Cathedral of the Weald

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If you read about my recent visit to the delightful Weald town of Cranbrook you will have seen my reference to St Dunstan’s church which is known as the ‘Cathedral of the Weald’. Wealth from the cloth industry enabled successive enlargements of the medieval church in the 15th and 16th century.

This delightful church is well worth a more detailed look around, so let’s go inside.

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Around the church are information panels providing details about particular interesting objects within.

The Font

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This font is Victorian from 1852, and example of early Victorian Gothic and made of Caen stone. The white marble carved figure behind commemorates Thomas Webster, an artist, and the Alexander Window above was installed by Col Alexander in memory of his wife and three children.

 The Green Man

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Although of pagan origin it is not unusual to find carvings of the Green Man inside a Christian church, even Canterbury Cathedral has 80 of them. When this church was built Cranbrook was surrounded by dense forest – the Weald. Four circular oak shields depicting these fierce-looking woodland spirits can be found here.

The church contains some splendid stained-glass windows

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The St Thomas Chapel

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This beautiful serene corner of the church is named after St Thoma a Beckett, who by the 15th century had replaced St Dunstan as England’s most popular saint. I loved the light flooding through the clear leaded windows.

The South Porch

This porch was built around 1390. The wooden door added in 1569 at a cost of 17 shillings and 7 pence (£2k today). On the ceiling is a stone-carved Green Man.

And a final look at the church surrounded by the old graveyard with interesting headstones.

If your interest is windows then Dawn from ‘The Day After’  invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story.