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History of Monkton

Monkton comes from the Old English ‘munuc’ meaning a ‘monk’ with ‘tūn’ as an ‘enclosure, a farmstead, a village’; therefore, a 'farm/settlement of the monks'. The Domesday Book chronicles Monkton as Monocstune.


Monkton parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalena. The Normans built it early in their arrival with extensions and additions around 1190, and the construction of the tower a few years later. Monkton church reduced in size in the 15th century, with the demolishment of the north aisle, and insertion of new windows. In 1615, Joseph Hatch cast and Hung a bell in the tower and added a treble in 1633. Thomas Palmer augmented the bells to four with two additions – one being a tenor - in 1661. In 1800, Edward Hasted described St Mary’s church as consisting of ‘one isle and one chancel, having a square tower at the west end, in which is a very antient spiral staircase of wood. There are four bells in it. The body of it was antiently larger than it is now, consisting of two isles, part of the end of the north isle being still to be seen, and the arches between the two isles still remaining in the wall; at present it consists of but one isle and a chancel; in the latter are twelve stalls, used formerly by the clergy and the monks when they visited this place. In the windows there were some remains of painted glass, among which were the heads of several of the priors’. In 1861, the architect C A Beazley carried out a major restoration. In 1887, Stahlschmidt noted only three bells in the tower, the tenor having disappeared…. more