TICEHURST, Kent – St Mary. 

Chapel Altar etc. 1921; Screen  1916/1925 

On 28 January 1921, Dart and Francis provided an estimate for a framed and traceried oak altar with plain panels, no. 4 oak riddel posts and candle sockets – £54, including drapes to fill between the riddel posts.

A letter in the Dart and Francis archives of 21 Feb 1921 said of the altar:

The right sizes will be no. 3 front panels 1’4 ½” long, and no. 2 end panels 1’3 ½” long.

It was clearly beneficial to use the same contractor whenever possible!

The altar is located in the south chapel. It is a simple design – three-panelled with decorative carving at the top of each panel.  The “No. 4 oak riddel posts and candle sockets” were also installed, but these are no longer in situ.

As regards the screen, The guidebook for the church gives the date of installation as 1916, and as this is the date carved on to the screen, one assumes this is where that date comes from.  But the article below suggests that the screen was not actually agreed on and installed till 1925.

The Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser of 17 April 1925 reported on the agreement to proceed with the creation and installation of the screen.

Referring to the new Chancel Screen which it is proposed to place in the Church, the VICAR mentioned that a previous plan which had been submitted had not been approved, and he now submitted a new plan by Mr. George R. [sic] Fellowes Prynne.  This having been handed round, was heartily approved by the meeting, and the Vicar and Wardens were empowered to apply for a faculty for its erection.  It will bear the inscription: “This screen is erected to the Glory of God and in memory of Alexander Samuel Lysaght Newington, M.B., who died 17th January, 1914, by his widow, M. Gertrude F. Newington.”

The screen is of oak.  There are details, especially along the top of the screen, which are very similar to those in many others he designed. In particular should be noted the delicate decorative edging along the top, the fineness and originality of the tracery, the scrolls of grapes and vine leaves, and the Lombardy Gothic lettering of the memorial inscription.


The undated postcard shows the interior of the church, featuring the screen.  The photos, courtesy of Cassie Tillett, show details of the screen, and the altar.