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History of Chiddingstone

Chiddingstone comes from the Old English ‘stān’ meaning a ‘stone, rock’ with ‘ing’ as a ‘connective particle, linking the first and last elements’ combined with a personal name; therefore, ‘Stone connected with Cidd or Cidda’. The Textus Roffensis records Chiddingstone as Cidingstane. 

Chiddingstone parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin. There is a record of a Saxon Chapel, although the present building dates to the 13th century, with major rebuilding in the following 100 years. The Tower is a 15th century addition as are the windows in the side wall of the north aisle. Rebuilding took place of the south porch, the south wall of the south aisle, the nave and chancel roof in 1624 following a fire caused by lightning. In 1628, there is a record of five bells in the tower. On 24 July 1629, the Bishop of Rochester re-consecrated the church. In 1710, installation took place of a new clock. Robert Catlin recast the five bells, with additional metal, into a ring of eight, and hung them in a new frame. In 1797, Edward Hasted described the Chiddingstone church as a ‘large handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels, with a handsome tower steeple at the west end’. The architect George Edmund Street carried out minor restoration work in 1866. The Victorians restored the church further in 1898. In 1901, A E Nunn made repairs to the tower designated unsafe in 1899. In 1991 Whitechapel rehung the whole peal prior to their re-dedication by the Bishop of Rochester later that year on 8 September.

In the early 1800’s Henry Streatfield rebuilt a medieval manor house to look like a medieval castle. However, building work ceased before the castles completion due to lack of funds. In 1938, the Streatfield family sold the building. Since that time, military forces in WW2 used the castle, as did a school and finally housing Denys Bower collection of art and artefacts.

Chiddingstone possess one of the oldest surviving rural shops in England, the street where it stands is also one of the most pleasing in Kent… more