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Kent Past

The History of Kent

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History of Whitfield

Whitfield comes from the Old English ‘hwit’ meaning ‘white’ and ‘feld’ as ‘open country, land without trees, unencumbered ground’; therefore, ‘white open land’. Whitfield was commonly known as Bewsfield – early owner of the manor - until the 16th century.

Whitfield parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Peter. The Saxons built the church in the 8th or 9th centuries. The Normans extended it around 1200, and cast a bell - said to be the oldest in Kent. In 1800, Edward Hasted describes it as consisting ‘of a small nave and two chancels, having one bell in it, but there is no steeple, it is a wretched mean building. The roof is supported by a most uncouth pillar in the middle, so strangely as to prevent, I think, all description of it. There are no monuments in it, nor any thing surther worthy notice’. The architect Ewan Christian restored the church in 1894.