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History of Milton Regis

Milton Regis comes from the Old English ‘middel’ meaning ‘middle’ and ‘tūn’ as an ‘enclosure, a farmstead, estate’; therefore, the ‘middle farm/settlement’ - the later added suffix ‘regis’ denotes it belongs to the king. The Domesday Book chronicles Milton Regis as Milde(n)tone/Middeltun.

Milton Regis parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Augustinian built with considerable additions and extensions throughout the Saxon and Norman periods. Records show Queen Sexburga, Abbess of Minster in Sheppey, ‘left her life at the doors of Mylton Church’ – meaning her secular life, in becoming a nun. The name possibly dates from a rededication by Archbishop Lanfranc, when making the church the centre of an extensive Deanery in 1070. The 14th century saw a massive tower erected. In 1681, John Bartlet cast and hung a ring of five bells in the tower. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Milton church as a ‘large handsome building, consisting of two isles and two chancels, the southernmost of which belongs to the manor of Northwood. It has a well built tower at the west end, in which are five bells’. In 1880, the Victorian architect W L Grant carried out a restoration. In 1934, Alfred Bowel retuned and rehung the bells, augmenting them to six with a treble, donated by Mr J Dixon.

The village moved to higher ground, due to flooding, from the creek. The villagers transported the Milton Regis church brick by brick and rebuilt it in the new location. St Augustine would take back in the night the bricks moved during the day. After a few nights, they decided to follow the saint’s wishes, and leave the church alone.

As Milton Regis belonged to King Edward the Confessor, it came under attack from Godwin, Earl of Wessex, father of King Harold II, over an on-going dispute regarding a claim to the throne. Godwin burnt it to the ground. However, he later rebuilt the town to its former glory.