Copyright Kent Past 2010

Kent Past

The History of Kent

Home Towns & Villages Time-Line Articles Kent Past Times Contact

Leave your email address to receive Kent Past Times free every month

History of Chevening

Chevening comes from the Celtic word ‘cevn’ meaning a ‘ridge, back’ and the Old English ‘ingas’ as ‘the people of, the people called after, dwellers’; therefore, ‘dwellers at the ridge’. The Textus Roffensis records Chevening as Chivening.

Adam de Chevening, Justice of King John’s Great Assizes, in 1212, held the manor and sold it to the de la Pole family, claimants to the throne, following the death of Richard III.

Chevening parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Botolph. The Saxons first built the church, although the Normans added the north aisle and transept in the 12th century. They built the south aisle and chapel in the following 100 years. The addition of the tower came after 1518. In 1715, to commemorate the accession of George I, General Stanhope donated a ring of six bells; however, by 1887 all but two had disappeared. In 1797, Edward Hasted described the Chevening church as a ‘handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels’. The Victorians restored the church in 1869, with the architect William Douglas Caroe carrying out a major restoration in 1902. In 1999, Whitechapel cast four bells around the existing two, all of which the Bishop of Tonbridge dedicated on 20 February 2000. In 2007, Whitechapel cast two new bells augmenting the ring to eight.

Chevening railway station opened on the South Eastern and Chatham Railway’s branch line from Westerham to Dunton Green, on 7 July 1881. Non-profitability of the line resulted in the last train, the ‘Westerham Flyer’ bearing the notice ‘Flyer 1881-1961’, running on 28 October 1961. The Westerham Valley Railway Association made attempts to re-open the line staffed by volunteers, although, eventually the necessary funds could not be raised and they abandoned the project in November 1964.  

View Larger Map