Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Fly away Peter, Fly away Paul.

After the unpleasant experience of a near head on crash at Sutton, I decided to go back, have a look at the bend where it happened and then take a closer look at the village.

I had never noticed the church before, although I have driven down Church Hill a couple of times. From the road all that is visible at first is the Semi-circular end to the chancel. James Syms describes it as the only apsidal church in Kent. I have to confess that I didn't know what this meant, so I did a little research. An apse in architecture is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault. In church architecture, the term is applied to the semi-circular or polygonal section of the sanctuary at the liturgical east end beyond the altar. Geometrically speaking, an apse is either a half-cone or half-dome.

Once parked, not an easy job on Church Hill, I walked up the hill in gale force winds that nearly blew me off my feet. The steps up to the church of St Peter and St Paul lead to the neat church yard and the small attractive building is surrounded by trees and bushes.

There is a solitary bell fixed on the outside of the church by a metal frame. Originally this was housed in a wooden belfry.

The confined space and all the trees make it difficult to get a complete view of the building.

The church keys are available form the church wardens but I didn't have time for a full exploration. Reading James Syms book it will be worth a second visit, perhaps when the wind isn't blowing at about 40-60 mph and the rain isn't arriving in buckets full ever ten minutes!

From closer the Apse can be seen to be a more recent addition to the Norman church. It was in fact added in Victorian times although it is said to follow the original Norman plan of this church.

No comments: