This is a delightful and much needed account of the origins and development of the church of St. Botolph at Lullingstone. It brings together and clarifies a great deal of information making it accessible and entertaining. It ranges over the whole period of the known existence of the church up to the present day and looks back beyond what has been fully documented concerning the present foundation to what may well have preceded it. It suggests answers to many of the questions which are often asked, Who was St. Botolph? How did it come about that this church was dedicated to him? What was and is the relationship of the church to Lullingstone Castle and the families who have lived there? When was the church built? altered? "beautified"? Who carved the screen? Where did the stained/painted glass come from? and Who are the people represented in it? and so on. It provides a list of all the Rectors of the church with the dates that they were the incumbents, and a family tree for the Peché, Hart and Dyke families. It contains the text of the inscriptions on all the major monuments and brasses, which are quite difficult to decipher in situ, and it explores most of the heraldic symbolism which appears in the windows and elsewhere in the church. The accompanying illustrations are excellent and there is the added bonus of the presentation of an imaginative poetic reconstruction of the thoughts of a fifth century inhabitant of the village that existed on the slope above the Roman Villa. Even the dedication provides a delightful touch. It is well worth reading and a real bargain at its cover price.
Review reprinted from The Trident Magazine.