Copyright Kent Past 2010
The History of Kent
Leave your email address to receive Kent Past Times free every month
History of Dunton Green
Dunton Green 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 Dunn or Dunna’. Forms with Green – i.e. village green – did not appear before 1819.
Dunton Green separated, from Otford, to become an ecclesiastical parish in its own right in 1908. They dedicated the parish church, built in 1890 by the local squire Mr Samuel Wreford, as Saint John the Devine. However, due to falling congregations, the church closed in 1985, and the parishioners came under the care of the vicar of Riverhead.
According to Walter De la Mare’s poem ‘The Highwayman’, a young girl of the Dunton Green, who lived with her father in a large house, fell in love with a highwayman. The father disapproved and tricked the daughter into betraying the location of her lover’s next ambush. The father instructed men to apprehend the highwayman, which they did and promptly hung him, then severed his head. The girl, seeing the head, became insane. The ghost of the headless highwayman has been seen jumping the stream behind the girl’s house, and the sound of horses hooves have been heard by workers in the fields.