Hernhill comes from the Old English ‘hār’ meaning ‘grey, hoar’ with the Anglian word
‘hyll’ as a ‘hill, natural eminence’; therefore, a ‘grey hill’.
Hernhill parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Michael
and built in 1450. The Normans rebuilt a Saxon chapel – dedicated to St Stephen -
in 1120. The Tudors added a rood screen in the 16th century. In 1785, William Mears
cast and hung five bells. Percy Groves rebuilt the chancel in 1833. The Victorians
carried out restoration work in 1867 and restored the nave in 1877. In 1886, John
Warner added three treble bells to complete the eight. John Thom – known as Sir William
Courtney – leader of an unsuccessful rebellion in nearby Bossenden Wood in 1838 is
buried in the churchyard.