St Michael's Church, East Peckham
|St Michael's, East Peckham|
|OS grid reference||TQ 661 521|
|Denomination||Church of England|
In 961, Queen Ediva the Queen Mother gave the manor of Peckham to the monks of Canterbury. A church was in existence at the time of Domesday. The earliest surviving parts of the existing church are the north walls of the nave and chancel, which are of the mid-12th century. The church at this time comprised the nave and a short chancel. The chancel was extended in the late 12th century. By the mid-13th century the south aisle had been built. In the late 13th century, a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary had been built to the east of the south aisle and south of the chancel. The tower was added in the early 14th century, and the porch in about 1500. The tower formerly carried a much taller spire than the current smaller spirelet. It was destroyed in a storm in 1704. The weathervane dates from 1928 and is a copy of the one erected in 1704. The remains of a sundial can be seen on the porch; it fell into disuse when a clock was installed in the church.
The vestry was added in the early 19th century. The church was restored by the Victorians in 1853 and 1863. St Michael's was listed at Grade II* by English Heritage in 1959, and it was declared redundant in 1973.
St Michael's has a ring of six bells hung for change ringing. The oldest (the fifth heaviest of the ring) was cast in 1747 by Robert Catlin. Two (the second and third heaviest) were cast in 1785 by William Mears of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The heaviest (the sixth, usually called the tenor) was cast in 1812 and the lightest (the first, usually called the treble) was cast in 1825 by Thomas Mears II and the remaining bell (the fourth heaviest) was cast in 1890, by Mears & Stainbank (all successors to Wiliam Mears at Whitechapel).
St Michael's has a number of memorials, including those to:-
- Richard Etclesley, who died in 1426, bequeathing the gift of a chalice to the church.
- The Henham family, who were farmers in East Peckham and propagated the Henham variety of hop.
- John Norwood VC, who rescued a fallen comrade during the Second Boer War under intense enemy fire.
- The Twysden family, who owned Roydon Hall, the manor of East Peckham. Sir Roger Twysden referred in his writings to the family plot at East Peckham church.
- The Whetenhall Stones, including those to the second and third wives of Thomas Whetenhall.
The church is open to the public daily from 10 am to 4 pm.
- List of churches preserved by the Churches Conservation Trust in Southeast England
- List of places of worship in Tonbridge and Malling
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to East Peckham, St. Michael.|
- St Michael's Church, East Peckham, Kent, Churches Conservation Trust, retrieved 30 May 2012
- Guide leaflet to St Michael's East Peckham, The Churches Conservation Trust, October 2007
- English Heritage. "Church of St Michael, East Peckham (1363012)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "EAST PECKHAM, St. Michael". Lovesguide. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
- "East Peckham S Michael". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
- Lawrence, Margaret (2004). For all the Saints, "St Michael's Church East Peckham, Parish and People. London: The Churches Conservation Trust. ISBN 0-906746-60-4.
- Vigar, John (2006). Guide to St Michael's Church. London: The Churches Conservation Trust.