KENT VILLAGE SIGNS
MEOPHAM by John Beadle - The village sign is located on Hook Green at the north end of the village. It was designed by Eric Bugg, a local artist, made by Jonathan Marchant of Birling Forge and painted by Terry Morris of Strood. The sign incorporates a bishop's mitre in honour of one of Meopham's famous residents, Simon de Mepham, who was born in the parish in 1272 and died at Mayfield in East Sussex in 1332. he became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1327 after a distinguished ecclesiastical career. It also includes St John's church which dates back to 1325 and was built during Simon de Mepham's incumbency. Other features on the sign are cricket stumps and bat to recognise the long history of Meopham cricket club which traces its origin to 1776 and Meopham windmill built in 1801 and still operational. The leaves included on the sign are of tradescantia virginica as a tribute to a Meopham family, the Tradescants, remembered for their contribution to horticulture. The elder John Tradescant became gardener to Charles I's queen Henrietta Maria in 1629 and brought specimens of new trees, plants, birds and stones from Algiers and Russia to England. His son, also John, who succeeded him as the Queen's Gardener, brought specimens from Virginia, in the New World, and it was after him that the Tradescantia Virginica was named. The sign was presented to the village by Meopham Historical Society in 1998 to mark its twenty-fifth anniversary.