History in Structure

Church of St Peter and St Paul

A Grade II* Listed Building in Cudham, London

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Latitude: 51.3203 / 51°19'13"N

Longitude: 0.0722 / 0°4'20"E

OS Eastings: 544497

OS Northings: 159952

OS Grid: TQ444599

Mapcode National: GBR NW.QVK

Mapcode Global: VHHPJ.62JN

Plus Code: 9F3283CC+4V

Entry Name: Church of St Peter and St Paul

Listing Date: 31 May 1954

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1359355

English Heritage Legacy ID: 358435

Also known as: St Peter and St Paul's Church, Cudham

ID on this website: 101359355

Location: St Peter and St Paul's Church, Cudham, Bromley, London, TN14

County: London

District: Bromley

Electoral Ward/Division: Darwin

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Cudham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Cudham St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Tagged with: Church building

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(Southwest side)


The nave is Anglo-Saxon in origin. The chancel was rebuilt in the C13. The arcades are C14 although it is unclear if they replaced earlier arcades or if the aisle and chapel were also added at this date. Restored 1846, and again (extensively) in 1891-2 by Ewan Christian.

Flint rubble with stone dressings, tile roofs, shingled spire.

Long nave with short N aisle, S porch and S tower in the angle between the nave and S chapel. Chancel with S chapel.

Nave has W door and Perpendicular W window. One small late Anglo-Saxon or Norman window with a monolithic head survives in the nave N wall to the W of the aisle, and there is a similar window in the western part of the S nave wall. The chancel has diagonal buttresses and two lancets in the N wall. The E window is Perpendicular. The N aisle is shorter than the nave at the W end, a local characteristic also seen at nearby Chevening. Both the N aisle and the S chancel chapel have clasping buttresses, a typically early feature, but they are both wider than was common for early aisles, and they have 14 windows, making it likely that they were built or rebuilt in the C14. There is a small C14 window or squint set low in the aisle N wall towards the W end. The tower is located on the S side of the nave, and the junction with the S chapel, another characteristic local arrangement also formerly found at Keston, and has a plinth and buttresses. The lower stage is very tall, with a much smaller upper stage defined by a string course. The spire is typical of the area.

The long, tall, narrow nave is typically Anglo-Saxon in proportion. The early C13 chancel arch is very tall, and has a pointed head with two chamfered orders. To the right (S) of the chancel arch rises an internal buttress for the SE tower. Its N edge is part of the chancel arch. A blocked opening over the chancel arch was a door into an upper chamber over the chancel by the late middle ages, but may be Anglo-Saxon in origin. The tower arch is also early C13 and has a hood mould. The early C14 2-bay nave N arcade is of 2 chamfered orders with a hood mould on polygonal piers with moulded capitals. The 2-bay chancel S arcade is also C14. The nave roof has arch braces and was probably built after 1487 when 20 shillings was left to the building of the church roof.

Piscinas in the E wall of the chancel, the S chapel and the aisle. The octagonal font is C15 and has quatrefoils with shields on each face. Late C19 polygonal oak pulpit, the gift of Edward Augustus Rucker of Cudham Hall. Oak lectern given by the Worsleys of Cudham Hall in 1878. One window in the nave by Kempe, 1897. A perpendicular panelled tomb chest in the chancel with a niche above it. Brass of Alys Waleys, d. 1503. Two copper tablets to Thomas Alwen and James George Wood (killed in WW1) by Francis Cooper. In the S chapel, wall paintings of Peace and Fruitfulness, c.1920 as a war memorial.

Cudham church is in the Domesday book, and the long, narrow nave almost certainly dates to the pre-Conquest or early Norman period. The chancel and chancel arch were rebuilt and extended in the C13, and the church was very substantially remodelled in the C14, and there was further work in the later middle ages. It was given to the nuns of Kilburn in the mid C14. Further work in the later middle ages included the building of the tower and new windows. It was restored in the C19, and as was the case in many parish churches, this work removed all traces of C17 and C18 alterations. The more significant of these was by Ewan Christian, 1891-92.

Pevsner, N and Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (1983), 183-4
Cudham Parish Church, guidebook, n.d. but post WWI (from NMR file)

The church of St Peter and St Paul, Cudham, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Excellent multi-phase medieval church, which underwent considerable restoration in the 1890's.
* Possible surviving Anglo-Saxon fabric of a church listed in Domesday book, including two early windows and an opening into a chamber above the chancel.
* Exemplary of many local characteristic features, including a short nave aisle and a SE tower with a good spire.
* Unusual and interesting use of clasping buttresses in the C14.

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