St Michael's Church, East Peckham

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St Michael's Church, East Peckham

St Michael's is a redundant Anglican church in East Peckham, Kent, England. The Grade II* listed church is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and open to the public.

History

In 961, Queen Ediva the Queen Mother gave the manor of Peckham to the monks of Canterbury. A church was in existence at the time of Domesday. The earliest surviving parts of the existing church are the north walls of the nave and chancel, which are of mid C12th date. The church at this time comprised the nave and a short chancel. The chancel was extended in the late C12th. By the mid C13th the south aisle had been built. In the late 13th century, a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary had been built to the east of the south aisle and south of the chancel. The tower was added in the early C14th and the porch in c1500 The tower formerly carried a much taller spire than the current smaller spirelet. It was destroyed in a storm in 1704. The weathervane dates from 1928 and is a copy of the one erected in 1704. The remains of a sundial can be seen on the porch, it fell into disuse when a clock was installed in the church.

The vestry was added in the early C19th. The church was restored by the Victorians in 1853 and 1863. St Michael's was listed in 1959, and it was declared redundant in 1973.

Bells

St Michael's has a ring of six bells hung for change ringing. The oldest (the fifth heaviest of the ring) was cast in 1747 by Robert Catlin. Two (the second and third heaviest) were cast in 1785 by William Mears of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The heaviest (the sixth, usually called the tenor) was cast in 1812 and the lightest (the first, usually called the treble) was cast in 1825 by Thomas Mears II and the remaining bell (the fourth heaviest) was cast in 1890, by Mears & Stainbank (all successors to Wiliam Mears at Whitechapel).

Memorials

St Michael's has a number of memorials, including those to:-

  • Richard Etclesley, who died in 1426, bequeathing the gift of a chalice to the church.
  • The Henham family, who were farmers in East Peckham and propagated the Henham variety of hop.
  • John Norwood VC, who rescued a fallen comrade during the Second Boer War under intense enemy fire.
  • The Twysden family, who owned Roydon Hall, the manor of East Peckham. Sir Roger Twysden referred in his writings to the family plot at East Peckham church.
  • The Whetenhall Stones, including those to the second and third wives of Thomas Whetenhall.
Public access

The church is open to the public daily from 10 am to 4 pm.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com