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The History of Kent

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History of Otham

Otham comes from the Old English ‘hām’ meaning a 'village, homestead' combined with a warlord’s name; therefore, 'Otta's homestead/village'. The Domesday Book chronicles Otham as Oteham.


Otham parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Nicholas. The Normans built it in the 12th century with additions and extensions in the following 200 years. In 1667, there is a record of three bells in the tower, to which Richard Phelps added a tenor in 1714 and Lester and Pack a treble in 1755. In 1865, the Victorian architect R Wheeler carried out a restoration of the church. In 2012, John Taylor augmented the bells to six with two bells cast by Alfred Bowell in 1925 for Campton, Beds and a new bell cast by himself in 2011.