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The History of Kent

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History of Meopham

Meopham [pronounced Meppum], comes from the Old English ‘hām’ meaning a 'village, homestead, estate' combined with a warlord’s name; therefore, 'Meapa's homestead/village'. The Domesday Book chronicles Meopham as Mepeham. 

Meopham parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. Archbishop of Canterbury, Simon de Mepham (1272-1333), built it between 1320 and 1325. Although, partially rebuilt by Archbishop William Courtney following an earthquake in 1386. In 1552, there is a record of four bells in the tower. Michael Darbie added a treble in 1650, making five bells. In 1797, Edward Hasted described St John’s church as a ‘large handsome building, with a square tower at the west end’. In 1800, the vicar, installed a wooden pulpit originally made for Westminster school, where he had previously taught. The Victorians reroofed the church in 1858, and raised the tower by 20 feet, refurbished the chancel, together with a general restoration in 1874. In 1910, Mears and Stainbank rehung the bells and augmented them to six with a treble. Gillett and Johnson completed the eight with the addition of two treble bells in 1949.

Meopham Green saw its first cricket match in the 1770's.

Three brothers, using timbers from an old battleship, dismantled at 
Chatham Dockyard built Killick's mill at Meopham, in 1801. They built the six sided mill, on a two-storey brick base. It worked by wind power until 1927, when a petrol engine took over. Later still, it received an electric motor, with the mill generating its own electricity until linked to the mains.

Meopham railway station opened on the East Kent Railway’s, Canterbury to Victoria, via Chatham line, on 6 May 1861…. more