The Present Building - Outside
The church is built of stock bricks, in Flemish bond. They are described in the building agreement as ‘best Grey Stock bricks’ (but they are, in fact, yellow in colour). This type of brick was popular in the 18th and much of the 19th century, and is the earliest surviving example of its use in Gravesend. They were probably made by an itinerant brickmaker.
The quoins and dressings are of Bath stone. This stone had been used in the south-west of England since Roman times but was imported into London only in the second quarter of the 18th century. This is probably the first use of Bath stone in Kent, outside the London area. It is a fairly soft stone and, where it has decayed, has been replaced by Portland stone.
The present chancel was built in 1892, together with the vestry which replaced the original one at the southwest corner of the nave. In the 1732 building, the chancel was only ten feet from front to back but the work of 1892 extended it by a further eight feet. The dedication stone can be seen from Princes Street. The architect for this work and also the north aisle was William Basset Smith (though he is called Barrell Smith in the faculty giving permission for the changes).
The Tower and the Bells
The tower is part of the original 1732 building. Around the string-course above the bell-ringing chamber there is a Latin inscription affirming ‘This same building being destroyed by a disastrous fire, King George II most generously ordered to be rebuilt by Act of Parliament’.
The church boasts a fine peal of eight bells, originally made by John Applebee and Richard Phelps. They were installed in 1736, four years after the present church was built, and paid for by public subscription. The bells have been recast on a number of occasions, the most recent in 1923.
The present clock was provided by the Gravesend Improvement Commissioners in 1886 and now belongs to the Gravesham Borough Council.
The tablet on the outside west wall to the south of the tower commerorates Charles Sloane, a local architect, who built the church. The inscription should read ‘Here no envy dwells’ - not ‘swells’ (see Sloane's will).
This was covered originally with lead. In 1872 the lead was replaced by ‘best Westmorland slates’ which have in turn been superceded by Stonewold tiles, laid between 1976-1978.