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The History of Kent

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History of Bethersden

Bethersden comes from the Old English ‘denn’ meaning ‘woodland pasture’ combined with a personal name; therefore, ‘Beaduric’s woodland pasture’.


Bethersden parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Margaret. The Normans first built the church in the 12th century, although rebuilt it in the mid-14th century, and added the tower 100 years later. There is a record of five bells in 1552, including one cast by Peter de Weston in 1335. In 1662, William Hatch cast the Sanctus bell, and in 1759, Lester and Pack added a new treble. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Bethersden church as consisting of ‘three isles and three chancels, having a tower steeple, with a beacon turret, in which are six bells’. The Victorians carried out some restoration work in 1851 with new oak pews, removal of the rood screen and a new east window…. more