the church. Henry was the man largely responsible for the building we see here today and the brass shows him standing beneath a canopy, robed in mass vestments, a lion at his feet and a scroll in Latin across his breast. Experts believe the brass was engraved c.1340, i.e. when the priest was still alive.
I noticed these old bell stocks lying under the yew tree in the churchyard - I assume they were discarded here after the last re-hanging of the bells.
This mounting block is situated just inside the church fence - not many arrive to church these days on horseback!
Here is a view of this magnificent building from the churchyard to the south of the building.
Here is a final view of the north side of the church, taken from the road approaching the building and showing the picturesque setting.
For more information about St Margaret's I can thoroughly recommend Anthony Cronk's excellent book, "St Margaret's Church, Horsmonden" - 3rd edition (1995, ISBN 0 922993 1 3) was available in the church when I visited. It is from there that I obtained the factual information on these pages.
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