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Cooling Village

Cooling, Apple trees full of blossam.

St James' Church, Cooling

St James' Church dates from the late 13th century.  No evidence of an earlier building survives.  It seems likely that the de Cobham family, who held the manor from 1241, were instrumental in its construction.  The nave, chancel and the lower part of the tower were part of the initial building phase stretching into the 14th century.  The tower was completed to the height at which it now stands by about 1400.

Here, you can find what have become known as '‘Pip’s Graves’ - the forlorn gravestones of 13 babies that Dickens describes in the chapter as ‘"little stone lozenges each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their [parents’] graves.

Cooling Castle.

It was built between 1381 and 1385 to protect the River Thames. It has a double bailey, the eastern side having a tower in each corner and earth walls in between surrounded by a dry moat and accessed through the ornate gateway. The smaller western bailey has stone walls which are still at least half their original height with a tower in each corner and a wet moat on three sides. The entrance is through the eastern bailey on the fourth side. It is now in ruins with a more recent house inside the grounds but the gatehouse remains in good condition. The castle was besieged in 1554 and suffered damaged by cannon fire.

Cooling is a village and civil parish on the Hoo Peninsula, overlooking the North Kent Marshes, 6 miles north northwest of Rochester.

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