Alternative spellings are Barfreston and Barfreystone. Old English pronunciation - "Barson" (before 1800) and antient name "Barfriston". Now known as "Bar-fre-ston", rather than "Bar-fre-stone".
At the time of the Doomsday Book, the manor was owned by Odo, Earl of Kent (as the Bishop of Bayeux). But after his trial (for fraud) in 1076. His assets were re-apportioned including Barfrestone. The lands were then granted to 'Hugh de Port' (an English feudal barony) for the defence of Dover castle. The lands passed through many other owners including Sir Thomas Browne (during Henry VI of England reign).
Of note are the tiny Grade I listed Norman church, complete with internationally famous carvings around the door. The bell in the adjacent yew tree, and the offices and workshops of L'Arche Kent Community.
Another listed building in the village is the Grade II listed Barfrestone Court,
The village is also on the Miner's Way Trail. The trail links up the coalfield parishes of East Kent.
Barfrestone was a parish in the Eastry Rural District from 1894 until 1935 when it was absorbed by the neighbouring parish of Eythorne. Since 1974 the whole area is part of the non-metropolitan Dover District.