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Latitude: 51.143 / 51°8'34"N
Longitude: 0.3628 / 0°21'45"E
OS Eastings: 565376
OS Northings: 140843
OS Grid: TQ653408
Mapcode National: GBR NR7.8JX
Mapcode Global: VHJMX.7JNN
Entry Name: Chapel of Ease of St Luke
Listing Date: 24 August 1990
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1263395
English Heritage Legacy ID: 432458
Location: Brenchley, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN12
District: Tunbridge Wells
Civil Parish: Brenchley
Built-Up Area: Brenchley
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent
Church of England Parish: Matfield St Luke
Church of England Diocese: Rochester
TQ 64 SE BRENCHLEY MAIDSTONE ROAD, MATFIELD
6/147 Chapel of Ease of St Luke
Chapel of ease to Brenchley parish church. 1874-76 by Basil Champneys
(Igglesden). Snecked local sandstone, the lower courses and those below the
eaves brought to course; peg-tile roof; porch partly timber-framed; belfry
roofed with wooden shingles; stack with stone shaft. Eclectic mixture of
Decorated and Early English styles.
Plan: Nave; chancel; 3-bay south aisle; north west porch; south east organ
chamber and vestry; west end bell turret with a broach spine riding the ridge.
Exterior: The chancel has low clasping buttresses with moulded batters.
Moulded string course clips below the sill of the east window which is a
Decorated style 3-light traceried window with a hoodmould. The north side of
the church is the show front. The north wall of the chancel has a statue
niche set high up with traceried spandrels with mouchettes, a cusped arch and
a statue of St Luke. 2-light square-headed chancel window with a hoodmould
and flamboyant mouchette tracery in the head. The nave has a low clasping
buttress at the north east corner and 2 high set Decorated style 2-light north
windows with hoodmoulds. The south aisle is under a catslide roof with 3
square-headed 3-light windows with trefoil-headed lights with pierced
spandrels. Organ chamber under a catslide roof; flat-roofed vestry. The east
door into the vestry is original with ovolo-moulded cover strips and a square-
headed doorway with a decorative depressed ogee arch above. The west end
masonry is thicker at the base of the west wall and rises to form a deep sill
to the west window, which is square-headed with a relieving arch above, a
coved architrave, a hoodmould with carved label stops and 3-lights, the
tracery based on Decorated forms. Weatherboarded belfry with 2-light trefoil-
headed mullioned windows on the north and south faces and a broach spire.
This may be loosely based on the spire at St Mary Magdalen, Cowden. The north
west porch is a timber-framed structure on a stone base with moulded cusped
bargeboards on shaped brackets. Tall timber outer doorway with a deep hollow
moulding and runout stops. Eclectic inner doorway with cylindrical jambs on
3-sided bases with idiosyncratic stops. The mouldings of the arch die into
the jambs; hoodmould with vine-carved label stops. The door has ovolo-moulded
cover strips and big strap hinges.
Interior: Plastered walls with exposed stone dressings to the windows. The
design of the 3-bay nave roof may be based on the C14 roof at the parish
church of Brenchley (q.v.). Moulded tie beams with traceried spandrels
support tall, slender crown posts, each with 4 up-braces to a 6-sided canted,
boarded roof divided into panels by moulded ribs. The chancel roof is 6-sided
with carved bosses at the junctions of the ribs. The south aisle roof is a
boarded panelled lean-to. Narrow 3-bay south aisle, the arcade, with
octagonal piers with moulded capitals and double hollow-chamfered arches, the
eastern respond is an Early English style engaged shaft with a bell capital.
Tall, moulded chancel arch with similar engaged shafts; arch of matching
design into the organ chamber. The most unusual feature of the interior is
the openwork timber structure supporting the west end belfry: this functions
internally as the baptistry, the bases of the 4 massive posts encased in
panelling, each side with a tier of plain bracing high under the nave roof.
The chancel has a cinquefoil-headed recess on the south wall with an engaged
crocketted finial and a trefoil-headed aumbry to the east. Doorway into the
vestry matching the external vestry door on the east side. 1926 crested
timber reredos with blind traceried panels flanked by dado panelling to north
and south. Late C19 choir stalls. Book rests and communion rail with wrought
iron standards. The nave and aisle have dado panelling and a set of late C19
open-backed benches, the bench ends with shaped moulded heads with carved
scrolls. Small 1900 brass eagle lectern of a conventional design; pulpit
tucked into the north east corner of the nave with dado panelling against the
walls and a simple partition of panels with blind cusped arches. Octagonal
font on a moulded wineglass stem.
Stained Glass and Monuments: The north side of the chancel has 2 identical
wall tablets in a late C17/early C18 style commemorating Katherine Storr, died
1900 and Charles Storr, died 1922. East window 1892 by Kempe, chancel north
window by Kempe, memorial date of 1896 but dated 1904 by Pevsner. Eastern
window in the nave with a memorial date of 1906 by Kempe and Towers; western
window with a memorial date of 1916.
The church cost £2,000 (Homan) and was built on land given by Mr Philip
Roberts of the Hat Mills, Brenchley (Igglesden). The use of local precedents
in the design is particularly interesting.
Sources. Homan, Roger, The Victorian Churches of Kent (1984).
Pevsner, West Kent and the Weald (1976 edn.), Buildings of England series.
Igglesden, C., A Saunter through Kent with Pen and Pencil, 36 vols. (1900-
Listing NGR: TQ6592541934
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