All Saints' Church, Tudeley

All Saints' Church in Tudeley, Kent, England, is the only church in the world that has all its windows in stained glass designed by Marc Chagall.

History

A place of worship has existed in Tudeley since the seventh century, then one of only four in the Weald. The sandstone footings of the nave and tower may date from before the Norman conquest, and the church is listed in the Domesday Book under the village's alternative name of Tivedale. In 1293 the church was given to Tonbridge Priory. The majority of the existing structure was created in the later medieval period, during the 13th and 14th centuries. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1526, it came under the control of Christ Church, Oxford, and then in 1529 became controlled by the Crown, before returning to private hands in 1548. Today it is part of the Diocese of Rochester.

Restoration

The structure was extensively restored and renovated from the late 18th century, rebuilt in red Flemish Bond brick at a cost of £1,125. Much of the earlier stone shell of the chancel survived, as well as the lower walls of the nave and west tower. Three bells were also cast at this time and hung in the tower, and the roof topped with blue slate. The extant brick tower was constructed in 1765 and in 1798 the church was described as being rebuilt. In 1871-5 Robert Medley Fulford rebuilt the nave and added the north aisle in Bath stone, and in 1885 the chancel arch was constructed and the 1571 Fane monument restored. The monument is to George Fane (1512-1572) Sheriff of Kent in 1557-8, son of Richard Fane by his wife Agnes Stidulf, the daughter and heiress of Henry Stidulf of Badsell, the son of Thomas Stidulf and his wife Marion Badsell, whose monumental brass is in the chancel.

Windows

On 19 September 1963, Sarah the daughter of Sir Henry and Lady D'Avigdor-Goldsmid who owned nearby Somerhill House, was drowned in a sailing accident off Rye, East Sussex. In her memory, the couple commissioned Russian-French artist Marc Chagall to design a stained glass window for the church. which was installed in 1967. When Chagall arrived for the dedication of the east window in 1967, and saw the church for the first time, he exclaimed "C'est magnifique! Je les ferai tous!" ("It's magnificent! I will do them all!") Over the next ten years Chagall designed the remaining eleven windows, made again in collaboration with the glassworker Charles Marq in his workshop at Reims in northern France. The last windows were installed in 1985, just before Chagall's death.

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Rory Sutherland
2 April 2012
One of the most astonishing - and surprisingly little-known - parish churches in Britain. The windows are all by Marc Chagall. Honest.
Ubershopper
18 September 2016
Beautiful stunning stained glass windows by Chagall.
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