(A brief pen-portrait of the
Aisle is generally similar. The wooden ceiling, however, is more interesting
with its hammer beams and carved shields where it rests upon the corbels. The
roof of this aisle was restored to its present high pitch in 1886 according to
an entry in the Parish Magazine of December of that year.
At the east
end remains of an ancient lancet window are visible above what appears to have
been a doorway that faced west out into the open. This would have been prior to
the widening of the aisle. Observation of the arch opening into the north
transept reveals the possible slope of the 13th century lean-to aisle. No
piscina is in evidence near the place where the altar would have stood, but a
certain hollowness of the wall nearby could be a clue. A window of interest is
the one on the north wall containing a small section of stained glass with a
ship as the subject. The origin of the glass and how it came to be incorporated
in this particular window is unknown. The ship is clearly of Northern type,
though her superstructure owes something to Italian and Flemish style.
Certainly an ocean-going vessel, of 50-70 tons. Clearly 15th century and
probably circa 1430-70.
The ship is not a ‘cog’, the ordinary medieval trader, which was obsolete by
1400. Nor is she a fully fledged ‘carrack’. Probably something between the two.
Such a vessel might have been in the Flanders cloth trade or the Gascony wine
trade. With Cliffe once reputed to be a trading port, this could be possible.
The fact that this glass is placed in a window nearest the Thames may not be