Picturesque East Kent village set amongst a quintessential English landscape of ancient woodland, meadows, orchards and hedgerows. Little changed from when it was recorded in the Domesday survey. Despite human activity spanning more than a millennium it has had little impact on this pastoral idyll, even with the coming of the railway and a nearby coal mine.
The name Adisham is of Old English and relates to the individual who owned or had control of the settlement. His name was “AEddi”, with the word “ham” which was Anglo Saxon for village, hence “AEiddisham”, recorded in the Domesday Book as “Edesham”.
The settlement was given to Christ Church, Canterbury in 616 by newly converted from paganism, King Eadbald. Despite being the son of King AEthelberht and Queen Bertha who were responsible for the conversion of not only their Kentish subjects but also king Saeberht of Essex and king Raedwald of East Anglia, Eadbald had stubbornly retained his pagan beliefs even going as far as marrying his stepmother. He was eventually converted by either Laurentius or Justus, who also insisted that he separated from his first wife who was also his stepmother as it contravened church laws.
When Christ Church gained possession of “AEdisham” a church was quickly built unfortunately nothing remains of this early church as the one that can be seen today dates from the 13th century.
copyright© Wendy Stevenson 2011
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