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Birling – a small village with a big heart

Birling is a village and civil parish in the Tonbridge and Malling district of Kent, England, about seven miles west of Maidstone. According to the 2001 census, it had a population of 430 increasing to 437 at the 2011 Census: 224 male and 213 female. It is south-west of the nearby town of Snodland and only 37 miles away from the capital.

The origin of the name 'Birling' is unclear, 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. Other sources mention Birling and other place names with similar spellings with the definition: 'place of the descendants of the cup-bearer or butler'

Although there is no real mention of the village of Birling pre-Norman Conquest, it features in the Doomsday Book which was written in 1086. At the time it was written, there were 30 households, 12 acres of meadow and pasture 50 cattle. It also mentions the All Saints church, but major developments on the building were made around 400 years later. Around this time, a vast proportion of Kent and the surrounding areas was in possession of Odo of Bayeux, Earl of Kent. Odo was the half brother of William the Conqueror.