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The History of Kent

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History of Otterden

Otterden comes from the Old English ‘ingas’ meaning the ‘people of, people called after’ with the Kentish word ‘denn’ as ‘woodland pasture’ combined with a warlord’s name; therefore, a ‘woodland-pasture of the people of Oter. The Domesday Book chronicles Otterden as Otringedene.


Otterden parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Lawrence. In 1759, the Rev Granville Wheeler built the church on the site of an earlier medieval church. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the old church as consisting of ‘two small isles and a chancel, without a steeple, and stood about fifty yards eastward from the corner of Otterden-place; this building being greatly decayed and ruinous’. He continues with a description of the new church as being a ‘neat elegant building of brick, ornamented with stone rustic quoins, window-cases, &c. is built, great part of it, on the foundations of the old church, which stood about twenty feet more towards the east, the grave-stones over the two rectors being then within the altar-rails. There was no steeple to the former church, nor is there any to the new one, which, with the modern elegance of the building, takes away all appearance of its being a church, on the outside view of it’. In 1887, there is a record of a bell cast by Joseph Hatch.