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The History of Kent

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History of Ryarsh

Ryarsh comes from the Old English ‘ryge’ meaning ‘rye’ and ‘ersc’ as a ‘ploughed field, especially newly broken-in land’; therefore, ‘arable land used for rye’. The Domesday Book chronicles Ryarsh as Riesce, and the Textus Roffensis as Reiersce.


Ryarsh parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Martin. The Normans built it in the late 11th or early 12th centuries, with additions and extensions in the 14th and 15th centuries. There is a record of one bell in 1616, when Joseph Hatch cast another, and Pack and Chapmen augmented the ring to three with a treble in 1779. In 1872, the Victorians restored the church and built an organ chamber…. more