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History of Davington

Davington comes from the Old English ‘tūn’ meaning an ‘enclosure, a farmstead, village’ with ‘ing’ as a ‘connective particle, linking the first and last elements’ combined with a personal name; therefore, a ‘farm/settlement connected with Dafa’. 


Davington parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Lawrence. It started life in 1153 as Davington Priory, a Benedictine nunnery. It managed to escape demolition during the reformation as the last nun died in 1535, whence the property and endowment passed to the crown, which sold it to Sir Thomas Cheyney. Cheyney converted the priory into a private house, whilst allowing the church to continue as the parish church, although, privately owned. An unknown founder cast a priest’s bell in 1774. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Davington church as a ‘small building of two isles. The west door of it is an elegant circular arch of stone, enriched with pillars on each side, and a variety of ornaments over it. The steeple, which is square, with a pointed top to it, tiled, stands at the south-west corner of it’. In 1845, the owner Thomas Willement, restored the church and employed John Taylor to cast and hang a ring of three bells in the tower. In 1931, the Church of England bought the house and church, restored both and rededicated the church to St Mary Magdalene & St Lawrence…. more