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Kent Past


The History of Kent

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History of Great Chart

Great Chart, comes from the Old English 'cert' meaning 'rough ground' The prefix ‘great’ added to distinguish it from Little Chart. The Domesday Book records Great Chart as Certh.


There is a record of a watermill in 762AD, which is the earliest recorded mill in Britain.


Great Chart parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin, and originally built around 1080, although rebuilt in the 14th century. Following a fire in the 1400's, James Goldwell - later Bishop of Norwich - carried out a rebuild and major restoration. This included raising the roof, to enable the installation of clearstory windows and rood screen, with flat roofs on the north and south aisles. Between 1418 and 1440, Richard Hill cast and hung a bell. Joseph Hatch added a bell in 1606, 1610 and 1614. John Wilnar completed the ring of five with a treble in 1636. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Great Chart church as a ‘large handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels, having a well-built tower steeple at the west end, in which are five bells. The north and south isles are leaded, the middle isle and chancel tiled’. In the 1880’s, the architect Arthur Blomfield re-pewed and restored the church while refurbishing nearby Godinton House. John Taylor added a treble bell in 1876, with a further two trebles cast by Whitechapel in 1987.