Sundridge and Brasted CE Primary School

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St Mary's Church (Sundridge)

St Mary's Church, Sundridge

Standing on the north facing slope of the Vale of Holmesdale, St Mary’s Church, Sundridge is Grade I listed and is mentioned in 862. The current building dates from the 12th century and was extended to add the aisle in the 13th century. The Church was renovated and expanded in the 15th century and the chancel was remodelled in the early 19th century but it was damaged by fire in 1882. The western tower is probably 13th century and the door, window and buttresses were added in 15th century. The chancel has two bay arcades to side chapels and the east window probably consisted of lancets, the remains of which can still be seen. There is a carved reredos from 1882. There are 6 bells and the spire is shingled.


The interior of the church has many historic and interesting features including the Thomas Isley brass. Thomas Isley married Elizabeth Guldeford and they had 13 children, the eldest being Henry. Thomas died in 1518 aged about 35 and Elizabeth 12 years later. The West window is stained glass depicting Isaiah, Christ and John the Baptist and is by Heaton Butler & Bayne, 1862.


The living has been in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury since at least the time of Doomsday Book and successive Archbishops and their circles have endowed the building, both in structure and furnishing.


The church has a west tower, aisled nave with eastern chapel and chancel. The thirteenth century aisles were originally lean-to constructions with clerestory windows lighting the nave. In the fifteenth century the aisles were given their own roof structures making the former clerestory redundant though it may still be seen. There is a fine chandelier dated 1726, given by a cousin of the then Archbishop. In the eighteenth century the church received an additional family of benefactors, the Campbells, who lived at Combe Bank. Two female members of the family are commemorated by marble busts in the chancel. The nave displays five funeral hatchments. The west window of the south aisle depicting the Annunciation is by Kempe, whilst the splendid reredos of painted Caen stone.