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History of Hothfield

Hothfield comes from the Old English ‘hæð’ meaning ‘heather, a tract of uncultivated land’ with ‘feld’ as ‘open county, unencumbered ground’; therefore, ‘heathy open land’.


Hothfield parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Margaret. Although, originally built in the 13th century a fire, following a lightning strike, in 1598 burnt it to the ground. Sir John Tufton, - buried in the church following his death in 1624 - completely rebuilt it. In 1552, there is a record of three bells in the tower, which, following the fire, Joseph Hatch recast in 1607. In 1741, Thomas Lester added a treble bell, with Lester and Pack adding an additional treble to make five bells in 1762. In 1798, Edward Hasted described St Margaret’s church as ‘small… and consists of three isles and a chancel, having a low spire steeple, covered with shingles at the west end, in which are five bells, and though it stands on a hill, is yet very damp. There is not any painted glass in the windows of it’. In 1876, the Victorians restored the whole church adding the north and south chapels. In 1927, Alfred Bowell augmented the bells to six with the addition of a treble.


In the 1900's, they installed the organ - originating from Hothfield Place where Sir Arthur Sullivan composed ‘The Last Chord’ - in the south aisle.