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History of Bapchild

Bapchild comes from the old English ‘celde’ meaning ‘spring’, combined with a personal name; therefore ‘Bacca’s spring’.


Whitred, King of Kent, presided over the Synod of Baccanceld, a meeting of the great and good, held at Bapchild in 694AD. The most powerful noblemen in England, both ecclesiastic and secular, attended. The basis of the resultant charter secured donations and privileges for the church while freeing it from royal intervention. The Cathedrals at Canterbury and Rochester received immunity from royal requisition forever.


Bapchild parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to St Lawrence. The Saxons built the original chapel and the Normans rebuilt it in the 12th century. They added the tower with a spire in the following century, and a brick porch in 1523. Around 1540, William Oldfield cast and hung a bell. In 1798, Edward Hasted describes the Bapchild church as a ‘small building, and by the size and capitals of the pillars and other parts of it, appears to be of some antiquity. It consists of two isles and two chancels… The steeple, which stands on the south side of the church, has a tall spire on it, covered with shingles. It has but one bell in it’. The Victorians carried out restoration works in 1872 and 1883.