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St Nicholas' Church, Barfrestone.jpg
St Nicholas' Church, Barfrestone
Barfrestone is located in Kent
Barfrestone shown within Kent
OS grid reference TR261501
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DOVER
Postcode district CT15
Dialling code 01304
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°12′21″N 1°14′10″E / 51.2058°N 1.2361°E / 51.2058; 1.2361Coordinates: 51°12′21″N 1°14′10″E / 51.2058°N 1.2361°E / 51.2058; 1.2361

Barfrestone is a village in East Kent, England, and between Shepherdswell, Eythorne and Nonington, and close to the pit villages of Elvington and Snowdown.

Alternative spellings are Barfreston and Barfreystone. The old pronunciation was "Barson" (before 1800) and the ancient name, "Barfriston".[1] Now known as "Bar-fre-ston", rather than "Bar-fre-stone".

At the time of the Doomsday Book, when the name was written 'Berfrestone',[2] the manor was owned by Odo, Earl of Kent (as the Bishop of Bayeux). But after his trial (for fraud) in 1076, his assets were re-apportioned, including Barfrestone. The lands were then granted to Hugh de Port (an English feudal barony) for the defence of Dover castle. The lands passed through the hands of many other owners including Sir Thomas Browne (during the reign of Henry VI of England).[1]

Landmarks include the Grade I listed Norman church,[3][4] which contains significant carvings around door portals, the bell in the adjacent yew tree, and "Little Eweell", a converted rectory which, until 2013, was the location of the centre (house, offices and workshops) of the L'Arche Community which has since moved to Canterbury,[5] though a L'Arche house remains in the nearby village of Eythorne.

Another listed building in the village is Grade II listed Barfrestone Court,[6][7]

The village is on the Miner's Way Trail which links the coalfield parishes of East Kent.[8]


  1. ^ a b Hasted, Edward (1800). "Parishes". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Institute of Historical Research. 10: 71–78. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Mills, Anthony David (2003); A Dictionary of British Place Names, Oxford University Press, revised edition (2011), p. 41. ISBN 019960908X
  3. ^ "Church of St Nicholas, Eythorne". Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Nicholas  (Grade I) (1070306)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "L'Arche". Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Barfrestone Court, Eythorne". Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Historic England. "Barfrestone Court  (Grade II) (1122002)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "The History of the Coalfield Parishes". Retrieved 20 November 2013. 

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