Copyright Kent Past 2010
The History of Kent
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History of Doddington
Doddington 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 Dodda’. The Domesday Book records Doddington as Dodeham.
In 1467, the Doddington church received the dedication to The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. According to local legend, Richard I stopped overnight in Doddington on his way to London, from the Crusades. The king had with him the stone used in the beheading of John the Baptist. He did not leave the precious relic at Doddington, although, in 1467, the church adopted the dedication in commemoration of the stone's passage through the parish.
Doddington parish church is a Grade: I listed building, constructed in the 12th century, with a southern extension around 1200. Further additions and extensions appeared over the next 200 years. Lightning struck the church in 1650 causing a fire in the steeple. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Doddington church as consisting of a ‘body and chancel, with a chapel or chantry on the south side of it, belonging to the Sharsted estate. At the west end is a low pointed steeple, in which are six bells’. The Victorians restored the church in 1874, with further repairs by the Georgians in the following century.
The Chequers public house dates to the 14th century, when used as a coaching inn by pilgrims on their way to Canterbury. The only link road between Maidstone and Whitstable, in the 14th and 15th centuries, ran through Doddington, and the Chequers provided a night’s sleep and sustenance.