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The History of Kent

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History of Wittersham

Wittersham comes from the Old English ‘hamm’ meaning ‘land hemmed in by water or marsh, a river-meadow’ combined with a warlord’s name; therefore, ‘Wihtric’s hemmed-in land’.


Wittersham parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The Normans built it in the 13th century, with completion of the tower in the early 1500’s. There is a record of five bells in 1552. In 1799, Edward Hasted described the Wittersham church as a ‘handsome building, consisting of two isles and two chancels, having a tower steeple at the west end, built in the beginning of king Henry the VIIIth.'s reign, in which hangs a peal of bells’. In the late 19th century, the Victorians restored the chancel. Mears and Stainbank added a treble bell in 1937. In 1996, the redundant All Saints at Hawkhurst donated a bell, with a treble cast at Loughborough, augmenting the peal to eight.


Wittersham Road railway station opened, on the Rother Valley Railway’s line between Robertsbridge and Tenterden, on 2 April 1900. British Railways closed Wittersham station in 1961. In 1978, the Kent and East Sussex Railway reopened the station on a heritage line between Tenterden and Northiam.