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History of Bidborough

Bidborough comes from the Old English ‘berg’ meaning a ‘hill, mound’ combined with a personal name; therefore, Bitta’s hill’. This is clearer in a 12th century record showing Bidborough as Bitteberga.

Bidborough parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Lawrence. The Normans built it in the 12th century as a Chapel-of-Ease to St Mary’s, Leigh, although the Bishop granted a Rector in 1218. They added a two bay north aisle in the 13th century and rebuilt the chancel in the following century, completing the west tower 100 years later. An unknown benefactor added a clock in the tower in 1851. The long pendulum, which reaches almost to the floor, carries the inscription:

When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept.

When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.

When I became a full grown man, time ran.

And later, as I older grew, time flew.

Soon I shall find when travelling on, time gone.

Will Christ have saved my soul by then? Amen’.

 In 1877, the Victorian architect Ewan Christian carried out a major restoration, replacing the nave and north aisle roofs. The congregation installed a pipe organ in 1893, and electric lighting 30 years later.