Lower Hardres comes from the Old English ‘harad’ meaning a ‘Wood, woodland’; therefore,
‘woods’. The prefix ‘lower’ distinguishes it from the adjacent Upper Hardres. The
Domesday Book chronicles Lower Hardres as Hardes.
Lower Hardres parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary
the Virgin. Architects, Rickman and Hutchinson, built it in 1832 in the early English
style. The new church replaced an earlier 12th century construction. In 1543, St
Mary de Castro, Canterbury sold three bells to the Lower Hardres church for £4. By
1723, only one bell remained. In 1800, Edward Hasted described St Mary’s church –
before the rebuild - as ‘small and dark, consisting of two isles and two chancels,
having a low pointed steeple at the west end, in which hangs only one bell’. In 1829,
Thomas Mears II recast the bell.