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The History of Kent

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History of Hartlip

Hartlip comes from the Old English ‘heorot’ meaning a ‘hart, stag’ with ‘hlēp’ as a ‘leap, jump, leaping place’; therefore, a ‘hart leap’ – presumably a barrier over which harts can leap.

Hartlip parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Michael and All Angels. The Normans built it between the 13th and 15th centuries. Robert Burford cast and hung a bell around 1400. An unknown founder added a bell in 1578, with John Wilnar casting three more between 1628 and 1632. In 1785, William Mears cast a treble – not hung until around 1800. In 1798, Edward Hasted described St Michael’s as consisting of ‘three isles and three chancels, with a square tower at the west end of it, in which hang five bells’. The Victorians repaired the tower in 1855, and in 1865, the architect Richard Charles Hussey carried out restoration works.

In 1678, Mary Gibbon left an legacy together with instructions that the proceeds should be used to establish a school in Hartlip, where poor children of the parish would be taught to read English. ‘A Bible should be bought and given to each poor child, when able to read any chapter in it, and that such child should then be taken from that school and its place supplied by another.' In 1856, Sir William Bland, a descendant of Mrs Gibbon built a new school, next to the church, with a connecting gate, and  a master’s house. Extensions followed in 1905, converting the master’s house for teaching.