St Martin's Church - Cheriton
Like other family churches, St Martin's at Cheriton has also had a long association with the Brockman and Drake-Brockman's. Over the centuries, many family members have been christened, married and buried at this church. It is a typical English 'village' styled church and although is not large, it's burial ground is much larger than the one at St Nicholas. Like other old churches, many of the gravestones have fallen down and have since been removed. When I visited this church in October 2006, I found it hard to find many of the graves of family members which we know are buried there, so this was disappointing. Similar to St. Nicholas at Newington, St Martin's also has a number of family plaques and tablets attached to the walls inside the church. Below is some of these plaques, as well as two graves in the grounds, and pictures of the church itself. Most of Zouch Brockman's family was buried in the centre aisle of this church although today, these tombs are covered over by carpet and they can't be seen, which is disappointing. Zouch Brockman was the younger brother of Sir William Brockman and is the first known Brockman to have lived in the Manor House at Cheriton.
St Martin's used to have a dedicated Brockman Memorial Chapel, which as I understand it, was removed quite recently by the Vicar of Cheriton because he didn't like it. The woodwork that used to make up the entrance to this chapel was rescued by Rosemary Elliot (great granddaughter of Henry John Drake Brockman) and it has now been partially reinstalled in St Mary's Church at Bishopsbourne. A photo of the original Brockman Chapel can be found in Brig Gen. David Drake-Brockman's book titled Record of the Brockman and Drake-Brockman Family (pp 148). It seems outrageous that someone in such a transient position as a local Vicar can take it upon themselves to interfere with items of historical significance in a church. What's happened is unacceptable and family members should voice their strongest objections to the current Vicar of St Martin's and ask him to reinstate this material where it belongs, which is at Cheriton.
"Esse Quam Videri" - To be rather than to seem to be
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