We now enter the Church proper by a
13th century doorway.Of the size and shape
of the original building, we are still not sure, but it is thought
to stretch from the West wall (the wall through which we enter)
and to terminate in an Eastern apse just short of the present Altar
the door we have just entered.
West wall with 13th C entrance - note the leper
window to the bottom right.
The portion thought to have been
rebuilt first for the use of Queen Bertha is the existing Chancel
from the three chancel steps to the three altar steps.
This is the view ahead of us into the old Chancel
- the original church
The side walls
of the Nave were probably rebuilt after the arrival of St. Augustine,
and the West wall, which was standing in ruinous state, incorporated
to complete the Church to its original shape and size. The walls
have been patched and repaired in successive ages, and in the Nave
consist chiefly of Kentish ragstone, blocks of chalk with bonding
courses of Roman bricks. The first 20 feet of the Chancel is composed
almost entirely of Roman bricks. The oldest parts of the existing
building are the entire West wall and the first part of the Chancel
to the altar rails and approximately 8 feet in height, which are
said to remain from the original Roman building of the fourth century.
The side walls of the Nave are Saxon from St. Augustine's time,
but built on Roman foundations. The upper parts of the Chancel walls
are Saxon. The portion Eastwards from the altar rails is late twelfth
or early thirteenth century, but very much restored about the middle
of the last century.
In the West
wall high above the door by which we enter, one can trace the outline
of a rough arch or opening.
Detail of west wall above the door, right
Detail of one of the infilled windows
above the door, left.
This may have been a circular or
two-light window over a different and earlier doorway. On either
side of this arch we have a Roman window, the lower half of which
is original. The top portion is either late Saxon or early Norman.
The turn of the original arch made with Roman bricks can be seen
half-way up the existing window. These windows and the central opening
were filled up when the tower was erected.
On the right
of the door, about 2 feet from the floor, is a Lepers' Window of
The lepers' window. Go to the picture of
the whole wall to see where it is.
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