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St Martin, Overstrand
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The reconstruction coincided with the pre-War triumphalism of the Church of England, which was at that time at its highest point in the national consciousness, but the project demanded a rigorously vernacular style, and so too many excesses were avoided. The guardian angel in his niche on the south side is not a taste of things to come, because you step into a relatively plain and simple interior which is full of light from the clear glass windows. The only colour comes from a vibrant east window depicting Christ in Majesty with St Cuthbert and St Martin. The aisle and chancel are by Upcher & Lacey, the north doorway surviving to create an unusual opening between aisle and nave. Mortlock says the current south porch was originally on the north side. Arthur Mee says that the old font was found in a garden.
Although Overstrand is in many ways still a remote backwater, the memorials and headstones here record links to some of the 19th century's most significant philanthropic families, including members of the Buxton and Gurney families as well as Lady Battersea, who was one of the Rothschilds.
Simon Knott, November 2008
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