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Cobham, St Mary Magdalene

Cobham St Mary Magdalene

Cobham Church St Mary Magdalene Interior

Location: Cobham, Kent



Opening Information:

Church and College guided tour available by arrangement.


In the 13th Century the de Cobham family rebuilt an existing church, which can be seen in the Chancel dating from 1220.The earliest reference to a church on this site is from 1115 although it is thought that it was originally a Saxon church. In 1360-79 John de Cobham rebuilt the nave, raised the roof, and added the porch and parvis, and added the tower. John also built the college to the south of the church.




Jone de Kobham, died 1298, brass laid in 1320. The brass is made up of 4 seperate pieces. Jone wears a long robe over a close fitting garment with buttoned sleeves and a veil over her head. Her neck is concealed by a wimple.On her forehead she wears a jewelled garland. The inscription in Norman French reads "Dame Jone de Cobham lies here. May God have mercy on her soul. Whoever will pray for her shall have forty days pardon". Jone was the wife of John the Younger and they had 6 sons and 1 daughter, her father was Robert Septvans.

Joan de Cobham 1320


John de Cobham, 2nd Baron Cobham, Admiral of the Kings fleet, Constable of Rochester, died 25 February 1354. This brass was produced from a London workshop. It shows platemail being worn over chainmail, a bascinet, an aventail with studed mail on his thighs. John stands on a creature with the head of a sheep, the body of a greyhound and the claws of a lion. The Norman French inscription is unusual with its rhyming, its non rhyming English translation is: "You who pass round this place pray for the soul of the courteous host called John de Cobham May God grant him entire pardon He died the day after the feast of St Mattew and the Almighty took him to himself in the year of grace 1354 and cast down his mortal enemies".

John de Cobham 1354


John de Cobham, 1315-1408, brass was laid down in 1367 and is from a London workshop. The Church is not Cobham but a stock picture. The inscription is in Norman French and reads: "From the earth I was made and formed and into earth and to earth am I returned John of Cobham Founder of this place which was previously named May the Holy Trinity have mercy on my soul". John was son of John de Cobham, the 2nd Baron Cobham and Joan Beauchamp. John founded a Chantry of 5 priests which later became the college, and was therefore known as the founder. John died at Maiden Bradley and was brought back to Cobham for burial at a cost of 10/3d.

John de Cobham 1367


Thomas de Cobham, died 20 December 1367. Thomas wears a bascinet with aventail protecting the neck and shoulders, with plate mail covering the arms and ring mail covering the wrists and hands. The thighs are protected with studded armour, behind each stud was a round plate to spread the blow. Genouliers protect the knee which are made of leather, the shins are covered with plate armour and the feet by sollerets. The inscription is "You who pass this way pray for the soul of Thomas de Cobham who died on the eve of St Thomas the Apostle. Almighty may you permit him to live in your company in the year of grace 1367. May the Holy Trinity be his defence against the abyss of Hell.". Thomas was a son of Henry the 1st Baron and brother of John the 2nd baron, Reginald the priest and Margaret. Thomas had 3 crescents on his hearldry instead of lions.

Thomas de Cobham 1367


Margaret de Cobham, died 4 September 1357. This is a London brass and was produced in the 1360's. Margaret wears a peticoat with an outer skirt, a tight fitting bodice and sleeves buttoned to the wrist. On her head Margaret wears a nebul head dress of 3 jagged frills and a jewelled fillet across the forehead. At the feet of Margaret lies a dog with bells on its collar. The Norman French inscription reads: "Here lies Margaret of Cobham formerly the wife of Will Pympe knight who died the fourth day of September in the year of Grace 1375 on the soul of whom may God in his mercy have pity. Amen." The date given is thought to have been added in error during restoration work.

Margaret de Cobham 1375


Maude de Cobham, died 9 April 1380. This is a London brass but a different workshop to the other brasses at Cobham. Maude wears a close fitting cotehardie buttoned at the front with fur at the bottom. The sleeves are buttoned to the hands and Maude wears a long mantle fastened at the front with a cord and attached to two jewelled fastenings. Maude has a dog at her feet with bells on its collar. The inscription reads: "Here lies Lady Maude of Cobham who was the wife of Sir Thomas de Cobham who died the 9th day of April in the year of grace 1380".

Maude de Cobham 1380


Margaret de Cobham, died 2 August 1395. This brass was made in London. It shows Margaret with her head resting on 2 cushions, and a headress of gold or silver wire. Margaret wears a kirtle or cotehardie with a mantle fastened by a cord with tassels. On her arms Margaret wears buttoned sleeves that come down to her hands. At her feet lies a dog with bells on its collar. The Norman French inscription reads: "Here lies Dame Margaret of Cobham formerly daughter of the noble Sieur the Earl of Devonshire wife to the Sieur of Cobham founder of this place who died the second day of the month of August in the year of Grace 1395 on whom may God have mercy. Amen."

Margaret de Cobham 1395


Nicholas Hawberk, died 1407. Nicholas is shown wearing platemail with a bascinet and aventail, and his head rests on a tilting helm, and beside this a fish curled up into a ring, an early symbol of christians. Nicholas stands on a mound with a lion at his feet and beside him a minature of his son John. The inscription reads: "Here lies Nicholas Hawberk esquire third husband of Lady Jone Lady of Cobham heir of Lord John of Cobham Founder of this college which same Nicholas died at Cooling Castle on the ninth day of October AD 1407. On whose soul may the lord have Mercy. Amen".

Nicholas Hawberk 1397


Rauf de Cobham, died 1402. The will of Rauf requested burial in the Masters stall in the chancel of Cobham Church, but was moved in 1781 to allow the 3rd Earl of Darnley to be buried there. The inscription reads: "Rauf de Cobham of Kent Esquire removed by death the 20th day of January in the year of grace 1402 rests here. God on his soul have mercy".

Rauf de Cobham 1402


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