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History of Cliffe-at-Hoo

Cliffe-at-Hoo comes from the Old English ‘clif’ meaning ‘cliff’; the suffix ‘at-Hoo’ distinguishes it from the other Hoo near Dover. The Domesday Book records Cliffe as Clive.

Cliff-at-Hoo parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Helen. It dates from the late 11th century, with additions in the following 200 years. In 1585, Giles Reve cast and hung a bell, with Joseph Hatch casting another in 1615 and two more in 1630. John Hodson added a treble in 1670 and a tenor five years later. In 1797, Edward Hasted described the Cliffe church as a ‘large handsome building, equal to most other churches in this county. It consists or two side isles, a nave, and a chancel, all losty and spacious; the roof is covered with lead, and the walls embattled; at the west end is a good tower, in which is a clock, and a ring of six bells. In the chancel there are remains of good painted glass, and on the roof the arms of archbishop Arundel. Here are likewise six stalls, for the use of the monks of Christ church and others of the clergy, when they attended divine service in this church. Such stalls are frequently observed in the chancels of churches where the large monasteries had estates, being placed there for the above use, for formerly the clergy and laity sat apart, the former in the chancel, and the latter in the other parts of the church, in like manner as at present in the Roman Catholic countries abroad. There was fomerly an organ in this church, the case of which is yet remaining’. In 1853, the Victorian architect Hubert Austin restored the chancel, nine years later St Aubyn carried out work to the tower and transepts, with further work in 1884 to the roofs and east window. John Taylor recast the bells into a ring of six in 1859 and added two trebles the following year…. more