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The History of Kent

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History of Brookland

Brookland comes from the Old English ‘brōc’ meaning a ‘brook, stream’ with ‘land’ as ‘land, an estate’; therefore, ‘cultivated land at a brook’. 

Brookland parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Augustine. The Normans built it in the mid-13th century, with extensions in the following 200 years. William Chamberlain cast and hung a bell in 1440. John Hodson cast four additional bells in 1685. In 1799, Edward Hasted described the Brookland church as a ‘very large handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels. The steeple stands on the north side, and at some small distance from it, in which are five bells. The church is kept exceedingly neat and clean. It is cieled throughout, and handsomely pewed. In the high chancel there is a confessionary, and a nich for holy water within the altar-rails… The steeple is framed of remarkable large timber. It is built entirely of wood, of an octagon form, perpendicular about five feet from the bottom, and from thence leffening to a spire at top, in which it has three different copartments or stories, the two uppermost larger at the bottom, and projecting over those underneath them. Although there are but five bells in it, yet it has frames for several more. The whole is much out of the perpendicular leaning towards the church’. The architect Thomas White restored the church in 1790, with further restorations the 1950’s and 60’s. In 1973, Whitechapel reformulated the bells, and added two trebles to complete a ring of six.