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Kent Past

The History of Kent

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History of Detling

Detling comes from the Old English ‘ingas’ meaning the ‘people of, people called after’ combined with a personal name; therefore, the ‘people of Dyttel’.

Detling parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. The Normans built the nave and chancel in the 12th century -as a Chapel-of-Ease to Maidstone church - with additions and extensions in the 13th and 15th centuries. In 1538, the church acquired a 14th century, wooden, four sided, reading lectern, with a swivel base, from Boxley Abbey. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Detling church as a ‘small building, with a low pointed steeple, and is situated at the south west end of the village’. In 1861, the Victorian architect R C Hussey carried out restoration work.

At the top of Detling Hill, the Royal Navy established an Air Station during WWI, and a satellite airfield in WWII. After the war, both the Army and RAF used the facility. Kent County Council subsequently developed the area as a county showground.