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History of West Farleigh

West Farleigh comes from the Old English ‘fearn’ meaning a ‘fern, ferny place’ and ‘lēah’ as a ‘forest, wood, clearing’; therefore, a ‘wood/clearing where ferns grow’. The prefix ‘west’ is a later addition to distinguish it from the adjacent East Farleigh. The Domesday Book chronicles West Farleigh as Ferlaga, and the Textus Roffensis as Feranlega.

West Farleigh parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to All Saints. The Normans built it around 1100, and other than the tower in 1523, nothing much changed until 1875. In the 17th century, Thomas Palmer cast a bell, with another added in 1655, and the completion of the ring of three in 1705. In 1798, Edward Hasted described the West Farleigh church as consisting of ‘one isle, and has a low pointed steeple’. In 1875, The Victorians restored the church by installing stained glass windows, built the vicars vestry, added an organ, new choir stalls and pews and replaced the south porch. Two years later, in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, Mears and Stainbank cast a new tenor, a tone below the previous bell to produce a diatonic ring of three.