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Maidstone All Saints Church
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Historic Manors & Estates in Maidstone

Maidstone Manor

A note to the description of Maidstone Manor is required as reading the antiquated description, below, one can become easily confused by the phrase the "manor of Maidstone" and how that relates to the Archbishop's Palace.  The Palace was originally part of the manor of Maidstone and the whole of the manor with palace had, since the time of Archbishop Stephen Langton, been in the hands of the archbishops.  At the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII the Palace and the manor were transferred to the Crown.  At the time of 4 Edward VI all was granted to Sir Thomas Wyatt but he having been subsequently attainted for his rebellion the whole of the manor, palace and properties reverted once again to the Crown.  It was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I that the palace, land and buildings belonging to it were disassociated with the manor of Maidstone and granted to Sir Jacob Astley. All remaining properties associated with the manor of Maidstone known, then, as the manor of Maidstone, remained in the hands of the Crown until the 4th of Charles I. At that time King Charles I granted that portion known as the manor of Maidstone to the trustees for the lady Elizabeth Finch, viscountess Maidstone.

In the whole value, in the time of King Edward the Confessor, this manor was worth 14 pounds; when he received it 12 pounds; and, now, the demesne of the archbishop is worth 20 pounds.  Of the knights 15 pounds 10 shillings.  The monks of Canterbury have every year of two tenants of this manor 20 shillings.

The archbishops do not seem to have had a house of any note here till the reign of King John, in the 7th year of which, William de Cornhill is said to have given his seat in Maidstone to archbishop Stephen Langton, for a residence for him and his successors.  Soon after which this manor, with its appurtenances, was valued at 83£. 16s. 11d. per annum.

John Ufford, who came to the see of Canterbury in 1348, began to rebuild this palace;  but he died of the plague soon afterwards, before he had received his pall, or was even consecrated, that he might rather be said only to make a preparation for it.  He seems to have pulled the greatest part, if not the whole of it, down for this purpose;  in which situation it laid during the few weeks continuance of his successor, archbishop Thomas Bradwardine, who likewise died of the plague within a few short weeks of his appointment to the post.  After which, Simon Islip, succeeding in 1349, to the archbishopric on his death, he sued the administrator of archbishop Ufford for dilapidations, part of which most probably arose from the unfinished condition this house was left in, and he recovered upwards of 1100£ after which the archbishop pulled down the ruinated palace at Wrotham in this neighbourhood, and conveying the materials hither, finished this at Maidstone with them.  Archbishop Courtney, who succeeded to the see in 1381, being the 5th year of king Richard II. built much at this palace, where he died in 1396, and was buried at Canterbury, though there is a cenotaph remaining for him in the great chancel of the church at Maidstone.  From this time the palace of Maidstone, on account of its pleasant as well as convenient situation, became the consequent residence of the succeeding archbishops;  and in the time of archbishop Chichele, King Henry VI. honoured this house with his presence, as appears by his writs, bearing date March 21, anno regni 16 apud manerium de Maydeston.  In the 31st year of the above reign, archbishop John Stafford died at this palace, to which he had resorted for the benefit of the air.

Archbishop Morton, among the rest of the palaces which he repaired, greatly augmented and beautified this at Maidstone, in 1486, which was then become much decayed and dilapidated; after which this manor and palace underwent no material alteration till archbishop Cranmer, by that great deed of exchange made with king Henry VIII. in the 29th year of that reign, granted, among other premises, to that king all this manor or lordship, with its appurtenances, the advowson and patronage of the college and church of our Lady at Maydestone, and the advowson, donation, etc. of the chantry founded in Maydestone by archbishop Arundel, and his prison house in Maydestone, together with all liberties, etc. and all other estates whatsoever belonging to him in this parish, excepting all advowsons and presentations, etc. not particularly mentioned and excepted. These premises continued in the crown till king Edward VI. in his 4th year, granted this manor, with its appurtenances, the rectory, and several messuages, lands, and tenements in Madenstone, to Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Allington castle, to hold in capite by knights service; but he having in the 1st year of queen Mary, with other gentlemen of note in this county, raised a rebellion on their disgust to the queen's marriage, was taken prisoner; and being found guilty on his trial, was executed that year. On his attaint this manor, with the palace, rectory, and other premises, became confiscated to the crown, whence the palace, with other premises in this parish, was granted by queen Elizabeth to Sir John Astley, son of John Astley, Esq. master of the queen's jewels; he resided here, and dying in 1639, was buried in this church. As he left no surviving issue, he bequeathed this mansion, with his other estates in this neighbourhood, to his kinsman, Sir Jacob Astley, who for his loyalty and eminent services to king Charles I. was in the 20th year of his reign, created baron Astley of Reading. He died at the palace at Maidstone in 1651, and was buried with his lady in this church, leaving by her one son, Isaac, who succeeded him in title and estate; and a daughter, Elizabeth, who married her kinsman, Sir Edw. Astley, of Melton.

Isaac lord Astley died in 1662, and was buried in Maidstone church, leaving two sons, Jacob, who succeeded him as his heir, and Francis, who died without issue. Jacob lord Astley, dying in 1688, was buried in this church, and leaving no issue the barony became extinct, and this mansion came, among the rest of his entailed lands, to Sir Jacob Astley, Bart. of Melton Constable, in Norfolk, son of Sir Edward above-mentioned, who continued owner of this seat till the 6th year of king George I. anno 1720, when he alienated it, with other estates in this neighbourhood, which descended to him on the death of Jacob lord Astley, to Sir Robert Marsham, Bart. lord Romney, for which purpose an act passed that year; whose grandson, the Right Hon. Charles lord Romney, is the present possessor of them.

But the manor of Maidstone itself seems to have continued in the hands of the crown till Charles I. in his 4th year granted it in fee to the trustees of the lady Elizabeth Finch, viscountess Maidstone, whom he had that year created countess of Winchelsea, to be holden in soccage, and not in capite, and from her it came down to her direct descendant, Heneage, fourth earl of Winchelsea, who, in 1720, alienated his interest in it, to Sir Robert Marsham, Bart. lord Romney, whose grandson, the Right Hon. Charles lord Romney, is the present possessor of it.

The manor extends over the whole hundred, and is styled the hundred and manor of Maidstone. At the court leet and court baron, held annually for it, there are yearly chosen a constable for the hundred, and five borsholders, viz. one for each of the parishes or boroughs of Barming, Boxley, Detling, Linton, with the borough of Crockhurst, and one for the parishes of East Farleigh and Loose jointly.

The Mote

OSGB36:  TQ 781 549 [100m precision]         WGS84: 51:15.9741N 0:33.0984E

The Mote or Moat front elevation now falling into decay - 63534 BytesTHE MOTE was an ancient seat in this parish, situated about a mile eastward from the town of Maidstone, and encircled with a pleasant park. It was formerly castellated, and in the reign of Henry III. was part of the possessions of the noted family of Leyborne. In the 51st year of which Roger de Leyborne obtained the grant of a market, to be held weekly at this place on a Tuesday, and a yearly fair for three days at the feast of St. Cross.

After the Leybornes were extinct here, it was become the property of John de Shofford, from whom it acquired the name of the manor of Shofford, alias Le Mote. Ralph de Ditton afterwards possessed it, and in the 20th year of king Edward III. Bartholomew de Burghersh held it as one quarter of a knight's fee, which Ralph de Ditton before held in Shofford of the archbishop. He was a man of great eminence, being lord warden of the cinque ports, governor of Dover castle, etc. and died possessed of it in the 28th year of that reign, leaving Bartholomew, his eldest son, his heir, who was much esteemed by Edward III. who, on the institution of the order of the Garter, made choice of him as one of the knights companions of it. He resided here, after his father's death, in the 29th year of the above reign, and died in the 43d year of it; some years after which the Mote came into the possession of the Widviles, or Woodvills, as they were vulgarly called, who removed from Grafton, in Northamptonshire, where they had been long settled, and resided here. John de Wydevill seems to have possessed this seat in the reign of Richard II. being sheriff of Northampton, and governor of the castle there. He died possessed of this estate, and is said to have been buried on the north side the chancel of Maidstone church, where his tomb still remains. His son, Richard de Wydevill succeeded him in those offices, and was afterwards made seneschall of Normandy, and constable of the tower of London, by king Henry VI. but having, without licence, married Jaquet de Luxembourg, daughter of Peter, earl of St. Paul, and widow of John duke of Bedford, he was fined one thousand pounds for that transgression, and for livery of her dower. Notwithstanding which, the king, in his 26th year, in recompence of his services, in the wars in France, created him a baron, by the title of lord of Rivers, Grafton, and De la Mote. The former of which was not the name of any place, but of an antient family, once earls of Devonshire; in consequence of which this lord assumed, in an escutcheon of pretence, upon his own coat of arms, Argent, a fess and canton gules, the antient coat ascribed commonly to Baldwin Rivers, or de Ripariis, earl of Devonshire, in the reign of king Stephen, viz. Gules, a griffin segreant or.

Side elevation of The Mote - 127380 BytesRichard lord Rivers, continued firm to Henry VI. during the remainder of his reign; but after king Edward had obtained the crown, and had married Elizabeth his eldest daughter, widow of Sir John Grey of Groby, and made her his queen, he presently forgot all his former obligations to the house of Lancaster, and had great honours and trusts conferred on him by the king, who, in his 6th year, created him earl Rivers, and made him lord treasurer and high constable of England; two years after which, being at his seat at Graston, in Northampton, he was there surprized by the people, who had tumultuously assembled in favour of king Henry, and being seized by them, was carried to Northampton, and beheaded without any form of law. Among other figures of the nobility of the time was that of this earl, painted in a window, in Ashford church, kneeling on a cushion with his surcoat of arms, viz. of four coats, 1st and 4th, Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Rivers; 2d and 3d, a spread eagle; 2d and 3d, vaire, argent and azure. Behind him was the figure of his wife, the duchess of Bedford, likewise kneeling on a cushion, having on her gown, Gules, a lion rampant argent, and before him the figure of his son, the lord Scales, in a like posture, having on his surcoat, six escallops.

Anthony, his eldest son, succeeded him in titles and estates, having in his father's life time, through the king's favour, married Elizabeth, sole daughter and heir of Thomas lord Scales, of Nucals; he was thereupon declared lord Scales, and as such, had, anno 3 Edward IV. summons to parliament, and in the 5th year of it was elected knight of the Garter; after which he had many honourable and lucrative posts conferred on him, being constituted governor of Calais, the tower of Ryesbank, and the castle of Guisnes, and captain general of the king's forces, both by sea and land; and in the 13th year of king Edward IV. upon the creation of prince Edward to be prince of Wales and earl of Chester, he was appointed his governor, and at the same time chief butler of England; but on the death of king Edward, in 1483, this earl attending the young king out of Wales towards London, was entrapped by the dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham, at Northampton, and afterwards sent prisoner to the castle of sheriff Hutton; from whence they soon afterwards hurried him away to Pontefract, where he was beheaded as a traitor, not being suffered to speak to the people in his own vindication.The Mote rear elevation taken from across the lake - 62114 Bytes

Leaving no legitimate issue, Richard his brother succeeded him in honours and estates, the latter of which, however, king Richard did not suffer him to enjoy, but made a grant of this among the rest of the late earl's lands in this county, to Robert Brakenbury, Esq. on whom he conferred the office of constable of the Tower, and other favours, for his good services to him. In this state the Mote remained till the accession of king Henry VII. when Richard earl Rivers was put in possession of it. Archbishop Morton, in the above reign of king Henry VII. appears to have been possessed of lands within the park here; for by a codicil to his last testament, in 1500, having willed to Tho. Morton, his nephew, all his manors and lands in the county of Kent, etc. he excepts certain lands within the park of the Mote, near Maidstone, and the mill, which he wills should remain to Christ church, and his successors, archbishops, for ever, on the conditions therein mentioned.

The earl died possessed of it in the 7th of that reign, without issue, having by his will appointed lord Tho. Gray, marquis Dorset, his nephew, his heir, to whom he gave all his lands whatsoever. He soon afterwards alienated this estate to Sir Henry Wyatt, of Alington castle, privy counsellor, who in the 15th year of king Henry VIII. procured his lands in this county to be disgavelled by an act, passed particularly for that purpose; after which this estate descended at length to his grandson, Sir Tho. Wyatt, who in the 1st year of queen Mary, having with other gentlemen of note in this county, raised a rebellion, on the pretence of the queen's marriage, was taken prisoner, and being found guilty of high treason, was executed that year. On his attainder, the Mote, among the rest of his estates, became confiscated to the crown, whence it was granted next year by queen Mary to Hugh Warham, of Southampton, probably only for a term, for in the next reign of queen Elizabeth it appears to have been again in the hands of the crown, and that princess, in her 31st year, granted it to John Nicholas and John Dixon. Soon after which it came into the possession of Sir William Rither, of London, who was third son of Edw. Rither, of Low Layton, in Essex, and served the office of lord-mayor in 1600. He repaired this seat, and bequeathed it to his daughter and coheir. the lady Susan, then the wife of Sir Thomas Cæsar, one of the barons of the exchequer. He was second son of Adelmare, an Italian, descended of the antient family of the Delmarii there, and was physician to queen Mary and queen Elizabeth; the latter of whom, for his great learning, gave him the name of Cæsar. He left three sons, Sir Julius Cæsar, master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas abovementioned, and Henry dean of Ely. The Cæsars bore for their arms, Argent, three roses gules, on a chief gules, three roses argent.

After the death of Sir Thomas Cæsar, his widow again carried this estate in marriage to Mr. Thomas Philipott, second son of Sir John Philipott, of Compton Wascelin, in Hampshire, whom she likewise survived, and afterwards, joining with her eldest son, by her first husband, Tho. Cæsar, Esq. sold it in the beginning of the reign of king Charles I. to Sir Humphry Tuston, who, in 1641, was created a baronet, being the second son of Sir John Tufton, Bart. of Hothfield, and next brother to Nicholas, first earl of Thanet. Mote park in fall - 122714 BytesHe bore for his arms, Sable, an eagle displayed ermine, within a bordure argent, with due difference. He resided at times both here and at Bobbing place, at which latter seat he died in 1659, and was there buried, being succeeded by Sir John Tuston, Bart. his eldest surviving son, who resided at the Mote; but though twice married, he left issue by neither of his wives, and dying in 1685, was buried in Maidstone church. By his will he gave this seat and estate to his neice, Tuston Wray, one of the daughters of Sir William Wray, Bart. of Ashby, in Lincolnshire, by Olimpia, his sister, and she alienated it to Sir John Marsham, of Whorne's-place, in Cookstone, Bart. who removing to this seat of the Mote, died here in 1692, in which year he was sheriff of this county.

His son and heir, Sir John Marsham, Bart. dying without issue, a few years after his father, the title, with this seat, and the rest of his estates in this county, came to his uncle, Sir Robert Marsham, of Bushey hall, in Hertfordshire, who removing his residence into Kent, died possessed of the Mote, in 1703. His only son, Sir Robert Marsham, Bart. was on June 25th, 1716, created a peer, by the title of lord Romney; he resided at the Mote, and died in 1724, leaving by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Sir Cloudesley Shovel, afterwards remarried to John lord Carmichael, on the death of his father, earl of Hyndford, an only son and heir, Robert, and two daughters, Elizabeth, married in 1741, to Sir Jacob Bouverie, afterwards created viscount Folkestone; and Harriott, who died unmarried at Boxley, in 1796; Robert the son, succeeding his father as lord Romney, was F.R.S. and LL.D. president of the Society of Arts, and a lieut. colonel of the western regiment of the militia of this county. In 1724, he married Priscilla, daughter and sole heir of Charles Pym, Esq. of the island of St. Christopher, by whom he had ten children, of whom only six survived him, viz. two sons, the Hon. Charles Marsham, now lord Romney, and Jacob, LL.D. in holy orders, now of Aldington, near Maidstone, who married the only daughter of John Bullock, Esq. of Caversfield, in Buckinghamshire; the four daughters were, Priscilla, Elizabeth, Frances, and Charlotte, the latter of whom married John Coker, Esq. and died at the Mote, in 1794.

Robert lord Romney died at the Mote, in 1793, and was succeeded by his only surviving son, the Hon. Charles Marsham, member for this county in three successive parliaments; who in 1776, married lady Frances Wyndham, sister of the earl of Egremont, since deceased, by whom he has one son, Charles, and three daughters, Francis, Harriet, and Amelia Charlotte. Lord Romney has lately pulled down the antient seat of the Mote, and has rebuilt it, though at no great distance, yet in a much more eligible situation, in the park, which is richly ornamented with the foilage of spreading oaks, of a large size, and commanding a most pleasing view of the neighbouring county. He now resides in it, and is the present lord lieutenant of this county. He bears for his arms, Argent, a lion passant in bend, gules, between two bendlets, azure; for his crest, on a wreath a lion's head erased, gules; and for his supporters, two lions azure, semee of cross croslets, gorged, with naval crowns, or.

Manor of Goulds and Shepway Court

It lies to the south of Mote Park, to the east of Loose Road (A229) and Sutton Road (A274) and west of Willington Street. that was formerly farmland and orchards. The suburb takes its name from Shepway Court a country house located where the road of that name is today.[2] Construction of the new suburb commenced during the 1930s.

At a small distance southward from the Mote park lies the MANOR of GOULDS, and an estate called SHEPWAY-COURT, both which formerly belonged to a family named Vinter, who resided at Vinters, in the adjoining parish of Boxley. Roger Vinter was one of the conservators of the peace for this county, in the 18th year of king Edward III. and then possessed these estates, and on his founding the chantry in Maidstone church, since called by the name of Gould's chantry, about the 40th year of king Edward III. he endowed it with the revenues of them, for the support of the priest performing divine offices there.

On the suppression of this chantry, in the reign of king Henry VIII. the manor of Goulds was granted to John Deuntley, to hold of the king in capite by knight's service. After which it passed into the name of Blague, and John Blague died possessed of it in the 5th year of king Edward VI. holding it by the like service. His descendant, Henry Blague, in the 20th year of queen Elizabeth, alienated the manor of Goulds, with its appurtenances, in Maidstone and Shefford, to Thomas Hendsley, alias Hendlebery, and Anne his wife.

Thomas Hendsley was at that time likewise possessed of Shepye-court, in Maidstone, which had been granted by king Henry VIII. at the suppression of the chantry, to Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Allyngton, who in the 32d year of that reign, had again exchanged it with that king.

One of Thomas Hendley's descendants passed away both these estates to Andrews; from which name they were sold to Sir Humphry Tufton, Bart. afterwards of the Mote, as above-mentioned, since which they have passed in like manner as that seat to the right hon. Charles, lord Romney, who is the present possessor of both Goulds and Shepye-court.

Bigons alias Digons

Digonsnorthwall.jpg - 19190 Bytes      demolished in 1964 only the north boundary wall remains

BIGONS, alias DIGONS, was once a seat of some note in this parish, and was the residence of a family of the name of Mapelysden; one of which, Edward Mapelysden, of Digons, is mentioned in a deed of the 25th year of king Edward III's reign, and in his descendants it continued down to George Maplesden; and in the Visitation of Kent, anno 1619, is a pedigree of this family, which about this time separated into two branches, one of which settled at Rochester, and the other, being the younger, continued at Maidstone.  A descendant of one of them remained at Shorne, near Rochester, within these few years, possessed of a good fortune, and was a justice of the peace for this county.

They bore for their arms, Sable, a cross formee fitchee argent. But George Maplesden, above-mentioned, having engaged in the troubles stirred up by Sir Thomas Wyatt in the 1st year of queen Mary, forfeited this seat to the crown, whence it was soon afterwards granted to Nicholas Barham, Esq. afterwards serjeant-at-law, the son of Richard Barham, of Wadhurst, in Sussex, descended of a branch of those of Berham-court, in Teston.

Nicholas Barham, Esq. bore for his arms, Argent, three bears sable, muzzled or; on a fess gules, a fleur de lis, between two martlets of the second.  He much improved it with additional buildings.  His son and heir, Arthur Barham, passed it away by sale to Henry Haule, descended from Thomas de Aula or Haule, of Wye, and bore for his arms, Or, on a saltier sable, five mullets, or.  He resided here, and married Jane, the second daughter of Richard Dering, Esq. of Pluckley, by whom he had two sons, Henry and George; the former of whom possessed this seat on his father's death, and soon afterwards alienated it to Sir Francis Barnham, of Hollingbourne, who improved it much. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sampson Lennard, Esq. by whom he had several children; of whom Dacre, the eldest son, dying unmarried, Robert, his second son, became his heir, and alienated this house, soon after the death of king Charles I. to Walter Franklyn, who sold it to Mr. Beale, of London, as he did afterwards to Griffith Hatley, M. D..

Griffith Hatley, M. D. was the fifth son of John Hatley, citizen of London, who was descended of a good family at Goldington, in Bedfordshire. His epitaph is remaining in the chancel of Maidstone church, and his arms, Azure, a sword in bend between two mullets pierced or.  He died possessed of this house in 1710, since which it has continued in the same name and family to the present time, being now the property of James Hatley, Esq. of Ipswich, in Suffolk.

The ancient site of Digons is in Knightriders Street, it was lately a boarding school for young ladies.

Jordan's Hall

Plaque to Washington at All Saints Church

Washington Coat of Arms

JORDAN'S HALL, was once a seat of some note in this town, situated in Stone-street, and anciently afforded both name and residence to a family of that name.  From the Jordan's it passed by sale to one of the family of Roper, of St. Dunstan's, near Canterbury, in which it continued till John Roper alienated it about the 36th year of king Henry VI. to Edward and William Brouch, of Bersted, who quickly after parted with their interest in it to Atwood, from which name it was sold to Peirce, and thence again to Cook, who soon afterwards conveyed it to Crooke, where after it had staid some short time it was passed by sale to Potkin, descended from those of that name at Sevenoke.  Their arms were, Argent, on a fess between three talbots gules, three lozenges or.

From the Potkins, by a daughter and coheir, this house was carried in marriage to Virgo, who about the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, sold it to Laurence Washington, Esq. a justice of the peace, register of the court of chancery, sometimes in the commission of Sewers, descended from the Washingtons, anciently of Washington, in Durham.  He alienated it to Godwin, from whence it came by purchase to be the inheritance of Crispe, who about the beginning of king Charles I's reign, sold it to Smith. One of which name, Jane Smith, by deed dated 10th January 1644, conveyed this house to Margaret Wood, by the description of a

...messuage or tenement and kitchen, with other outhouses, etc. called Jordan's-hall, with a garden in Maidstone, over against the dwelling-house of the lady Sackville, together with all the quit-rents belonging to it, out of certain tenements in Stone-street.

Additionally, in another Deed, two messuages are said to be conveyed from Mary Drinkwater to Garret Callant,

...erected and built upon a parcel of a garden lately belonging to a messuage or tenement called Jordan's Hall in Stone Street, abutting to a messuage of Thomas Bliss, Esq.; towards the south, adjoining to the messuage or tenement called Jordan's Hall. These two messuages belong to Thomas Weeks, and are situate between the house where Jeffery now lives and the Town's rooms, and in the occupations of Mrs. Pauley and one Stonehouse, a carpenter.

The forementioned Release bears date August 23rd, 1701, so that in all probability this is the place where stood what Philpot called Jordan's Court.

Since the time of the last conveyance during 1701 this seat has not only lost its name, but from its being divided into small tenements of little account, has so dwindled into obscurity, that neither the scite of it, nor the proprietors can be traced at this time with any certainty.

Shales Court

SHALES-COURT is a manor in the southern part of this parish, which was antiently the inheritance of the noted family of Fremingham; one of whom, John de Fremingham, died possessed of it in the 23d year of king Edward III. His descendant John, son of Sir Ralph de Fremingham, of Loose, died in the 12th year of king Henry IV's reign, leaving no issue by Alice his wife, his feoffees assigned it over, according to the directions of his Will, to John, son of Reginald de Pimpe, who died possessed of Shales manor in the 9th year of king Henry V. and in his descendants it continued down to Reginald de Pimpe, who died in the 23d year of king Henry VIII's reign.

The heirs of Reginald de Pimpe alienated it to Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Allyngton-castle, and privy-counsellor to king Henry VIII. who in the 32d year of that reign, exchanged the manor and lordship of Shales-court, with the king, which was granted by king Edward VI. in his first year, to Sir Walter Hendley, serjeant-at-law, together with the manor of Oldborough, and other premises, situated in Oldborough and Maidstone, late parcel of the possessions of Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, to hold in capite by knight's service.

Sir Walter Hendley died in the 6th year of that reign, leaving three daughters as his coheirs, and on the division made between them of their inheritance, the manor of Shales-court seems to have been allotted to Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, widow of William Walker, Esq. of Groombridge, but then the wife of George Fane, who died possessed of it in the 9th year of queen Elizabeth, and was buried at Brenchley, in this county.

On the death (during 9the Eliz. I) of Elizabeth Fane (nee Hendley) this manor descended to her son, by her first husband, Sir Walter Walker, who in the 17th year of the same reign, alienated it to Walter Hendley, of Coursehourne, in Cranbrooke, and Elizabeth his wife; in whose descendants it continued till the reign of king Charles II. when it was in the possession of Sir Thomas Hendley, of Coursehourne. Soon after which it was alienated to Sir John Banks, Bart. of Aylesford, who died in 1699, leaving two daughters his coheirs; one of whom, Elizabeth, marrying Heneage Finch, second son of Heneage, earl of Nottingham, he in her right, on the partition of her father's estates, became entitled to it, and was, in 1703, created baron of Guernsey, and in 1714, earl of Aylesford; and his great-grandson, the right hon. Heneage Finch, earl of Aylesford, is the present owner of this manor. The manor-house is in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Pope, and stands at the southern extremity of the town of Maidstone, at the south-west corner of the lane leading from Maidstone to Tovil.

Shales Court had been once described in an inquisition with much minuteness, viz:-

Shales Court with garden and two cares in "Littlehales Croft", and 94 acres at "Stone Rock";  and "Culter's Croft" containing 6 acres;  two fields called "Shales-fields" containing 31 acres and 26 acres, respectively;  18 acres in "Sharnold Street";  26 acres in "Combe";   and 16 acres by the "Hayle" and "Ludwycke's" lands and tenements in Maidstone and Loose.

Chillingston, later called Chillington

OSGB36:  TQ 75898 55995 [1m precision]        WGS84:  51:16.5569N 0:31.2277E

Chillington Manor (Elizabethan) contains the Maidstone Museum, the public library, and the headquarters of the Kent Archaeological Society.

Read about the Maidstone Museum

chillington manor being the centre and early foundations for the Maidstone museumCHILLINGSTON is a manor in this parish, the mansion of which was situated near St. Faith's-green, in this town. It was antiently part of the possessions of the eminent family of Cobham, of Cobham, in this county; one of which, John de Cobham, procured a charter of free-warren for this manor, among the rest of his lands in this county, in the 17th year of king Edward III. Soon after which it passed to the Maplesdens, of Digons, in this town, as appears by the court-rolls and deeds of this manor; in which name it continued till George Maplesden, having engaged in the rebellion stirred up by Sir Thomas Wyatt, in the 1st year of queen Mary, forfeited it, to the crown, whence it was soon afterwards granted to Sir Walter Hendley, who not long after alienated his interest in it to Nicholas Barham, Esq. afterwards serjeant-at-law, whose son and heir, Arthur Barham, passed it away by sale to Henry Haule, of Digons above-mentioned, whose youngest grandson, George Haule, died about 1650, without issue, leaving his sister, Elizabeth, married to Sir Thomas Taylor, Bart. his heir.

Chillington manor as it appeared in 1795They joined in the sale of this estate of Chillington, for it had now lost the reputation of a manor, to Sir John Beale, Bart. of Farningham, who left two daughters, his coheirs; and on the partition of their inheritance, this estate fell to the share of Elizabeth, the youngest, married to William Emerton, Esq. of Chipsted, and they joined in the sale of it to Robert Southgate, fruiterer, whose son of the same name resided in it, and afterwards, about the year 1746, passed it away by sale to David Fuller, of Maidstone, attorney-at-law, and he dying without issue devised it by his will to his widow, who at her decease in 1775, gave it to her relation, William Stacy, Esq. now of Canterbury, and he is the present proprietor of this mansion, which, as well in size and other respects, retains many marks of its antient state.

East Lane

THE MANOR OF EAST-LANE, so called from its situation in this town, was formerly part of the possessions of the priory of Leeds, and continued so till the dissolution of it in the reign of king Henry VIII. when the priory being surrendered with all its possessions into the king's hands, who by his dotation charter under his great seal in his 33d year (1541/2), settled it on his new erected dean and chapter of Rochester, with whom it remains at this time.  The manor did not, however, remain with the dean and chapter of Rochester uninterruptedly.  Under the Act passed during the Commonwealth for abolishing deans, chapters and other religious houses, this manor, together with other premises in the neighbourhood of Maidstone was sold to Philip Viscount Lisle (Close Rolls, 3497, No. 33).  Following the Restoration of king Charles II the manor was returned to the dean and chapter of Rochester.

According to Beal Poste, the manor house stood on the north side of East Lane and had been a large building, the windows and mantelpieces of which carried coats of arms of previous owners.

A court baron is held for this manor, the jurisdiction of which extends over twenty five tenements in Eastlane and Middle-row, in Maidstone, which pay quitrents to it.

Park House


The old barn at Park House is the only remaining remnant of the original Park House. The house pictured below, lying on the east side of Park Lane was built circa 1792.

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THE PARK-HOUSE was a pleasant seat, situated near the east side of the road to Rochester, about half a mile northward from the town of Maidstone. The estate of it seems to have been formerly part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, and to have been purchased of archbishop Cranmer, by king Henry VIII. at which time it was in the occupation of Sir Anthony Knevet, and afterwards by lease from the king, in his 34th year of William Smith, by the description of the land and pasture called Le Park, in this parish. Park House built circa 1792 lies on the east side of Park LaneWhen it was granted away from the crown I have not found, but in the reign of king Charles II. it was in the possession of Sir Thomas Taylor, Bart. who resided here, being descended from those of Willsborough, whose ancestor was John Taylor, of the Homestall, in Shadoxhurst, which was their original residence, bearing for their arms, Argent, on a chief sable, two boars heads comped of the field.

In 1664, Thomas Taylor was created a baronet, and died next year, leaving one son, Sir Thomas Taylor, Bart. who succeeded his father in this estate, and resided at Park-house.  He married Alicia, sister and, at length, heir of Sir Thomas Colepepyr, Bart. of Aylesford, but died without issue.  His heirs sold it about the year 1735 to James Calder, Esq. whose ancestor, James Calder, of Muertown, in Scotland, was created a baronet of that kingdom in 1686.

James Calder, Esq. resided here, and on the death of his father took upon him the title of baronet, and died in 1774, having married first, Alice, youngest daughter and coheir of admiral Hughes.  By Alice, James Calder, Bart. left surviving the following children:  Henry, the late baronet, of whom hereafter;  Robert, of the royal navy, who married the daughter of John Mitchell, Esq. late M. P. for Boston;  and, a daughter Alithea, married to Robert Roddam, Esq. admiral of the royal navy.

James Calder, Bart. married secondly, Catherine, daughter of Wentworth Odiarne, Esq. by whom he had no issue.  Catherine died in 1776.  Sir Henry Calder, Bart. the son, was a general in the army, He rebuilt this seat within Boxley parish, in a much more eligible situation. Sir Henry Calder, Bart. married first Elizabeth, youngest daughter and coheir of Augustine Earle, Esq. of Heydon, in Norfolk, who died in 1786; and he married secondly the daughter of admiral Osborne, and died in 1792, leaving by his second wife an infant son, the present Sir Henry Calder, Bart. to whom the inheritance of this seat now belongs.

Great Buckland

GREAT BUCKLAND MANOR is situated on the other or western side of the river Medway, opposite the town of Maidstone, on the top of the hill. It is called so corruptly for Bocland, no doubt from the tenure of it. In the time of the Saxons such land was hereditary, and passed by deed, and was held by the Thanes, or nobler sort, and it has the addition of Great, to distinguish it from other parts of this estate, now in the possession of different owners; all which were antiently part of the demesnes of a family which took its name from hence.Manor house of Great Buckland as it appeared during the latter half of the 19th century when it was falling into an advanced state of decay

Buckland was originally granted by Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury, in the reign of king John, to Alan de Bocland, by the description of one yoke, and ten acres of land, with its appurtenances in Maidstone, to hold in frank-fee, and not in gavelkind, as they had been held before. His grandson, Walter de Boclaunde, held this estate in the 55th year of king Henry III. anno 1270. A nuper obiit was brought in the above year before the justices itinerant, by Alan de Boclaund, against his elder brother Walter, abovementioned, for a moiety of this estate, the tenure of the same having been changed by the archbishop, without the consent of the chapter of Canterbury. But this plea was over-ruled, and judgment passed for the defendant. His descendant, John de Bocland, died possessed of it in the 3d year of king Edward III. and was succeeded in it by his son, Sir John de Bocland, a person of some note in that reign. In the reign of king Henry IV. Buckland was become part of the possessions of the college of St. Mary and All Saints, of Maidstone, founded by archbishop Courtney in the 19th year of king Richard II. where it continued till the dissolution of this house by the act of the first year of king Edward VI. when it came into the hands of the crown, and that king, in his 3d year granted the scite of this college, and likewise certain lands and tenements, late parcel of the above college, called North and South Buckland (in the tenure of Thomas Smith, who, as appears by the Visitation of Kent, anno 1619, where there is a pedigree of him, bore for his arms, Barry of six, or and sable, in chief, three crosses pattee, fichee of the second) to Sir George Brooke, lord Cobham, to hold in capite by knights service.

His grandson Henry, lord Cobham, being attainted for treason in the 1st year of king James I. forfeited all his estates to the crown; two years after which an act passed for establishing the same in the crown, with a confirmation of all grants made by the king. But this estate of Buckland being settled in jointure upon the lady Frances, wife of the lord Cobham, was upon his death granted to her, and the reversion to Sir Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, son of the famous William, lord Burleigh, by his second wife, who had married Elizabeth, sister of the above mentioned unfortunate lord Cobham.

Robert, earl of Salisbury, died in 1612, and was succeeded in titles and estate by William, his only son and heir, who, about the year 1618, alienated this estate to several persons; that part of it since called Great Buckland, with the manor, was sold to William Horsepoole, Esq. descended from John Horsepoole, of Leicestershire. They bore for their arms, Sable, on a chevron argent three lions heads erased. He afterwards passed it away by sale to Thomas English, Esq. of Sussex, who resided here, and bore for his arms, Sable, three lions passant, argent. His son, Thomas English, Esq. possessed Great Buckland in the reign of king Charles II. about the latter end of which, he alienated it to Sir John Banks, Bart. of Aylesford, who died in 1699, leaving two daughters his coheirs, viz. Elizabeth, married to Heneage Finch, second son of Heneage, Earl of Nottingham; and Mary, married to John Savil, Esq. of Methley, in Yorkshire.

On the division of the inheritance of whose two daughters and coheirs, this estate of Buckland, with others at Aylesford, and elsewhere in this neighbourhood, was allotted to Elizabeth the eldest, married to Heneage Finch, Esq. who was in 1703 created baron of Guernsey, and in 1714, earl of Aylesford, in this county; and his great grandson, the right hon. Heneage Finch, earl of Aylesford, is the present possessor of this manor.

Little Buckland

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Little Buckland house lies on the north side of Buckland LaneANOTHER PART of Buckland since known by the name of LITTLE BUCKLAND seems, about the latter end of the reign of king James I. to have come into the possession of Elizabeth viscountess Maidstone, and countess of Winchelsea, in whose descendants it continued till Heneage Finch, fourth earl of Winchelsea, in 1720, alienated it to Sir Robert Marsham, Bart. lord Romney, whose grandson, the right hon. Charles, lord Romney, is the present possessor of it.

There is still another part of Buckland known likewise by the same name of LITTLE BUCKLAND, which in the reign of king Charles II. was become the property of John Fletcher, gent. who sold it to Christopher Vane, Lord Barnard, who died in 1723, leaving two sons, Gilbert, who succeeded him in title, and in his estates in the north of England; and William, who possessed his father's seat of Fairlawn, and the rest of his estates in this county, and was in 1720, created Viscount Vane, of the kingdom of Ireland. He died at his seat at Fairlawn, in 1734, leaving an only son William, Viscount Vane, who at his death in 1789, s. p. devised this, among his other estates, to David Papillon, Esq. of Acrise, and he is the present owner of this estate.

Halfway Oke alias Half Yoke

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Will of Richard Day, of Half Yoke, 1846

At the western extremity of this parish, at no great distance from East Farleigh bridge, lies an estate, commonly called Halfway Oke, formerly accounted a manor, and known by the name of Half Yoke, which was antiently part of the possessions of the eminent family of Fremingham, and passed from thence, for want of heirs male, to the Pimpes, and from them to the Isleys, of Sundridge.

View of Half yoke from the north sideSir Henry Isley possessed this manor in the reign of king Edward VI. and procured his lands in this county to be disgavelled by the act passed in the 2d and 3d year of it. Being concerned in the rebellion raised by Sir Thomas Wyatt, in the 1st year of queen Mary, he was attainted, and his lands became forfeited to the crown. In the reign of king Charles I. Andrew Videon, clerk of the papers of the king's bench, son of Andrew Videon, of Cliff, was possessed of Half Yoke, and resided at it. He was descended of a family of good antiquity and repute in this county, and was one among the many who suffered very much for his loyalty to king Charles I. and II. during the time of those troubles which he lived to survive, and Sir Edward Walker, knight of the garter, granted to him by patent, in 1664, the following coat of arms, Ermine, on a bend vert, three roses argent, barbed and seeded, or.Bird's eye sattelite view of Half Yoke house  It's location, today is at 1 and 2 Farleigh Lane (east side), being the last house before Tonbridge Road as seen in the satellite photograph to the left.

After this name was extinct here, this estate became of but little account, and was no longer reputed a manor, and it seems to have been alienated to different persons; part of it passed into the name of French, from which it was sold to Mr. Fowle, of Fant, the present owner of it; another part of it, after some intermediate time, became the property of the Harris's, of East Farleigh, the last of whom Thomas Harris, gent. afterwards of East Barming, died unmarried in 1769, and by his will gave his part of this estate to Mrs. Mary Dorman, who is the present possessor of it.

Manor of Wyke

WYKE, formerly situated on WEEK STREET stretching to Penenden Heath

A survey of this manor, undated, but obviously referring to the first half of the sixteenth century, is preserved among the Harleian MSS in the British Museum.  It may be abridged as follows:

  • The site of the manor house called the "Weeke", alias "Fisher's House", with yard, garden, malthouse, and other buildings, all which are walled about, and contain 1 rod and 37 perches;
  • two fair barns belonging to the same, with stable and house, yards, orchards, dovehouse and a tenement thereto adjoining, containing 2 acres, 2 rods and 30 perches;
  • one close of pasture or upland meadow thereunto adjoining called "Butcher's Mead" of 5 acres;
  • one other close of pasture called "Pound Field", with a tenement adjoining against the pound containing 5 acres and 4 rods;
  • one other close of pasture called "Pound Field" with a tenement adjoining against the pound containing 5 acres and 2 rods;
  • nine fields, containing upwards of eighty-two acres; and one piece of coppice wood within the same containing 1 acre, 3 rods and 4 perches;
  • one other close of pasture, called "Loampitts" containing 10 acres, 4 rods and 36 perches;
  • one field called "Town Land" containing 15 acres, 1 rod and 7 perches and coppice wood within the same containing 1 acre;
  • one field of arable land called "Gallows Close" containing 4 acres and 4 rods with one parcel of coppice wood next to the "Gallows" containing 1 acre;
  • two other pieces of arable land containing about 17 acres;
  • one other close of arable land called "Fulling-pit Field" containing 7 acres and 28 perches;
  • three other closes of arable land, one called "Thornelie Hills" containing above 27 acres with one piece of coppice wood adjoining called "Hookewood" containing 11 acres and 3 rods;
  • one parcel of common called "Pickenden Leyes" lying in Pickenden Haugh, containing 50 acres.

All of the above lands, taken together with other land enumerated, make a total of 245 acres, 4 rods and 31 perches.

Clement Taylor Smythe believed that an ancient building which stood, fifty years ago, on the north side of Union Street, opposite the entrance to Church Street, was the manor house of Wyke.  But, his friend Beale Poste arrived at a different conclusion.  The latter held that the gable-headed building which still exists at the south-west corner of Union Street and Week Street, with the ancient wall on the north side of the garden, was the old manor house;  and the evidence, so far as it goes, tends to confirm Poste's theory.  William Fisher, according to Poste (Archaeologia Cantiana, vol. 8., p. 162), occupied the house in 1511 and his lands were charged with the manorial rent of 46s 2d.  The Fisher family in 1617 conveyed the estate to the Merchant Taylors' Company.  In the Maidstone Manor Survey of 1650 the house is described as having lately been the property of the Merchant Taylors, but it was then in occupation of John Beale, gentleman, and about two hundred acres of land are mentioned as being attached to it.


England's topographer: or A new and complete history of the county of Kent ... By William Henry Ireland

The history and topographical survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4, By Edward Hasted (1798)

The history of Maidstone, by J. M. Russell

The tenures of Kent, by Charles Isaac Elton

The history and antiquities of Maidstone: the county-town of Kent, by William Newton