TQ9741 : Brass to Nicholas Toke, Great Chart church

taken 8 years ago, near to Great Chart, Kent, Great Britain

Brass to Nicholas Toke, Great Chart church
Brass to Nicholas Toke, Great Chart church
This is the last brass in England to show a full suit of armour.
He survived 5 wives, and it is said that he died aged 93 on the way to London to marry number 6! His previous wives were Anne Robinson, Margaret Knatchbull, Jane Dobell, Mary Brown and Lady Diana Finch (their arms can be seen in the lighter coloured stone).
Known as "The Captain" he was in the navy in his younger days, but was actually a gentleman farmer. He built the house at Godinton which he adorned with oak panelling, a chestnut staircase dated 1629, and fireplaces in Bethersden marble dated 1631.
He purchased a new Bell for the church, and oak choir stalls. In 1662 he was made Sheriff of Kent, and he was described as "an honest Gentleman and of great estate".
On the brass below him are his 3 daughters, Elinore, Bridget and Mary (in more modern dress). It is thought the monument was provided by Bridget.
He died in 1680.
St Mary's church, Great Chart

Grade I listed.

A church has stood on this site probably since the 12th century, although it is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The early church probably just consisted of the chancel and nave, possibly with the tower.

The church was rebuilt in the 14th century when the present layout was adopted. The chancel is longer than the nave. The 14th century church had a high pitched roof spanning both aisles, the outside walls were very low
in the mid-15th century a fire damaged the church and it was restored by the rector James Goldwell, who in 1472 became Bishop of Norwich. There is a window in the east end depicting him.
After the restoration the church was as it is now, the walls were raised to admit larger windows and the aisles were covered with flat leaded roofs. A Rood screen and loft were built, and the nave walls were raised to allow clerestory windows to be built.

The church consists of chancel, nave with north and south aisles, a west tower, porch and vestry. There is a north and a south Chapel.
The base of the tower dates from the 14th century, but the upper part is 15th century. Like the rest of the church, it is constructed of Kentish Ragstone, which was quarried locally.
The north Chapel contains an altar tomb to William and Avice Goldwell, and also brasses and memorials to the Toke family who owned the Godinton estate nearby.

The chancel, which is 14th century originally had 4 Bay arcades, but these were replaced in the 15th century by 3 unequal arches to accommodate the Rood screen. The east wall was rebuilt in 1866. There is a stone reredos from 1912.
The south Chapel, which contains the organ has 14th century windows with original 15th century glass.
The nave has 3 Bay arcades of octagonal piers with clerestory windows.
Although the vestry is mainly 19th century, the jambs of the door early Norman, circa 1080.
The south porch is 15th century, as is the font.

The church contains several brasses and memorial windows to the Toke family.

The roof was repaired in 2012.

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TQ9741, 122 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 8 December, 2013   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 10 December, 2013
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
Church (from Tags)
St Marys 
Place (from Tags)
Great Chart 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 9797 4191 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:8.5331N 0:49.7249E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 9796 4191
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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Other Tags
Church Brass 

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