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History of Rainham

Rainham comes from the Old English ‘ingas’ meaning the ‘people of, people called after’ with ‘hām’ as a ‘village, homestead, manor’ combined with a tribal name; therefore, the ‘homestead/village of the Roegingas’. 


Rainham parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Margaret of Antioch, and built in the Saxo-Norman overlap period. The Normans rebuilt the chancel and north chapel in the mid-13th century, with the nave and north aisle in the following 100 years. The roof required replacement in the 15th century and the addition of the tower around 1480. In 1519, there is a record of one bell in the tower, to which Robert Mot added a tenor in 1582 and two additional bells in 1601. Joseph Hatch cast another bell in 1618, and Christopher Hodson augmented them to six in 1685. In 1798, Edward Hasted described St Margaret’s church as a ‘handsome building, consisting of two very broad isles, and two chancels, with a high beacon tower at the west end of it, in which are six bells and a clock. There was formerly some good painted glass in the windows of this church, all which has been long since destroyed’. In 1871, the Gothic Revival architect James Clarke carried out a major restoration. John Taylor added two bells in 1913 to make eight.


Rainham railway station opened on the East Kent Railway’s Chatham to Faversham section of the London to Dover main line, on 25 January 1858. Initially known as ‘Rainham and Newington’, until a station opened at Newington, on 1 August 1862, when it became simply ‘Rainham’…. more



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