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The History of Kent

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History of Elmsted

Elmsted comes from the Old English ‘elm’ meaning an ‘elm-tree’ with ‘hām-stede’ as a ‘homestead, the site of a dwelling’; therefore, a ‘homestead by the elm-trees’.


Elmsted parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint James the Great. The Normans built it in the 11th or 12th centuries, with extensions and additions in the following 200 years. There is a record of four bells in 1552. In 1721, John Waylett cast a ring of six bells. In 1799, Edward Hasted described the Elmsted church as a ‘handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels, having a low pointed wooden steeple at the west end, in which are six bells. The chancels are open, one towards the other, the spaces between the pillars not being filled up, which gives the whole a light and airy appearance’. The Victorians restored the church in 1877, by replacing the nave and north aisle roofs, replacing some windows and the pews…. more