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The History of Kent

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History of Wingham

Wingham comes from the Old English ‘ingas’ meaning the ‘people of, people called after’ and ‘hām’ as a ‘village, homestead, estate’ combined with a personal name; therefore ‘homestead/village of the people of Wiga’. The Domesday Book chronicles Wingham as Wingheham.

Wingham parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin. The Saxons built the church as a major minster with various chapels belonging to it. The Normans rebuilt the church, as a cruciform, around 1200, with the addition of the chancel in the following century, the tower in the 14th century and nave and aisle in the 16th century. Richard Phelps cast and hung a ring of eight bells in 1720. In 1800, Edward Hasted described Wingham church as being ‘a handsome building, consisting of two isles and three chancels, having a slim spire steeple at the west end, in which is a peal of eight bells and a clock. The church consists of two isles and three chancels. The former appear to have been built since the reformation; the latter are much more antient. It is handsome and well built; the pillars between the isles, now cased with wood, are slender and well proportioned. The outside is remarkably beautiful in the flint-work, and the windows throughout it, were regular and handsomely disposed, superior to other churches, till later repairs destroyed their uniformity. The windows were formerly richly ornamented with painted glass, the remains of which are but small’. In 1874-5, the architect Benjamin Ferrey restored the church, in particular the chancel, where he rebuilt the arch and east window…. more

Wingham Town railway station opened on the East Kent Light Railway line from Shepherdswell in 1912. In response to coalfield reduction, Wingham Town closed in 1951.