Copyright Kent Past 2010
The History of Kent
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History of Wateringbury
Wateringbury comes from the Old English ‘ingas’ meaning the ‘people of, people called after’ and ‘burh’ as a ‘fortified place’ combined with a warlord’s name; therefore, ‘fortification of the people of Ohthere’. The Domesday Book chronicles Wateringbury as Otrinberge/Otringe and the Textus Roffensis records it as Wotringaberia.
Wateringbury parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The Normans replaced the wooden Saxon chapel with stone in the 11th century, and added the tower and chancel in the 13th century. The porch dates to the 15th century. Edward Hasted provides a description of the church in 1798 suggesting it is an ‘antient gothic building, with a high spire steeple, in which hang three bells, it was repaired at a great expence in 1745; the church is handsomely pewed and wainscotted.’ The Victorians carried out a substantial restoration including adding the north and south aisles. Thomas Mears cast and hung three bells in 1831, with George Mears adding three more in 1859. They also rebuilt the tower in 1886 after a lightning strike earlier that year.