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History of Hadlow

Hadlow comes from the Old English words ‘hæð’ meaning 'heather, a tract of uncultivated land’ and ‘hlāw’ representing a 'tumulus, hill, mound'; therefore, the 'mound or hill where heather grows'. The Domesday Book records Hadlow as Haslow.  

Hadlow parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin, and first mentioned in 975AD, when only a wooden Saxon chapel. In 1018, Edward, the Confessor gave Hadlow to queen Eddeva, who rebuilt the church in stone. They built the tower earlier than the church and did not attach it until the 13th century. In 1695, James Bartlett cast and hung a ring of five bells, which he increased to six in the following year. Pack and Chapman added two trebles in 1775 to complete the octave, and the addition of a clock, by John Thwaites of Clerkenwell, in 1791. In 1798, Edward Hasted described St Mary’s as a ‘small building with a low pointed steeple at the west end’. The Victorians rebuilt the chancel and added the vestry in 1847 and in 1853 blocked up the south aisle and added the north aisle. The owner of Hadlow castle installed a private gallery – later removed with restoration to the roof in 1936…. more


In 1786, Walter May inherited the manor house, Hadlow Court Lodge, which he demolished and built Hadlow Castle, in an ornate, Gothic style. Upon inheriting the castle his son, also Walter, built 170 feet high folly, which lightning damaged in 1987, and although, a Grade: I Listed Building remains in ruins.