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.