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History of High Halstow

High Halstow comes from the Old English ‘hālig’ meaning ‘holy, sacred’ with ‘stōw’ as a ‘place, holy place’; therefore’ a ‘holy place’. The prefix ‘high’ distinguishes it from ‘Lower ‘Halstow’. The Textus Roffensis records High Halstow as Haglestow. 

High Halstow parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Margaret, and originally built in the 13th century as a Chapel-of-Ease to St Warburgh, Hoo. Later enlargements occurred in the 15th century, which included the construction of a wooden west tower, with spire, and bellframe for four bells. In 1675, John Hodson cast and hung two bells, one being a tenor. Richard Phelps added a bell in 1729. In 1825, the parishioners rebuilt the St Margaret’s church tower in brick, and Thomas Mears added two bells to complete a ring of five. A storm in 1852 resulted in substantial repairs to the whole building. In 1984, Whitechapel augmented the bells to six with a bell, originally cast for St Luke’s Knoulton, Notts, by Edward Arnold in 1794.

High Halstow Halt opened on the Hoo Railway Company’s Cliffe to Isle of Grain line, in 1906, although, due to falling passenger numbers, it closed in 1961.

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