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History of Boughton Malherbe

Boughton Malherbe comes from the Old English ‘boc’ meaning ‘beech-tree‘ and ‘tun’ as an ‘enclosure, a farmstead’; therefore, ‘farmstead where the beech-tree grows’. The manorial affix is a personal name taken from the 13th century owner Robert de Malherbe, distinguishing the village from others with the same name. The Domesday Book records all as Boltune or Boltone.


Boughton Malherbe parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Nicholas. Robert de Malherbe built it in the 13th century, with extensions in the next century. The west tower followed 100 years later. Joseph Hatch cast and hung three bells in 1624. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Boughton Malherbe church as a ‘handsome building, with a square tower steeple at the west end’. In the 1840’s, the Victorian restorers Apsley of Ashford, concentrated on the chancel, appearing to have a good understanding of the Cambridge Camden Society. In 1960, Mears and Stainbank dismantled and cleared out the bell fittings and frame, placing the two trebles on the first floor and rehanging the tenor ‘dead’ with a lever clapper.