Copyright Kent Past 2010

Kent Past


The History of Kent

Home Towns & Villages Time-Line Articles Kent Past Times Contact

Leave your email address to receive Kent Past Times free every month


View Larger Map

History of Bidborough

Bidborough comes from the Old English ‘berg’ meaning a ‘hill, mound’ combined with a personal name; therefore, Bitta’s hill’. This is clearer in a 12th century record showing Bidborough as Bitteberga.


Bidborough parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Lawrence. The Normans built it in the 12th century as a Chapel-of-Ease to St Mary’s, Leigh, although the Bishop granted a Rector in 1218. They added a two bay north aisle in the 13th century and rebuilt the chancel in the following century, completing the west tower 100 years later. An unknown benefactor added a clock in the tower in 1851. The long pendulum, which reaches almost to the floor, carries the inscription:


When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept.

When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.

When I became a full grown man, time ran.

And later, as I older grew, time flew.

Soon I shall find when travelling on, time gone.

Will Christ have saved my soul by then? Amen’.


 In 1877, the Victorian architect Ewan Christian carried out a major restoration, replacing the nave and north aisle roofs. The congregation installed a pipe organ in 1893, and electric lighting 30 years later.