Constance Kent and the Mosaic in St Swithun's Church

Constance Kent and the Mosaic in St Swithun's Church

The tessellated pavement of the Sanctuary in St Swithun’s church is striking and unusual. It is made from small pieces of stone of different colours to create the pattern. There are entwined leaves, which resemble patterns on Roman mosaics, and there is an interlinked star pattern. Visitors sometimes ask if this represents the Star of David. The answer is that we don’t know and the whole mosaic, its creators and the reason for its installation are shrouded in mystery.

In the 1930s, an article in the Parish Magazine suggested that this was ‘very probably’ the work of Constance Kent whilst she was in prison for supposedly murdering her half-brother, Francis Saville Kent, in 1860. However, I have not been able to find records about the acquisition of this floor. The Chancel was re-ordered in the1870s, and the mosaic may have been laid then. 

Click on the picture of the Mosaic floor to download the full article written by the church arcivist Caroline Metcalf.

(This is a large file with photographs so it may take a few seconds to download) 

Church Monuments
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Webpage icon Hon. Spencer Perceval, K.C. (1 November 1762 – 11 May 1812)
Webpage icon The Church Pulpit