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Kent Past

The History of Kent

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History of Preston-near-Wingham

Preston–near-Wingham comes from the Old English ‘prēost’ meaning a ‘priest’ with ‘tūn’ as an ‘enclosure, a farmstead, a village’; therefore, ‘farm/settlement of the priest’s’.  The suffix ‘near-Wingham’ distinguishes it from Preston-next-Faversham. The Domesday Book chronicles Preston as Prestetune.

Preston parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mildred. The Normans built it in the late 12th or early 13th century with additions and extensions in the following 100 years. In 1712, there is a record of four bells, which Richard Phelps recast into a ring of five. In 1800, Edward Hasted described St Mildred’s church as ‘small’ consisting of ‘three isles, a high chancel, and a north chancel, having at the west end a low pointed steeple, in which hang five bells. It is kept exceedingly neat and handsome, and the whole of it ceiled’. In 1857, the Gothic Revival architect William White carried out a major restoration of the Preston church. In 1983, the Kent County Association augmented the bells to six with a treble originally cast for St Mary’s, Burham, by Richard Phelps in 1700.