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History of Ospringe

Ospringe comes from the Old English 'spring' meaning a 'spring, well, the source of a stream’; therefore, a ‘spring’. The Domesday Book chronicles Ospringe as Ospringes.

The Romans built a defended settlement with a ditch, earth and timber ramparts to the south of Watling Street at
Ospringe. It had timber-framed housing, a few trade buildings, shops, paved streets and some impressive stone buildings – possibly temples.

Ospringe parish church is a Grade: II listed building dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The Saxons built the first chapel, which the Normans rebuilt in stone between 1150 and 1190 that had an unusual round tower. In 1695, the bells rung as a loyal tribute while King William III passed through the village, causing the decayed spire to collapse. The poorly constructed replacement had to be demolished in 1750. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the Ospringe church as an ‘antient building, consisting of three isles and a chancel. The steeple was formerly at the west end, and was built circular of flints, supposed to be Danish, with a shingled spire on it, of upwards of fifty feet high, in which were four bells; but in ringing them on Oct. 11, 1695, on king William's return from Flanders, it suddenly fell to the ground, providentially no one was hurt by it. There are no remains left of any painted glass in the windows of this church, though there was formerly much in most of them’. In 1866, the Gothic architect E L Blackburn, rebuilt the tower and restored the church. In 1891, John Taylor cast and hung a ring of eight bells to replace a single bell.

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