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History of Hackington

Hackington comes from the Old English ‘tūn’ meaning an ‘enclosure, a farmstead, village’ with ‘ing’ as a ‘connective particle, linking the first and last element’ combined with a warlords name; therefore, a ‘farm/settlement connected with Hacca’. Hackington is often referred to as St Stephens, from an image of that saint, with supposed miraculous powers, which stood in the church, and visited by pilgrims.

Hackington parish church is a grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Stephen. The Normans built it in the late 11th or early 12th centuries, adding the tower later that century, and the chancel 200 years later. Robert Catlin cast and hung a ring of six bells in 1746.

In 1800, Edward Hasted describes St Stephen’s as ‘built in the form of a cross, consisting of a body, and chancel at the east end, and two cross chancels on the north and south side of the body, having a low spire steeple set on the tower at the west end, in which are six bells and a clock. This church has been built at different times. The bottom part of the tower of the steeple appears, by two very small circular windows in it, and the door-way, which is, though a pointed arch, decorated with two rows of zig-zag ornaments, to be the most antient, and was probably in being in archbishop Baldwin's time, who is said to have began to rebuild this church with stone, which was before built only of timber; nor is the body of it of much less antiquity. The east chancel, which is elegant for the time, was built next, and the two cross ones, at a long distance of time afterwards’.

In 1844, Charles and George Mears augmented the bells to eight with two trebles. In 1938, the tower required restoration work to ensure its safety…. more