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The History of Kent

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History of Snargate

Snargate comes from the Old English word ‘sneare’ meaning a ‘snare or trap’, and ‘geat’ as a ‘hole, an opening, gap, gate (way)’; therefore, a ‘gate where animal traps are set’.


Snargate parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Dunstan. It dates to the 13th century, with additions in the following 200 years. They built the west tower separately in the 15th century, and did not join it to the church until it had settled. In 1552, there is a record of three bells in the tower. In 1799, Edward Hasted described the Snargate church as being ‘a large handsome building, consisting of three isles and two chancels, having a tower at the west end, in which are three bells. In 1872, the Dover architect C T Whitely carried out a heavy restoration.