Birling is a small village of around 500 people today with a relatively small size, as parishes go, and much of the local land being farming and pasture land.
The history of the church building certainly would suggest that the history of our community goes back as far as the Domesday Book (1086). The origin of the name ‘Birling’ is not clear although some sources believe that it signifies ‘Bærla’s family’ with the ‘ing’ portion of the word coming from the Old English ‘-ingas’ suffix meaning family or followers.
The village is close to the A20, M20 and M25. We very much value our local Children’s House Montessori School, which is next to the church and the Nevill Bull pub, whose name is in part derived from the Nevill family that have owned land in the area for hundreds of years and who have such a long-standing relationship with the church as well.
The Nevill family have been in possession of Birling Estate since 1435. The family acquired the Estate when Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Worcester married Sir Edward Nevill. The estate has remained in the family for the last 600 years. The family also has royal ties. At the dissolution of the monasteries, the patronage of the church was awarded to the Nevill family for services rendered to Henry VIII. Henry Nevill, Lord Burgavenny, was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and the Queen is recorded as coming to visit Henry Nevill in Birling as part of her travels in 1573.