St Peter & St Paul Church, Teston TQ 7056
ROCHESTER DIOCESE: HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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
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.
EXCEPTIONAL MONUMENTS IN CHURCH: -
CHURCHYARD AND ENVIRONS:
Size & Shape: Large trapezoidal area around church, with extension
Condition: Good - all mown.
Boundary walls: Brick on Ragstone plinth to the north (i.e. road)
Exceptional monuments: Some good headstones (18th - early 19th
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 ½ mile to the south-west.
SURVIVAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL DEPOSITS:
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.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL ASSESSMENT:
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.
REPORT BY: Tim Tatton-Brown
Churches - Architectural & Historical Information Introduction
Church Committee Introduction
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