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.