St Nicholas Church Lychgate - Chislehurst, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 24.558 E 000° 04.497
31U E 296581 N 5699402
Quick Description: The original lychgate was constructed at some point between 1680 and 1860. In 1892, as the churchyard grew in size, the lychgate was moved to a new position on the south side of the boundary. It is not clear whether this was a new lychgate or not.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/21/2019 2:31:32 AM
Waymark Code: WM115WX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tuena
Views: 8

Long Description:

The lychgate is of timber construction supported by two hefty posts, one to the left and the other to the right. It has a tiled roof that starts with a shallow pitch but it gets steeper. Two crosses are placed on the top of the roof at each end of the pitch.

There are inscriptions carved in to the beams of the lychgate - see photos.

The London Gardens Online webiste has an article about St Nicholas church and its environs that tells us:

"The church of St Nicholas surrounded by its burial ground formed a picturesque group on the edge of the common. Its tall shingled spire has long been a local landmark. It is probable that a church has existed on this site since Norman times, and when the church was rebuilt in the C15th it incorporated traces of the earlier fabric; a small Saxon window is visible above the west door, and the Norman font is still used. The C15th building largely remains today; it was restored in 1557, and enlarged with some rebuilding in 1849 by Benjamin Ferry when the south aisle and vestry were added, in 1858 by Wollaston, and in 1896 by Bodley and Garner when a new east end was added. The spire was rebuilt after a fire in 1857. An C18th view of St Nicholas's Church, at that time in Kent, shows the C15th church built mainly of rough flint, its church tower lying on the west side of the north aisle. The Scadbury Chapel at the east end of the north aisle was traditionally used by the Lords of the Manor of Scadbury, many of whom were buried in the vaults under the chapel from medieval times up until the late C19th. Thomas Walsingham purchased the manor in 1424, and the rebuilding of the church in 'Perpendicular' style has been attributed to his son, also Thomas. Sir Francis Walsingham was Spymaster to Elizabeth I. The Walsingham Memorial is in the north-east of the Chapel.

The boundaries of the churchyard remained the same according to a map of c1680 to the first 25 inch OS map of 1861, each showing a lych gate to the south. A new one was erected in 1866, its design based on that of St George's, Beckenham (q.v.). Fencing on the west side of the churchyard was provided under a will of 1459 and it is possible the fence today recalls that early design. A sign of the growing suburb was the extension of the churchyard in 1890. Two cottages had been pulled down by the trustees of the late Earl Sydney, probably with the intention of building new properties on the site, but as a result of a circular urging the extension of the churchyard, the trustees sold the land to the church for £450, which with legal fees came to £689 and was paid for by local subscription. In 1892 the lych gate was moved back to the new boundary, built on the lines of a Wealden house with imposing wooden supports and a tiled roof. In the following year the additional burial ground was consecrated by the Bishop of Dover. The layout of the churchyard has remained substantially unaltered to the present day. There are 2 pedestrian entrances with substantial timber gates at Church Row and Church Lane, and the path layout appears much as shown in 1861. The path from the lych gate leading to the south door of the church is bordered by rounded sculpted yew trees; yews also border some sections of the other main paths, and a mature yew is found to the east of the church. Elsewhere in the churchyard are scattered conifers and a number of oak trees. The western end of the northern boundary is a substantial brick wall, with lower close-boarded fencing at the eastern end. On the other sides the graveyard is enclosed by low wooden paling.

Abutting Church Lane is a small building, now probably used as a garden store, which was built in 1890 as a mortuary; prior to this corpses awaiting burial had to be kept at the Tigers Head opposite the lych gate. It is clad by segments of tree trunks with bark, with brick corner piers and a tiled roof. There are numerous graves and tombs in the churchyard, mainly of the C18th and C19th. The earliest existing church register of burials date from 1558, and the church has a record of the gravestone inscriptions and memorials inside the building. North of the west gate are two large sarcophagi to Col. George Lewis and family, dating from 1795, and to the south east is a plain cross to William Willett, 1915, who introduced daylight saving or Summer Time. Also buried here are Sir Malcolm Campbell who held the land and water speed record, and Fr Charles Lowder, first Vicar of St Peter's London Docks, whose grave is marked by a white cross north of the church. Set in the south-west corner of the boundary is a memorial in the form of a drinking fountain commemorating Rev. Charles Janson, 1882. A modern feature on the northern boundary has the names of those members of the parish who have been cremated inscribed on plates set onto the wall, in front of which is a burial area for children."

Year: 1892

St Nicholas Church Manor Park Road Chislehurst United Kingdom

Link to Church or Cemetery: [Web Link]

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OrientGeo visited St Nicholas Church Lychgate - Chislehurst, UK 11/16/2020 OrientGeo visited it