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The History of Kent

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History of Birling

Birling comes from the Old English ‘ingas’ meaning the ‘people of, people called after’ combined with a personal name; therefore ‘Bærla’s people’. The Domesday Book records Birling as Berlinge.


Birling parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to All Saints. The Normans built it in the 11th century, with alterations and additions in the 14th century. They added the west tower early in the 15th century and completely rebuilt the chancel 100 years later. In 1631, Joseph Hatch cast and hung three bells. Thomas Lester cast two additional bells in 1746 while a treble from Lester & Pack completed the ring of in 1759. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Birling church as a ‘handsome building, consisting of a nave, south isle, and chancel. It has a good tower at the west end of it’. The Victorians carried out restoration work in 1828. Mears and Stainbank added a treble and a tenor in 1891. Whitechapel replaced three of the eight bells in 1986…. more