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The History of Kent

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History of Stansted

Stansted comes from the Old English words ‘stān’ meaning a ‘stone, rock’ together with ‘stede’ as a ‘place, site, locality’; therefore, a ‘stone place’. The Domesday Book records Stansted as Stanestede.


Stansted church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin. Completely rebuilt in the 14th century – as a Chapel-of-Ease to Wrotham – it replaced an earlier church. John Walgrave cast two bells between 1418 and 1440. William Hatch added a tenor in 1656, to make three bells. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Stansted church, in his topographical survey, as being ‘only a chapel to the church of Wrotham, from which it was separated by ordinance of parliament, passed in 1647, and made a distinct church of itself, but at the restoration in 1660, it returned to its former state, in which it continues at present.’ In 1883, the Victorians carried out a restoration of the church. In 1992, Whitechapel augmented the bells to six with three trebles.