Croydon Episcopal Area
Details of the Church
Chaldon Church is of Saxon Foundation and is recorded in the Charter of Frithwald, dated 727 AD. It came under the overlordship of the King of Mercia who founded Chertsey Abbey in 666 AD. Chertsey Abbey was the first religious settlement in Surrey and was run by Benedictine monks.
Some 300 years later, after the death of Edward the Confessor in January 1066, William of Normandy invaded and conquered England and was crowned King at Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day of that year.
The Normans set up the Manorial System in England and in 1085 made the Great Survey which resulted in the Domesday Book in which Chaldon is recorded as “Chalvedune, being of two hides (200 acres) and a church”. Tollsworth Manor and Chaldon Manor both came under the Charter of Chertsey and remained so until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII.
It is beyond doubt that Chaldon Church is a very ancient church. It still plays an important part in English history, notably by its famous wall painting and its proximity to Chaldon Court, the ancient Manor house of Roger de Covert who, together with Patience Lambert and other notable parishioners is buried here.
The church consisted originally of a rectangular nave with high walls and a chancel, which might well have been an apse. The west wall is of traditional flint construction and is almost certainly original, and the wall containing the chancel arch may also be. The aisles were opened up by simple Early English arches into the similar high walls – the south aisle in the late 12th century, and the north aisle perhaps 50 years later. The arches of the south aisle have a simple chamfer, while those of the north aisle have a double chamfer. The chancel arch is also Early English, an enlargement of the original archway. Originally there were arches from the chancel to extensions of both aisles, but the northern aisle is walled-up, (and revealed in the 1869 restoration). The south aisle ends at St. Kateryn’s Chapel, 13th – 14th centuries, now the Lady Chapel with two scenes from the life of St. Mary in the east window, while the south windows contains some original, very old small glass panes. The north aisle ends in a corresponding chapel which is now shortened, with a pair of windows depicting St Peter and St Paul to the north and a pair of angels in the east window. Both of these windows commemorate the Gardiner family of Rockshaw. The shingled broach spire was added in 1842, and the vestry was built at the same time. The east window of the chancel contains scenes of Christ’s Nativity, Crucifixion and Ascension and dates from 1869. There is an Easter sepulchre on the north side with quatrefoils and blank shields from the 15th century.