Church Visits – 12 September 2018

 On Wednesday 12th September Amicia Oldfield led our visits to Otterden then Stalisfield and Charing.

St Lawrence, Otterden ME13 0BT: this was a real opportunity to visit this Georgian church which Hasted said had no appearance of being a church. There is a good collection of fine monuments and brasses, many from the original church and the Chinese Chippendale benches and Geddes window are definitely worth seeing.

St Mary Stalisfield ME13 0JG is a medieval church which was added to in the 13th century and restored by Joseph Clarke, with nave arcades out of sync with each other and a crown post nave roof and a rood screen.

St. Mary’s Church-Stalisfield; pulpit and rood screen.

Delicately carved fittings of the pulpit and 15th century Perpendicular Rood Screen of five bays, each with four light traceried openings, adjacent entrance and exit to Rood Loft.










St. Mary’s Church-Stalisfield; 20th century memorial window.

20th century memorial window to the memory of Rev. John Nathaniel Smith, Vicar of Stalisfield Parish from 1880 to 1887, set in blocked arch to demolished north chapel, and adjacent the church banner recording the parish association with Otterden.






St Peter & St Paul, Charing TN27 0LP was an important centre in medieval times with the remains of the Archbishop’s Palace nearby which are currently the focus of a restoration project. The church tower reflects the importance of the village in medieval times and the church was built over the centuries but gutted by fire in 1590 so that the fittings are all after this time.


16th century pew carving

16th century pews decorated with carvings have been relocated to the base of the  tower.










Witches Mark or Apotropaic Mark, St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Charing.

Apotropaic Marks, or Witches Marks, were usually carved on stone or woodwork near a building’s entrance points, particularly doorways, windows, and fireplaces, and were a common part of life from around the 16th to the early 19th century, to protect the inhabitants and visitors from witches and evil spirits.

This Mark is carved on stone near the south entrance to the nave and immediately adjacent the entrance to the tower staircase. A view is that its location immediately adjacent to the entrance to the tower staircase was to stop witches or evil spirits following someone up the tower staircase and throwing them off from the top of the tower!


Reredos Detail, St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Charing.

The reredos is of white marble panel veined with pink, and includes a white marble cross, ceramic tesserae depictions, and dark pink veined marble cabochons. It was gifted to the church by Miss Sayer of Pett who died in 1874 by a bequest in her will for the erection of the reredos as part of the restoration process by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.