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Church of All Saints

A Grade I Listed Building in Capel, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1849 / 51°11'5"N

Longitude: 0.3189 / 0°19'7"E

OS Eastings: 562156

OS Northings: 145408

OS Grid: TQ621454

Mapcode National: GBR NQL.PFJ

Mapcode Global: VHHQ7.GHX0

Entry Name: Church of All Saints

Listing Date: 20 October 1954

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1261437

English Heritage Legacy ID: 437518

Location: Capel, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN11

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells

Civil Parish: Capel

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Tudeley cum Capel with Five Oak Green

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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TQ 64 NW

Church of All Saints


Church late medieval or earlier origins, tower of 1765, church described as "lately rebuilt" in 1798 (Hasted), thorough rebuilding of nave and addition of north aisle in 1875 by Robert Medley Fulford of Devon (Church Guide), chancel arch 1885, some alteration of 1967 associated with the beginning of a programme of re-glazing the church with windows designed by Marc Chagall. Chancel sandstone brought to course with sandstone dressings; nave sandstone blocks to sill level, Flemish bond brick above; tower Flemish bond brick with blue headers on sandstone footings, north aisle sandstone rubble; slate roofs.

Plan: chancel, nave, west tower, three bay north aisle, south porch. The chancel masonry is probably medieval and Pevsner suggests that the sandstone footings of the nave may be the foundations of the medieval church. In 1765 an appeal was made for £1,125 for the rebuilding (Pevsner) and the form of the nave and chancel barrel roofs may date from the 1760s phase. Fulford's contribution was to re-gothicize the church with a mixture of Decorated and Perpendicular style windows, and to add the north aisle in a late C13/early C14 style with a baptistry at the west end. The east window was altered in 1967 for the insertion of glass to commemorate Sarah Venetia d'Avigdor Goldsmid. The church was restored in the late 1960s and 1970s, the work supervised by Robert Potter (Church Guide).

Exterior: The chancel has angle buttresses with set-offs and a round-headed east window dated 1967, the gable evidently rebuilt at this date. The south side has a C19 two-light Decorated style window to the east with flush tracery, trefoil-headed lights and a quatrefoil in the head. One-light C19 trefoil-headed Decorated style window to the west. Between the windows an arched moulded priests' doorway with a hoodmould and C19 door of overlapping planks with strap hinges. The north side of the chancel has two one-light Decorated style trefoil-headed windows. Symmetrical nave with C19 brick buttresses with stone set-offs to left and right. Two three-light C19 Perpendicular style three-light traceried windows with hoodmoulds and uncarved label stops.

C19 gabled porch with deep eaves and a peg-tile roof with a coursed sandstone base below a timber structure with glazed cusped lights. Tall segmental-headed outer doorway; moulded Tudor arched inner doorway with a C19 plank and cover strip door. North aisle with a lean-to roof, an angle buttress at the east corner. The westernmost bay (the baptistry) marked off by buttresses with set-offs. String course below the Decorated style windows: two-light eat and west windows each with trefoil-headed lights below a flush tracery quatrefoil. Centre window to the aisle three-light, outer windows two-light, all with trefoil-headed lights. Two-stage west tower with a plain parapet and a tile-hung bell-shaped spirelet. Diagonal buttresses with stone footings and stone copings to the set-offs; string course above the bottom stage. The west face has a recessed C19 or C20 two-leaf door with a Tudor arch and cover strips. The north and south faces have round-headed belfry windows, the north face also has a round-headed window to the bottom stage and a C19 trefoil-headed window below the belfry opening.

Interior: plastered walls. 1885 moulded chancel arch with a hoodmould and carved label stops by Wadmore and Baker (Pevsner), springing from engaged shafts with waterleaf capitals and bases. Three bay 1875 north aisle with octagonal sandstone piers on moulded bases with moulded caps and three-centred moulded arches. The first pier from the west has an odd corbel projection on the south side. Plain round-headed tower arch. Plain barrel ceilings to the nave and chancel, the nave ceiling marbled in green and yellow in 1967 by Robert Potter, possibly restoring existing C18 marbled decoration. The chancel has a presumably C19 sedilia on the south side formed by dropping the sill of the eastern window. Plain altar table of the C20. Communion rail with turned balusters, described by Pevsner as late C17 but perhaps with a later handrail. The nave has a timber drum pulpit with some re-used C17 panels with a design of scratch-moulded intersecting triangles. Set of plain C20 benches. The font, in the westernmost bay of the north aisle, is probably C19: octagonal on a stem with a moulded base, the faces of the bowl carved with blind tracery. The tower preserves original C18 ceiling beams and joists and includes two C19 windows re-sited and now artificially-lit from behind, when the Chagall glass was introduced, one probably by Clayton and Bell of about 1880, the other circa 1860s. Royal Arms in a nowy-headed frame over the tower arch.

Monuments: monument to George Fane, died 1571 in the north wall of the chancel. A tomb-chest decorated with strapwork panels divided by pilasters. Above the chest a canopy with Ionic columns and an entablature, noted by Pevsner as being an early example of correct classical detail. Inscription carved in relief on the chest. Some original colour survives. Brass to Thomas Stydolf, died 1475, with two small figures. A Purbeck marble matrix is all that survives of a second brass. The nave has two C18 marble wall monuments, one on either side of the south door.

Stained Glass: a remarkable glazing programme of European importance to the designs of Marc Chagall. The east window, of 1967, is the earliest and was commissioned by Sir Henry and Lady D'Avigdor Goldsmid to commemorate their daughter, who was drowned in a sailing accident in 1963. The window frames are irregular, to avoid the usual grid effect. The lower half of the window is blue and shows a girl floating in the sea with mourning figures around. The crucifixion, mostly yellow, is shown above, with a rearing horse at the foot of the cross. The patron commissioned a further seven windows for the aisle and nave, installed in 1974. These are abstract designs with wonderful colours, mostly yellow on the south side of the church, blue in the north aisle. In 1985 a further four windows for the chancel by Chagall were installed, mostly blue.

Listing NGR: TQ6179545584

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