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The History of Kent

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History of Brabourne

Brabourne comes from the Old English ‘brād’  meaning ‘broad, wide’ with 'burna' as a ‘stream’; therefore, a 'broad stream'. The Domesday Book records Brabourne as Breburne and Bradeburne.

Brabourne parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary the Blessed Virgin. The Saxons built the first church, which the Normans rebuilt it in late 12th century. They added the south aisle in the 13th century, with the chapel in the following century, and the tower top 100 years later. There is a record of four bells in 1552, to which William Hatch added four trebles in 1656. Between 1699 and 1702, they rebuilt the tower and rehung the bells, which had reduced to five by 1758. In 1799, Edward Hasted describes the Brabourne church as a ‘large handsome building, consisting of two isles and two chancels, having a square tower steeple at the west end, in which are five bells. The northern isle is much lostier than the other, having an upper story, choir-like, with the three upper windows to the south; below which is the roof of the north isle’. The Victorians carried out restoration work in the 19th century. In 1917, Mears and Stainbank added a treble to make six bells. Whitechapel augmented the ring to eight in 2002.