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History of Ruckinge

Ruckinge comes from the Old English ‘hrōc’ meaning a ‘rook’ with ‘ing’ as a ‘place-name forming suffix’ combined with a warlord’s name; therefore, either, the most likely, a ‘place frequented by rooks’, or ‘Hroc’s place’. The Domesday Book chronicles Ruckinge as Rochinges.


Ruckinge parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. The Normans built it in the 12th century, with the rebuilding of the tower in the 13th century. Further alterations and additions occurred following a fire in the 14th century. In 1552, there is a record of one bell in the tower following the sale of the other two. John Waylett and Samuel Knight cast four bells in 1721 and hung all five in a new frame. In 1799, Edward Hasted described the St Mary’s church as a ‘very small building, having at the west end a pointed tower, out of which rises a small slender spire. In the tower there are five bells. It has a middle isle, and two narrow ones coving to it on each side. It has one chancel, and another building at the east end of the south isle, built of flint, with two handsome gothic windows on the south side, and seems to have been a chantry or oratory. It is now made use of to lay the materials in for the repairs of the church’.