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History of Egerton

Egerton 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 Ecgheard’.


Egerton parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint James the Great, although originally a chapel-of-Ease to Charing when it had a dedication to ‘Our Lady’. The present church dates to the 13th century with additions and extensions in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1476, Sir John Darell built the 100 foot tower. In 1552, there is a record of five bells in the tower. Lester and Pack added a treble in 1759, to total six bells. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Egerton church as a ‘very handsome building, and standing on the summit of the hill, is seen at a great distance both from the north and south. It is built of the sand stone, and has a square tower, with a beacon turret at the west end. It has two isles and a high chancel’. Robert Rowland made a 36 branch chandelier in 1699 for All Saints church in Maidstone. With the installation of gas light, they sold the chandelier for £12 to John Holmes, who donated it to St James’. The chandelier is the oldest, of its type, in the world.