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St Peter, Newenden, Kent

(51°0′56″N, 0°36′47″E)
TQ 834 273
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Kent
now Kent
  • Toby Huitson
  • Mary Berg
01 September 2011

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Feature Sets

Newenden is a village about 13 miles N of Hastings, on the River Rother. The church is a (mostly) later medieval building with N and S aisles and a modern neo-Romanesque chancel. The S aisle is very shallow and encloses a chantry chapel to the E, and an unlit lean-to roof space over the porch with permanent stair access to the W. The building is short and wide.

The only surviving Romanesque sculpture is the font.


The manor was granted to the Archbishopric of Canterbury by Offa, king of Mercia, and Domesday Book confirms the possession of 'Newedene' in 1066, when the manor was held by Leofric, and in 1086; there is no mention of a church at that time.





The tree and leaf motifs on the W side of the font bowl are reminiscent of the Water Plan in the Eadwine Psalter which could suggest a comparable date. The fact that the N side is uncarved could suggest that it was originally located against a wall. The font is notable as it is both elaborate and large for the building. Could it have been commissioned for a different building? There is a local tradition that it was brought from Rye.


M. Berg, Norman Churches in the Canterbury Diocese, Dorchester 2009, 137, 139, 143.