History & Description of St Peters Church, Swingfield
ancient deeds Swingfield, variously named as ‘Sumafield’
‘Swinefeld’ and ‘Swinfield’ is described
as a “Parish that lies in lonely and unfrequented countryside
with a church standing in the north-east part”. The Church
is not mentioned by name in the Domesday accounts but in 1170
the Domesday-Monachorum mentions the church at ’Sumafield’
(Swingfield) being subordinate to ’Folcestan’ (Folkestone).
Norman churches were traditionally built by, and for the use of,
the Lord of the Manor. In the case of Swingfield this would have
been ‘Boyington’ and ’Northcourt’, the
two Manors of which Swingfield anciently consisted. However it
is recorded in the records of the Order of St John, that the church
was appropriated early in the 12th century as part of the estate
of the Preceptory and Commandery of the crusading orders.
From this time Chaplains of the Order of St John served the Church
for some 400 years until the dissolution early in the 16th century,
when by command of King Henry VIII the Order was dissolved in
England and its estates and property confiscated.