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The History of Kent

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History of Chelsfield

Chelsfield comes from the Old English ‘feld’ meaning ‘open country, land without trees’ combined with a personal name; therefore, ‘Ceol’s open land’. The Domesday Book recorded Chelsfield as Ciresfel and the Textus Roffensis as Cilesfeld.

Chelsfield church is dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. The Normans built it in the 11th century, with additions in the following century and the tower 100 years later. In 1552, there is a record of three bells in the tower, which John Hodson recast into a ring of five in 1672. In 1797, Edward Hasted described the Chelsfield church as ‘small; consisting only of one isle, a chancel at the east end, and a small chapel, dedicated to St. John, on the south side’. The Victorians carried out restoration works in 1886. In 1936, Mears and Stainbank added a treble bell. In 2009 Taylors, Eayre and Smith replaced the 1936 bell with three trebles to make a ring of eight.

Chelsfield railway station opened on the South Eastern Railway’s Sevenoaks extension of the Tonbridge cut-off line, on 2 March 1868…. more