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The History of Kent

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History of Northfleet

Northfleet comes from the Old English ‘flēot’ meaning an ‘estuary, an inlet of the sea, a small stream’; therefore, a ‘creek’. The affix 'north' distinguishes it from the adjacent Southfleet. The Domesday Book chronicles Northfleet as Norfluet and the Textus Roffensis as Northfleota.

Northfleet parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Botolph. The Saxons built the first church, although, largely rebuilt in the 13th century. Additions and extensions continued over the next 100 years. The tower collapsed in 1717, resulting in its rebuilding, and re-hanging of the six bells, which Lester and Pack recast in 1758. In 1797, Edward Hasted described St Botolph’s church as standing on the ‘south side of the village, and is a handsome spacious building, having three large isles and a large chancel; it has a tower at the west end, which was built in 1717’. The Victorians carried out heavy restoration work in the 19th century. In 1920, Alfred Bowell augmented the bells to eight.

The St Botolph's National School opened, on the south side of the churchyard, adjoining the chalk pit, in 1838. On 1 February 1869, the Infants' School opened. Previously all ages had attended the one school, and the infants paid two pence per week. The school continued unchanged until February 1936, when the eleven-year-old senior boys and girls left to attend the new Secondary Schools. From 1936, the school changed to a Primary (Mixed) School. The school installed electricity in June 1938. In 1977, a new St Botolph's school opened on a different location in Dover Road. Set in large grounds it offered superior facilities.

Northfleet railway station opened on the South Eastern Railway’s, North Kent Line, between London and Strood, on 30 July 1849….more