"St. John the Baptist Church-Kent" Top 5 Page for this destination England Things to Do Tip by bpwillet

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  St. John the Baptist-Penshurst
by bpwillet

There has been a church in Penshurst since 1120, and probably even before that. For nearly 400 years, from mid 12th century to mid 16th century, the village priest was appointed directly by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The parish did not belong to the Diocese in which it was physically situated. The patronage (that is, the power to appoint the priest) then passed to Elizabeth I, and was subsequently granted to the Sidney family.

Set in the south wall inside the bell tower is a stone coffin lid in bas relief known as the Smiling Lady of Penshurst. It dates from the early 13th century and is thought to relate to the Albigensians, religious heretics who sought refuge in England from France.

The chuch houses the Sidney chapel and family vault, which contains memorials to many members of the Sidney family.

Directions: Just through the medieval Liester Square

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 29, 2004
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