Lullingstone, St Botolph's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Fabulously carved 16th century wood screen
On the south wall of the chancel is a huge, ornate memorial to the first Sir Percyval Hart (1496-1580); in fact the monument takes up almost all the space from floor to ceiling. Hart is shown lying, his hands clasped in prayer, beneath a canopy decorated with cherubs and family coats of arms. The effect is quite stunning; which of course is exactly what it was supposed to be!
The north chapel is dominated by three tombs. To the east, beneath a large window, is the tomb of Sir George Hart, son of Sir Percyvall, and his wife Elizabeth Bowes. Unusually, the effigies do not show the couple in an attitude of prayer, rather, they are depicted holding hands, a rather romantic touch and unusual for the period. At the foot of the tomb are contrasting figures of a cherub kneeling atop a skull, and a gaunt skeleton in a shroud, representing Death. Facing this striking tomb and taking up the entire west wall of the chapel is an amazing monument to Percyvall Hart IV, who is remembered as 'the Munificent Repairer and Beautifier of this Church'. Against the north wall is a large memorial to Hart's only child, his daughter Anne. Anne married Sir Thomas Dyke, beginning the Hart Dyke family that still own Lullingstone Castle.
And that's not all; there are wonderful glass panels created by William Peckitt for Sir Thomas Dyke in the 18th century. One of the most unusual shows St Botolph, to whom the church is dedicated, in the clothing of a 17th century cleric. At least, that's the theory, but the more I look at the likeness the more it looks like a man's face stuck onto the body of a woman.
St Botolphs is an absolute gem, one of the most enjoyable churches I've visited in Kent, and it deserves a place on your list if you have even the slightest interest in historic churches!
Address: Lullingstone Castle, Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent, England, DA4 0JA
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: In the grounds of Lullingstone Castle. Access via Riverside, then Lullingstone Lane in Eynsford village, past the Roman Villa to the castle gatehouse.
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Lullingstone Roman Villa - 0 miles (Roman Site)
Lullingstone Castle - 0.2 miles (Historic House)
Eynsford Castle - 1.1 miles (Castle)
St John's Jerusalem - 4 miles (Historic Church)
Ightham, St Peter - 6.1 miles (Historic Church)
Knole House - 6.3 miles (Historic House)
Hall Place and Gardens - 6.4 miles (Historic House)
Home of Charles Darwin (Down House) - 6.4 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Lullingstone: