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The parish church of St Mary, Westwell, is a pilgrim’s church which nestles under the Downs, with duck pond and ancient houses for company.
The Church of St Mary is a Grade 1 listed monument situated in the centre of Westwell village. The oldest part of the church dates from the 13th Century. It has many unique features, including a Norman font of Bethersden marble and a 13th century Tree of Jesse window: this depicts the descent of Christ from David and is one of only a handful in parish churches.
The church is in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
A key for the church is available; see the notice in the church porch
Extract from “Kent Churches” by John E. Vigar
St. Mary, Westwell
“A particularly rewarding church which throughout the Middle Ages belonged to Christ Church Canterbury, which spent large sums of money on it. The chancel, by far the most elaborate part of the building, is separated from the nave by a screen of three trefoil-headed arches supported on tall cylindrical pillars. That this was not the rood screen may be seen by the notches cut into it that originally carried the wooden screen set at a lower level in between. The chancel is vaulted in stone, held together by iron tiebars. The Sedalia, of three seats, set under battlements, is unusual in having the two easternmost seats on the same level, with just the third a few inches lower. The east window contains some mediaeval glass depicting the Tree of Jesse, whilst in the north chapel is some heraldic glass of Richard II’s reign. There are some plain poppy headed stalls in the arcaded panels. In 1967 two gold flagons were sold to the Goldsmith’s Company to raise money for essential repairs to save the church from collapse”.