Newenden, St Peter
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: A superbly carved late Saxon font, well worth seeing
Among the interesting carvings around the exterior of the bowl are a lion and a wyvern, or winged dragon with a barbed tail. There are also plants and a humanesque figure, as well as simple geometric patterns, are interwoven in ebullient style.
The church used to be much larger, but the chancel became ruinous and collapsed in the 18th century and the west tower was pulled down shortly after. The villagers had to wait until 1931 for a new chancel. The current tower and spire were built in 1859, so they must have been considered more important to replace than the chancel!
The south porch is largely 14th century. Above it is a small chamber where you might expect a priest's room or even an early schoolroom to be located. However, in this case the chamber had more serious uses; it was used as a prison cell. This could only be entered through a door in the south wall of the nave.
The clock was added to the tower in 1911 to commemorate the Corontation of George V. There is a single bell, cast by G Mears of London in 1860.
The carved and panelled pulpit deserves a look; it is either Elizabethan or Jacobean; the youngest panel is dated 1639 but the whole appears much earlier.
The vestry screen is a beautifully carved example from the 15th century. Contemporary to the screen is the main west window, which depicts St Peter with the keys to heaven.
The first Carmelite monks in England came to Newenden in 1242, and they established a monastey at nearby Lossenham, but it does not appear that there was any direct connection between the monastery and Newenden.
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Great Dixter Gardens - 1.8 miles (Garden)
Northiam, St Mary - 2.2 miles (Historic Church)
Ewhurst Green, St James the Great - 2.4 miles (Historic Church)
Bodiam Castle - 2.5 miles (Castle)
Bodiam, St Giles Church - 2.6 miles (Historic Church)
Rolvenden, St Mary the Virgin - 2.7 miles (Historic Church)
Hole Park - 2.9 miles (Garden)
Benenden, St George's Church - 3 miles (Historic Church)
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