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The History of Kent

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History of Newchurch

Newchurch is pretty self-explanatory, and comes from the Old English ‘niwe’ meaning ‘new’ and ‘cirice’ as a ‘church’; therefore a ‘new church’. The Domesday Book chronicles Newchurch as Nevcerce. 

Newchurch parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The building dates to the 13th century, although, the name implies the existence of an earlier structure; however, there is no physical evidence to substantiate this. The building of the tower commenced in 1410, however, as it stands on reclaimed silt the structure started to lean with the completion of the second stage. The addition of buttresses allowed the third stage to be accomplished in 1480. In 1637, John Wilnar cast and hung a ring of five bells. In 1799, Edward Hasted described the church as a ‘large handsome building, consisting of three isles and a chancel, having a tower with a beacon turret at the west end, in which are five bells. The pillars between the isles are beautiful. The altar piece was erected in 1775. The font is of stone, an octagon, having two shields of arms, one, Two keys in saltier; the otherA sword erect, the point upwards’. The Victorians carried out a heavy restoration in 1845, with yet another restoration in 1909-1915. In 1968, Whitechapel augmented the bells to six with a treble recast from a bell originally cast by Joseph Hatch for St Margaret’s Canterbury, in 1625…. more

Newchurch airfield opened in July 1943, as part of a number of Advanced Landing Grounds. Initially three Spitfire and one Hurricane squadrons based themselves there. Then following their transfer to Detling Airfield Newchurch became the base in April 1944 to 150 Wing comprising three squadrons of Hawker Tempests. Following their departure, to support the advance through Europe, in 1944, Newchurch airfield returned to farmland.