Ash-next-Sandwich comes from the Old English ‘æsc’ meaning ‘Ash-tree’ with the suffix
to distinguish it from Ash-cum-Ridley. The Domesday Book records Ash as Ece.
Ash parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Nicholas. The
Normans built the church around 1190 as a Chapel-of-Ease to Wingham, becoming a parish
in its own right in 1282. They made alterations in the following two centuries and
added the tower and steeple with a bell in the 15th century. There is a record of
a ring of five bells in 1581. Thomas Swain provided a new ring of eight bells in
1778. In 1800, Edward Hasted described the Ash church as a ‘handsome building, of
the form of a cross, consisting of two isles and two chancels, and a cross sept,
having a tall spire steeple in the middle, in which are eight bells and a clock.
It is very neat and handsome in the inside’. The Victorian architects William Butterfield,
Ewan Christian and Edward Fry, carried out restoration works in 1847, 1861 and 1896,
respectively. John Taylor & Co augmented the ring or eight to ten bells in 1978.