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Kent Past

The History of Kent

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History of Newington-near-Hythe

Newington-near-Hythe comes from the Old English ‘tūn’ meaning an ‘enclosure, a farmstead, a village’ with ‘niwe’ as ‘new’; therefore, the ‘new farm/settlement’. The Domesday Book chronicles Newington-near-Hythe as Neuentone.

Newington-near-Hythe parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Nicholas. The Normans built it in the late 11th or early 12th century as a simple nave and chancel building. However, they rebuilt the chancel early in the 13th century with a north aisle added later, together with a lady chapel. They extended the nave westward, probably with the intention of building a tower, which did not materialise; instead they cut a wooden belfry into the roof. In 1552, there is a record of four bells, which Samuel Knight recast into a ring of five in 1725. In 1799, Edward Hasted described St Nicholas’ church as consisting of ‘two isles, the northern one being both small and low, and two chancels, having a wooden pointed turret set on the roof at the west end, in which hang five bells’. Restoration work continued throughout the Georgian and Victorian periods. In 1908, Mears and Stainbank augmented the bells to six with a treble and rehung all six in a new frame.