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The History of Kent

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History of Rolvenden

Rolvenden comes from the Old English ‘ing’ as a ‘connective particle, linking the first and final elements’ with ‘denn’ meaning a ‘woodland pasture’ combined with a warlord’s name; therefore, ‘woodland-pasture connected with Hro...’


Rolvenden parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin. The monks from Canterbury built it in 1220, with additions and substantial changes in the next 100 years. In 1798, Edward Hasted described St Mary’s as ‘large and handsome, having three isles and three chancels, and a tower steeple with a beacon turret at the west end. In the east window there are remains of good painted glass’. In 1819, Thomas Mears cast and hung a ring of eight bells in the tower. In 1825, the Gybbons family installed a pew, complete with table and chairs, in the gallery above the south chapel.