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The History of Kent

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History of Great Mongeham

Great Mongeham comes from the Old English ‘ingas’ meaning the 'people of, people called after' and ‘hām’ as a ‘village, homestead’ combined with a warlords name; therefore, the ‘homestead/village of the people of Mundel’. They added the prefix ‘great’ to distinguish it from Little Mongeham. The Domesday Book records Great Mongeham as Mundingeham.

In 761AD, King Eadbert of Kent gave Great Mongeham to St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury.  

Great Mongeham parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. The Saxons built the original church in the 8th century, although the Normans rebuilt it 400 years later. They made further additions and extensions over the next 200 years and added the west tower in the 15th century. In 1758, there is a record of four bells in the tower, to which William and Thomas Mears added a treble in 1787. In 1800, Edward Hasted described the Great Mongeham church as ‘large and handsome, having a square tower at the west end. On the steeple, over the west door, is a shield of arms, being A fess, between three lions passant, a mullet, pierced on the chevron, for difference. It consists of a have and north isle. There has been one likewise on the south side, sometime since pulled down. The high chancel is remarkably long, with two side chancels. At one angle of the tower is a small round one, in which is a newel staircase; it is built very strong and large, and is embattled at the top. There are five small bells in it. There is a large and handsome window over the west door of the tower, formerly much ornamented, though at present the stone work is much decayed’. The Victorian architect William Butterfield carried out a major restoration in 1851. In 1913, Mears and Stainbank added a treble to total six bells.