FORDCOMBE, Kent – St Peter. 

Restoration 1906; War Memorial 1920

The following information is obtained from a former website for the church, for which permission to use was given at the time.

The building, of local fine sandstone ashlar, was founded in 1848. It is largely unaltered today, though the wing in the north-east corner housing the vestry and organ bay was added in 1883.

Inside, the chancel has had the floor raised; the four outer panels of the remarkable mosaic reredos were added to the earlier centrepiece; the present east windows, showing Christ surrounded by saints, replaced the originals, and a new altar was installed. All this was in 1906, the architect being G.H. Fellowes Prynne; the donors, the family of George Hanbury Field who died in 1901, created these additions as his memorial.

The rood screen, in memory of Charles, 2nd Viscount Hardinge (who died in 1894), was probably earlier, provided by Emily, one of his eight children.

It is not clear whether the striking and unusual mandorla window high in the east wall, featuring the dove representing the Holy Spirit, is from 1849 or the window renewal of 1906.

The Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser described the unveiling of the War Memorial in its edition of 28 May 1920.  It was erected just inside the churchyard.

The memorial takes the form of a handsome Cross, carved out in Forest of Dean stone, the octagonal base being of Kentish rag.  The shaft rises to a height of thirteen feet from the ground level, and the names of the fallen appear round the upper base.  The Memorial, which is banked round in the shape of a sacred grove, is approached by steps from the Churchyard path.  The idea was to separate it from the Churchyard, and the site chosen was an excellent one.  On the Cross there was a crucifix, with a figure in bronze.  The work was executed by Messrs. Burslem and Son, of Tunbridge Wells, from the designs of Mr. G. Fellowes Prynne, Westminster.

The current website for the church is Penshurst Church History, Norman church, St John the Baptist, Kent

The vintage postcard (date unclear) shows the altar and reredos.