Cobham and Luddesdowne Kent

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There are more photographs of Cobham Church and its brasses in the 'photograph' section of the website, please click here to see them.

Situated on the highest point in the village the church predominates and is a great attraction to visitors.

Early in the thirteenth century the de Cobhams began to provide money for rebuilding the existing old church. Of this work only the splendid Chancel dating from 1220 survives. The de Cobhams seem to have regarded it as their own Chapel and place of burial and made it exceptionally large for a parish church similar perhaps to the huge endowments of the Norfolk 'wool' churches.

About 1860 when the Chancel was re-fashioned, two small fragments of an earlier church were uncovered. These can be seen in the Chancel.

The period 1360 - 70 was a time of intense building at the expense of Sir John de Cobham, described on his brass as 'the Founder of this place'. He re-built the nave with its two aisles, raised the roof, and added the porch and parvis. He also built the College, which still stands to the south of the Church, and liberally endowed the Church, presenting it with ornaments, vestments, books and plate. His last work was to add the tower, lengthening the two aisles to clasp it. It is among the finest of Kentish west towers, and it is fairly certain. that he was being advised by Henry Yevele, the King's Master Mason and architect of the naves of Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

The Tower houses the six church bells, four of which date back to the seventeenth century (the earliest dated 1623) being cast by the Kentish bell founder, Joseph Hatch; a fifth is dated 1994. The ring of five bells was increased to six by the addition of a new treble bell cast in 1907, which was given by the 8th Earl of Darnley to commemorate the coming of age of his son, Lord Clifton.


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