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Roman Britain

The church stands on an ancient site. There was a Roman cemetery close by, near what is now called Roman Road, which runs about a quarter of a mile to the South West. This cemetery was discovered in 1864, and Roman coffins from it are now in the British Museum.

597 - Saxon Britain

Christianity was first brought to England by the Romans, but when the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes settled in southern England in the 5th and 6th centuries, they brought their own gods with them and before long Christianity had disappeared.

In 590, Pope Gregory I noticed some blond slave children in a Roman street, and when he asked who they were, was told that they were English (Angles). He is said to remark. "They may be Angles, but they look like angles." He appointed Augustine, head of a Roman monastery, to take 40 monks to England to re-convert the people to Christianity. In 597 Augustine landed in England, and started spreading the Gospel.

It seems highly probable that there was a little Church here in Saxon times. It may have been built of wood, in which case it has entirely disappeared. If it was built of stone and flint, then some portions of it may remain; as the same site would almost certainly be used in rebuilding.

1066 - The Norman Invasion

In 1066, the Normans, descendants from Viking invaders from northern France, invade England. In 1085, William I took a survey of his newly captured kingdom, to find out how much tax he could get. The result of this survey, finished in 1086 was the Doomsday book

There is no mention in the Doomsday book of a Church in this neighborhood, however we know that not every Church was not recorded. There is, however a reference to Edwin, a free priest having a piece of land here in pre-Norman times:

"And to this estate (of Robert Gernon) belong three virgates in the time of King William, which was held by Edwin, a free priest, in the time of King Edward."