Copyright Kent Past 2010
The History of Kent
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History of East Malling
East Malling comes from the Old English ‘ingas’ meaning the ‘people of, people named after’ combined with a personal name; therefore, the ‘people of Mealla’. The prefix ‘east’ distinguish it from West Malling. The Domesday Book records East Malling as Mellingetes and the Textus Roffensis as Meallinges.
East Malling parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint James the Great, although the original dedication to St Mary changed with the banning of Marian festivals during the reformation. In the year 827, King Egbert granted a church to East Malling. The existing East Malling church only dates to the Norman period, with changes and additions in the 14th century. In 1695, James Bartlett cast and hung a ring of five bells. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the East Malling church as a ‘handsome building with a square tower at the west end of it’. Thomas Mears added a treble bell in 1831 and removed the Sanctus bell, which hung at the top of the tower. The Victorians carried out some restoration, particularly to the windows.