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The History of Kent

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History of Marden

Marden [pronounced Mar-dern or Mar-den (emphasis on the first syllable)] comes from the Old English ‘mere’ meaning ‘mare’ and ‘denn’ as a ‘field, woodland pasture’; therefore a 'woodland pasture for mares'.

Marden parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Michael and All Angels. The Saxons built the first church, which the monks of Lesnes Abbey rebuilt around 1200, with additions and extensions over the next 200 years. The 15th century windows use stone from the Boughton Monchelsea quarry. In 1556, a fire destroyed the chancel, which for the next 30 years had no roof. To demonstrate their anger the parishioners stopped attending, and in 1573, Archbishop Parker labelled them the 'Heretics of Kent'. However, the arrival, in the following year of Salomon Boxer, as vicar, marked the beginning of a period of stability. In 1693, John Hodson cast and hung a tenor bell. Thomas Lester added two more in 1745, with Lester and Pack installing another bell in 1758. Pack and Chapman completed the six with a bell in 1775 and another two years later. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Marden church as consisting of ‘three isles and three chancels, with a low square tower at the west end of it, in which there are six bells. It is situated very low and damp, at the west end of the town’. In 1868, the Victorians carried out a restoration of the church. The tower received attention in 1909, and at the same time, Alfred Bowell recast the six bells into a ring of eight.

Marden Railway Station opened on the South Eastern Railway’s London to Dover main line, in 1842.