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History of Southfleet

Southfleet comes from the Old English word ‘flēot’ meaning an ’estuary, inlet, a creek, a small stream’, and ‘sud’ as ‘south’; therefore a ‘creek’ with the prefix ‘south’ to distinguish it from Northfleet. The Domesday Book chronicles Southfleet as Sudfleta.

Southfleet parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, and built in the 14th century, using materials from an earlier church, and nearby Roman buildings. There is a record of four bells in 1552. William Carter cast a new bell in 1610, together with a tenor in 1672 by an unknown founder. In 1797, Edward Hasted described the St Nicolas church as ‘spacious, consisting of three isles and a chancel’. In 1867, the Victorians carried out a restoration.

Southfleet railway station opened, on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway’s Fawkham Junction to Gravesend branch line, on 17 April 1886. Following its establishment in 1923, Southern Railway renamed the station ‘Southfleet and Springhead’. With a decline in passenger traffic,  the station closed on 3 August 1953, although the goods yard continued until 11 June 1962…. more