Saint Martin's Church - description page 3
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Introduction and history, Interior, Tower/Porch, Bells, Walls, Doors and windows,
Leper's window
, Font, Roof, Rood, Chancel, Vestry, Saint Martin of Tours

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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 steps.

This is 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.

West wall
Detail of west wall above the door, right

West wall
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 Norman date.

The lepers' window. Go to the picture of the whole wall to see where it is.


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This edition copyright Stephen Bax 1999