Copyright Kent Past 2010
The History of Kent
Leave your email address to receive Kent Past Times free every month
History of Queenborough
Queenborough comes from the Old English ‘cwēn’ meaning a ‘queen, the wife or consort
of a king’, with ‘burgh’ as a ‘fortified place’; therefore, the ‘queen’s borough’,
named after Queen Philippa, wife of Edward III.
Edward III built Queenborough Castle in 1365, to secure the passage of ships along the Swale, during the hundred year’s war with France. It replaced a much earlier, smaller castle and modelled on a French-
Edward III had a supporting town built at the same time as the castle, which he named Queenborough, after his Queen, Philippa of Hainault. The town had a broad High Street, which ran westwards from the main gate of the castle towards the banks of the nearby Swale. Queenborough had the rights of a free borough conferred upon it, with a governing body of a mayor and two bailiffs. Edward granted Queenborough a charter in 1366 and bestowed the duties of a royal borough two years later.
Queenborough parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The initial dedication to St James, caused confusion with the church at Warden, and therefore the rededication in the 15th century. Edward built the church around the same time as Queenborough town, on land within the parish of Minster, as a Chapelry of Minster Abbey. Following the dissolution, Holy Trinity became beholden to the parish church at Minster. In 1607, King James I, made Queenborough an independent parish. This enabled the townspeople to have christenings, marriages and funeral services in their own church, and use the churchyard for burials. Following an appeal, in 1636, the parishioners paid for sturdy buttresses to be added to the tower to strengthen the structure. In 1667, Anthony Bartlett cast and hung five bells in the tower. In 1721, Thomas King carried out further restoration, which included, raised paving, erecting a gallery at the west end and the painting of the ceiling by an unknown Dutch or Flemish artist.
In 1798, Edward Hasted described Holy Trinity church as a ‘handsome building, consisting
of one isle and one chancel; it is decorated with a painted roof, and other ornaments,
and very neatly kept. There is a high-