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The History of Kent

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History of Sholden

Sholden comes from the Old English ‘scofl’ meaning a ‘shovel; shovel shaped strip’ together with ‘dūn’ as a ‘hill’; therefore, a ‘shovel-shaped hill’. The description of Sholden by Edward Hasted in 1800 notes that ‘the upland part of it forms a kind of peninsula westward, which is surrounded on three sides by the wet land and marshes.


Sholden parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Nicholas. The Normans built the church originally, although, rebuilt it in the 13th century, with the addition of windows and a tower a century later. In 1623, Thomas Bartlett cast two bells, and John Hodson added a third in 1675. In 1800, Edward Hasted described St Nicholas’ church as consisting of a ‘nave and a chancel; it is of a good size and well built, having a square tower steeple at the west end, in which are three bells. The church is ceiled, and kept very neat’. The Victorians carried out a heavy restoration in the 19th century. Bomb damage received in 1941 resulted in the church being out of action until November 1947.