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Churches Committee
Kent Churches - Architectural & Historical Information

  St Peter & St Paul Church, Teston     TQ 7056 5352

Tim Tatton-Brown's Survey 1995

LOCATION: On the east side of village green' in the village of Teston, with Barham Court just to the north-east, it is at c.120 ft. above O.D. on the south-east side of the Hythe Beds ridge overlooking the Medway to the south. The main road of later medieval date (first shown on the 1596 map of Kent) passed through the village to cross a, still existing, bridge over the Medway.

DESCRIPTION: The church was completely rebuilt in the early 18th Century by Sir Philip Boteler (the faculty was obtained in 1736). There are no obvious signs that it was rebuilt on its old foundations, but this is possible, as the church has a roughly `conventional' plan that is cruciform with a western tower (and a slender shingled spire). there are no signs of reused materials in the walls, but reused window fragments in the tower of Nettlestead church (put there in 1841) may be from Teston.

The c.1736 church has round-headed windows of Portland stone. These survive in the nave and tower on the east side of the south transept (with cement repairs to the stone). There are also Portland stone square-headed doorways on the west (under the tower) and north and south (into the transepts), and a round-headed doorway into the east side of the north transept. The church has four characteristic buttressed gable ends - corbelled out to copings for the gable tops - on the four faces. There is also a fine early 18th Century reredos inside.

In 1846 `Gothic' (`Perpendicular' in the transept north and south walls) windows were put into the chancel and transepts, and crosses were added to the gable-tops.

Royal Arms of 1811 painted by J. Adams.

BUILDING MATERIALS (Incl. old plaster, paintings, glass, tiles etc.):
All the main walls are built with roughly-coursed Ragstone rubble with galleting. The original round-headed (c.1736) windows are of Portland stone, with the inserted chancel and transept `Gothic' windows (c.1846) of Bath stone. The tower parapet is of Flemish-bond brickwork with blue headers.

Shingle spire and pegged-tile roofs.


Size & Shape: Large trapezoidal area around church, with extension to west.

Condition: Good - all mown.

Boundary walls: Brick on Ragstone plinth to the north (i.e. road) side.

Exceptional monuments: Some good headstones (18th - early 19th Century).

Ecological potential: ? Yes - some yew trees in churchyard.

HISTORICAL RECORD (where known):
Earliest ref. to church: Textus Roffensis, as `Terstana'..

Late med. status : Vicarage.

Patron: Given to Leeds Priory in the early 12th Century, and it, and Lamberhurst church were appropriated to the Priory in the mid-12th Century. The vicarage was endowed. After the dissolution the vicarage went to the Dean and Chapter of Rochester and the Advowson remained with the crown until, in the early 17th Century, it went to private hands. It belonged to the Botelers in the early 18th Century, when the church was rebuilt.

Other documentary sources: Hasted V (1798) 135-6.
Test. Cant. (West Kent, 1906), 78 which mentions probable repairs to the tower in 1521-2.

Finds within 0.5km : There is a Roman Villa mile to the south-west.

Inside present church: Unknown, but remains of the earlier church must

Outside present church: underlie the present church.

To structure: Some new coping-stones to gable-ends, and new north-west quoins to the tower.

The church and churchyard: This church is a rare example of a church that was totally rebuilt in the 18th Century (c.1736), though the fine nearby church at Mereworth is another example. The site of the earlier medieval church is almost certainly below the present church.

DATES VISITED: 8/5/95.                               REPORT BY: Tim Tatton-Brown

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