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The History of Kent

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History of Upper Hardres

Upper Hardres comes from the Old English word 'harad' meaning 'a wood’. The prefix ‘Upper’ appeared later to distinguish it from Lower Hardres. The Domesday Book chronicles Hardres as Hardes.

Upper Hardres parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The Normans built the stone church around 1160 with additions and extensions in the following 300 years. William Dawe cast a bell in the 14th century, with another from Joseph Hatch in 1609, and a third in 1727, by Samuel Knight. In 1800, Edward Hasted describes the church as consisting ‘of two isles and two chancels, having a low flat tower on the south side, in which are three bells. The church is small, and seems antient.’ Volunteers carried out a major restoration in 1972 following a fire that destroyed much of the Upper Hardres church.