Hastingleigh Church

Brabourne church

Hastingleigh Church

Church of St Mary the Virgin

Un-named lane, off Tamley Lane, Hastingleigh, Kent TN25 5HU
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Hastingleigh church dates from the 11th century, the oldest extant part being the north wall of the nave, where some of the masonry may be pre-conquest. The chancel was rebuilt and enlarged in the 13th century, making it, unusually, as long as the nave. The tower, set at the south-west corner of the church, is also 13th century (Early English). The brickwork at the top of the tower is ‘modern’ suggesting that there was once a spire which was removed, or perhaps fell, after becoming unsafe.
The first gallery photograph is of a blocked north doorway, towards the west end of the nave, with part of an earlier door arch above. This is either Saxon or very early Norman.
Second, nearer the chancel on the same wall, is a blocked recess with early Norman arched head. Between these two there is a high level deeply splayed Norman window.
The third picture is of the nave, looking towards the chancel screen.


Below, first photograph in the gallery, is the very fine carved oak rood screen, which is 15th century, restored in 1879. It now carries a new Holy Rood, recently installed  to replace the one removed at the reformation.

The second picture is of a 13th century lancet window in the north wall of the chancel. It is glazed with ancient grisaille glass, common in the 12th and 13th centuries, and typified by the use of a vitreous pigment to obtain a monochrome effect in shades of grey.
Next, is a two light south chancel window featuring 16th century glass. On the left are the Arms of the Poynings family, who held the church advowson from the 14th to 16th centuries. On the right are the Arms of St Thomas’s Hospital, London. The hospital was granted the Manor of Hastingleigh by Edward VI in 1553, after which it held the Manor for nearly 400 years until the early 20th century.


The font, which stands near to the two bay south arcade, is Victorian but has the medieval lead lining from the ancient font. Also showing in the photograph is the east end of the south aisle which formed a Lady Chapel. There is a 13th century piscina in the south wall.

The second picture shows a brass in the nave floor which is a memorial to one John Halke, a churchwarden in the 16th century. John’s grandson William Harvey M.D., 1578 – 1657 was the first person to detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood.

Finally there is a picture of a Madonna and Child statue mounted on the south aisle wall. It was made in 1984.