ASHURST, Kent – St Martin of Tours. 

Alterations 1904-5

The alterations were listed thus in Church Bells & Illustrated Church News 11 Aug 1905:

  • New vestry and organ chamber, N. of Chancel
  • Chancel re-arranged and beautified
  • Altar raised on a semi-circular base of mosaic and carved in white marble
  • Rest of chancel also laid in mosaic
  • Oak stalls, sedilia, rails, priest’s desk and chair
  • Old pulpit re-modelled and new base fitted
  • King post at entrance to chancel made into a cross, with wooden shields fixed to make the upright and arms
  • Heating apparatus re-modelled
  • White altar frontal
  • Other improvements

The curved marble floor and corresponding communion rail would seem to be unique in the architect’s work, nothing similar having been seen by the author.

Also of interest is the “little rose window” above the font, about which the Rector had to say, at Christmas in 1910:

The little rose window…has now been filled with stained glass… I am pleased that it has met with such general approval, and I think such a beautiful and artistic representation of our Lord blessing little children deserves to be admired. Mr. Fellowes Prynne kindly painted the picture and superintended the burning of the glass without charging any fee, and the glass, which cost £20, was entrusted to Messrs. Percy Bacon & Bros., of London.

Pevsner also quoted Fellowes Prynne as having possibly been responsible for the stone arch at the west end, and observation would appear to confirm this.

The Kent and Sussex Courier of 3 March 1905 described the dedication of the new vestry and organ chamber, for which the contractor was Mr Flint of High Wycombe.

The additions to the Church have been carried out in sandstone with Bath stone dressings, a very pleasing feature of the interior being the fine Mosaic work in the chancel, and the semi-circular marble steps leading up to the altar, the fine wood carving of the stalls being also very rich and solid, Mr. Prynne having spent much time and trouble in endeavouring to ensure perfect harmony in the ornamentations.  The restoration and cleaning of the nave, together with the removal of the font to the west end of the Church, has been carried out by the voluntary contributions of the parishioners.  The altar cloth and hangings were designed by the architect, and are handsome and effective.

The oak organ case, together with the new vestry door, are also to the designs of George Fellowes Prynne.

The undated postcard shows the interior of the church following Fellowes Prynne’s alterations.  The photo shows the curved altar rails and their marble and mosaic base.