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The History of Kent

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History of Bredgar

Bredgar comes from the Old English ‘brād’ meaning ‘broad, spacious’ with ‘gāra’ as a ‘gore, triangular plot of ground, a point of land’; therefore, a ‘broad triangular plot’.


Bredgar parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The Normans first built the church, with Robert de Bredgar rebuilding the nave and south aisle in 1393. In 1579 Robert Mot cast and hung a bell, John Wilnar added another in 1620 and a tenor in 1634, with James Bartlett completing a ring of four in 1692. An unknown founder cast a further bell in 1760. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Bredgar church as consisting of ‘three isles and one chancel, and has a square beacon tower at the west end, in which hang five bells. On the west side of the tower there is a fine Saxon door-case, with zig-zag ornaments; on the capitals of the pillars are carved two heads of a very ludicrous from’. The Victorians carried out some restoration work in the 19th century. In 1967, Mears and Stainbank scrapped the tenor bell and added two new trebles to form a ring of six.