Copyright Kent Past 2010
The History of Kent
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History of Higham
Higham comes from the Anglian word ‘hēh’ meaning ‘high, tall, important’ with the Old English ‘hām’ as a ‘village, an estate, homestead’; therefore a ‘high (or chief) homestead/village’. The Domesday Book records Higham as Hecham.
Higham church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin and
in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT). The Saxons built the first
church, which the Normans rebuilt in the 12th century, and added the south aisle
and chapel in the mid-
Higham parish church is a Grade; II listed building, dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist – originally as a daughter to St Leonard’s church, Padiham. The Starkie family employed E W Stephens to build it in 1862, in an early English style, with a nave, chancel, north and south aisles and a porch under the tower. When completed John Warner installed a new bell, adding four more in the following year. Alfred Bowell added a treble in 1914 to complete a ring of six. St John’s became the Higham parish church in 2002.
In 1801, the Thames and Medway Canal Company built a canal from Gravesend to Higham.
They completed a tunnel of 2.25 miles in October 1824, extending the canal from Higham
to Strood. Unsuccessful as a canal the company laid a railway line along the footpath
through the tunnel in 1844. The line from Gravesend to Strood opened on 10 February
1845 with Higham station – although a mile from the village -