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The History of Kent

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History of Cheriton

Cheriton comes from the Old English ‘cirice’ meaning a ‘church’ with ‘tūn’ as an ‘enclosure, a farmstead, estate’; therefore, a ‘church with an estate’ or an ‘estate belonging to a church‘.


Cheriton parish church is dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, and dates to the late Saxon era, with rebuilding in the 13th century and the addition of the tower around 1300. Additions and extensions continued into the 14th century. Around 1400, Richard Hille cast and hung a single bell. By 1552, there is a record of three bells in the tower. In 1607, Joseph Hatch cast a bell a tone above that of Hille’s. In 1634, Joseph Hatch cast two trebles and the ring comprised of four. In 1799, Edward Hasted described the Cheriton church as ‘built of sand-stone, and consists of two isles and two chancels, having a tower steeple at the west end, in which are four bells’. The Victorians carried out restoration work to the chancel in 1878 and completely rebuilt the interior of the tower in 1881. In the same year, Mears and Stainbank recast the four bells into a ring of six and added two trebles in 1923. In 1990, they hung a bell cast for St Martin’s school, by John warner in 1869, as a clock bell in the tower…. more