Coldred TR 2744 4759
DIOCESE: HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Tim Tatton-Brown's Survey 1992
LOCATION: Situated at about 370 feet above OD in
the outer bailey of a motte and bailey castle, the later medieval
court lodge is immediately to the south-west. The "village"
of Coldred Street lies ½ mile further to the south-west beside a
"green" (common land) with a pond.
Despite earlier suggestions that this is an Anglo Saxon church, it
seems very likely that this is a late 11th century church built soon
after the Motte and Bailey castle, that surrounds it, was erected. The
church consists of only a simple rectangular nave and chancel with a
small 1890 vestry to the north and an 1890 replacement porch to the
The nave (and probably the chancel) originally had only
whole large flints for quoins at the corners, as well as around a high
up (in the gable) circular window in the west wall. Much of this
quoining was later (late 12th or 13th century) replaced with Caen and
Hythe stone quoins with rough diagonal tooling. These quoins are often
side-alternate (eg. NE quoin of chancel, NE and NW quoins of nave).
In the north and west walls of the nave are the remains
of three original single splay windows. Internally these are all
covered in plaster, but externally they have stone surrounds. That in
the middle of the west wall has been entirely replaced in Bath stone
(? 1890). The north window of the nave has small Caenstone jambs with
some Bath replacement in the upper part. It is perhaps c. late
11th/early 12th century date - the surrounding wall might also suggest
this. The original windows on the east and south as well as the
original doorways have all been replaced in the later Middle Ages, but
the doorways on the north and south probably mark the original
doorways. In the 13th century another doorway was apparently cut
through the middle of the west wall (below the earlier window). This
is now blocked with knapped flintwork, but above it is smaller
stonework with one block of Reigate stone, suggesting the 13th century
In the 13th century also new simple 2-centred doorways
were inserted on either side of the nave (with plain chamfered
surrounds to the outer doorway). The doorway on the north is smaller
than the southern one, and the latter still has four voussoirs
(decorated with chevron) above it. This must have come from the
earlier 12th century doorway. The rere-arches of both doorways seem to
re-use some earlier Caenstone jambs.
The two-light windows in the east wall and south wall of
the nave must both be early 14th century insertions. Externally the
east window is entirely restored in Bath stone, while the south nave
window is mostly original (only the central mullion and sill are in
Bath stone). Internally both these windows have fine Hythe stone jambs
with carefully drafted edges to the blocks. The internal sill to the
east window has been cut down in the 19th century so the altar could
be inserted there. The nave south window only has timber lintels over
it internally. There is a ?medieval aumbry on the NE side of the nave
(no original surround visible).
The south window of the chancel is a two-light
perpendicular window (15th century) with a square top. It has rougher
internal Hythe stone jambs. There is no chancel arch, but a small rood
screen was perhaps added at the end of the 15th century, as well as
perhaps the original south porch.
Over the west gable of the nave is a stone bell-cote for
2 bells. This was restored and rebuilt in c. 1890, but probably dates
originally from the 13th century. The Bell now displayed in the south
chancel (which broke in half in 1939, and was stuck together and
displayed) may well be an original 13th century bell made for the
church. There is today a single (replacement) bell in the south
bell-cote (the bell cote is shown in a ruined state in Petrie's early
19th century watercolour).
There were major restorations in 1866 (date on rain-water
hopper on SE corner of nave) and 1890. Smaller restorations were
carried out in 1911 and 1923. In 1890, the north vestry (with
fireplace) was added and a new porch. All the fittings in the nave and
chancel including the font (with 1929 lid) must date from the 19th
century restorations. The chancel roof is 19th century, but the nave
has remains of a substantially rebuilt later medieval crown-post roof.
Externally there is cement render on the south and east chancel walls,
and (redone recently) the nave north wall.
BUILDING MATERIALS (Incl. old plaster, paintings, glass, tiles etc.):
The original church is made of whole coursed flints (with occasional
Roman bricks) including flint quoins. There are quoins and jambs etc.
(added later?) of Caen and Hythe stone, and one piece of Reigate stone
in the west wall. Later Medieval jambs and tracery are in Hythe stone
with 19th century restorations in Bath stone.
CHURCHYARD AND ENVIRONS:
Shape: D-shaped - enlarged to road on SE, and to farmyard boundary on
SW (c. late 19th century).
Apparent extent of burial: Burials in churchyard first mentioned in
wills 1478, 1503, etc.
Earthworks: enclosing: The whole of the curving northern boundary of
the churchyard is the
adjacent: outer bailey bank of the early Norman motte and bailey
Building on boundary: Farmyard buildings of Coldred Court along
boundary to SW.
Exceptional monuments: - but some good headstones in situ in
Ecological potential: Good
HISTORICAL RECORD (where known):
Earliest ref. to church: Vicars presented in c. 1206 and 1208 (see Arch
Cant. 20 (1893), 65)
Evidence of pre-Norman status (DB. DM, TR etc.): None - it was one of
three 12th/13th century chapels (with Popeshall & Newsole) in the
parish - all perhaps founded in the late 11th century.
Late med. status: Appropriated to Maison Dieu soon after 1236. In 1584
(and confirmed in 1680) the vicarage was united with Shepherdswell.
Patron: Goes with the manor until in 1236 it was granted to the Maison
Dieu in Dover, then in 1520 to the Crown until c. 1549 it went to the
Other documentary sources: Hasted (IX) (1800), 391-3 Testamenta
Cantiana (E Kent, 1907), 85-6 mention "Light of Holy
Cross", 1478, "Light of St Catherine", 1517 etc,
"Light of St Pancras", 1466, etc, "To the reparation of
the Stepell of Coldred", 1509 & 1517.
Reused materials: A few Roman bricks in the church
Finds within 0.5km: A c. 300 feet deep well was discovered in the late
18th century (see Hasted IX 386 and plan) just south east of the
church (under the road). It may be the original castle well, or Roman.
Other Roman finds were made in the mid 18th century to the east of the
church when Waldershare Park was enlarged (Hasted op.cit)
SURVIVAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL DEPOSITS:
Inside present church: ? Good
Outside present church: - good
Quinquennial inspection (date\architect): ? Peter Marsh
ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL ASSESSMENT:
This church and its surrounding motte and bailey castle is an unusual
and important c.late 11th century monument, even though most of the
motte has been dug away. It is also a good example of an original
early Norman rectangular nave and chancel with no later additions
(except the 1890 vestry).
Few parish churches survive within the outer bailey of a motte and
REFERENCES: H M & J Taylor, Anglo Saxon Architecture I
Guide book: By Adrian Newell (Sept. 1989) with some useful
illustrations (but no plan)
Plans & drawings: Petrie view from SW (early 19th century) (New
plan (1:50) made by Howard Jones (August 1992))
DATES VISITED: 17th October
REPORT BY: Tim Tatton-Brown