Lower Halstow (pronounced ‘ail-stoo’) comes from the Old English ‘hālig’ meaning
‘holy, sacred’ with ‘stōw’ as a ‘place, place of assembly’; therefore, a ‘holy place’.
The prefix ‘lower’ distinguishes it from High Halstow.
Lower Halstow parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Margaret
of Antioch. The Saxons first built it in the 8th century, with Norman additions 400
years later and a 13th century tower. Remodelling took place in the 13th and 14th
centuries. In 1662, William Hatch cast and hung a ring of three bells. In 1797, Edward
Hasted described St Margaret’s church as consisting of ‘three small isles and one
chancel, with a low pointed steeple, in which hang five bells, and has nothing remarkable
in it’. Hasted states ‘five bells, which he may have confused this church with the
one at High Halstow. In 1887, Stahlschmidt notes three bells. In 1913, the architect
William Douglas Caroe carried out a restoration including a new porch.