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History of Ickham

Ickham comes from the Old English ‘geoc’ meaning a ‘yoke, measure of land’ with ‘hām’ as a ‘village, an estate, homestead’; therefore, a ‘homestead/village comprising a yoke of land’ – about 50 or 60 acres. The Domesday Book records Ickham as Gecham and Hickham. 


Ickham parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, and dates to 781AD, when the monks of Christchurch Priory, in Canterbury built a wooden chapel. In the mid-12th century, the Normans rebuilt and extended it in stone. In the following century, they removed the apse to allow the extending of the chancel. In 1641, John Palmer I, cast and hung a ring of four bells. In 1800, Edward Hasted described St John’s church as consisting of ‘three isles, a cross sept, and high chancel, having a slim spire steeple at the west end, in which hang four bells. It is handsome, and kept neat’. It became necessary in 1825 to demolish the timber broach spire and replace it with a new flat lead roof and crenellated parapet, with the addition of a new spire and clock in 1870. In 1846, the Canterbury architect Hezekiah Marshall carried out a major restoration… more.