St John the Baptist, Wittersham, Kent

It was by now the middle of the afternoon, mild was fading, but there time for one much more church to check out absent in West Kent.

Jools is churched out, so stays in the vehicle to play solitaire on the pill, and I get the tools of my trade, a camera and two lenses, and stroll by means of the lych gate, spotting correct absent that the indication saying the church is open up which means that it was not a squandered journey below, even if it was not that much from Newenden.

I could not obtain the mild switches, so my photographs are dark and the church would seem lacking in warmth. I have realised that one’s impressions of a church, any setting up, is on how the total of the check out went whether we were being warmly welcomed, did the mild pour by means of the stained glass home windows, did I location a little something uncommon, did I get a really good shot, alternatively than just records?

Highlights were being the good lectern, numerous carved heads and corbel stones and a further good picket roof.


An outstanding church of generally fourteenth-century date. The tower, which was even now less than construction in the early sixteenth century, is one of the most placing functions. Externally it is memorable for the composition of the west door and window. The doorway has finely carved spandrels and label-stops, but the window above has two designs integrated into it – Tudor arches for the base 4 lights, and Perpendicular arches above. It is pretty a point and obviously the outcome of regional designs dying difficult! The tower is topped by an exceptional weathervane dated 1751. Within, the tower arch is also memorable, a tall a great deal-moulded attribute, nearly as outstanding as the tower arch at Horsmonden. The north aisle exhibits evidence of rebuilding – the two octagonal pillars of fourteenth-century variety changed round pillars, one of which survives. The church is incredibly mild, the east window containing only simple glass, which allows us to enjoy the furnishings and memorials of generally twentieth-century date. In the south aisle is a pill to Alfred Lyttleton (d. 1913), which was possibly carved by Eric Gill. The exciting reredos of the higher altar dates from 1967 and depicts St John the Baptist baptising Christ in a regional river.



LIES the up coming parish westward from Stone, currently being commonly identified as Witsham.

THIS PARISH, which partakes of the gross unhealthy air of the adjoining marshes, is a lonely unsrequented spot it is about two miles and an 50 percent acros every way. The village, with the church and parsonage, stand approximately in the middle of it, on higher floor, the ridge of which operates by means of the centre of it, surrounded, excepting on the east, where by it joins Stone, by a substantial tract of marsh-lands, which arrive at to the extremity of the island, excepting where by they join the parish of Ebeney toward the north-east. At the west stop of the higher floor is a hamlet, identified as Pinyon Quarter, in which stands Palstre-court docket, and there are several other properties interspersed over it. The soil is a kind of loam, which in some locations has the quarry or sand stone combined with it. There are some smaller pieces of coppice wood in the different elements of the upland of it.

A good is held below yearly, on the seast of St. Philip and James, May perhaps 1, for toys and pedlary.

THE MANOR OF ALDINGTON statements over the finest portion of this parish, as does the manor of Lambin, in Rolvenden, over a smaller district in it subordinate to the previous is the manor of Wittersham.

WITTERSHAM was offered, in the 12 months 1032, to Christ church, in Canterbury, for fosterland, that is, for the meals and sustenance of the monks, by Eadsy a priest, with the consent of king Canute and Elfgive his queen, but there is no point out made any where by of that church’s obtaining at any time been in possession of it. But in afterwards occasions this manor seems to have become a lay payment for king Henry IV. in his 8th 12 months, granted licence to Richard Lentwardyn and John Hurleigh, clerks, to give and assign to the grasp and fellows of All Saints faculty, in Maidstone, established by archbishop Courtney in king Richard the IId.’s reign, the manor of Wyghtresham, among the other premises in this county, which were being not held of him. After which, this manor continued portion of the possessions of the faculty till the suppression of it, in the 1st 12 months of king Edward VI. anno 1546, at which time it was permit to Sir Thomas Wyatt, at the yearly hire of fourteen pounds, (fn. 1) when the manor-home or court docket-lodge of it, from its belonging to the above foundation, had obtained the name it even now goes by, of Wittersham faculty. This manor coming thus into the hands of the crown, was afterwards granted to Sir Henry Crispe, of Quekes, who settled it on his son Nicholas Crispe, esq. of Grimgill, in Whitstaple, who had been sheriff at the latter portion of the to start with 12 months of queen Elizabeth. He possessed it only for his lifetime, all through which there seems to have been a accommodate at law relating to the title to it, and on his death in 1564 it came to Thomas Parrot and Thomas Shirley, who were being by inquisition found to be the two coheirs of his daughter Dorothy, and they held their different moieties of the queen in capite, both which were being afterwards alienated prior to the stop of that reign to Thomas Bishop, esq. of Sussex, afterwards knighted, and anno 19 James I. produced a baronet, who bore for his arms, Argent,on a bend,cotized,3 bezants. He lived to a fantastic age, and remaining surviving one son Sir Edward, his successor in title and estate, and two daughters, on the youngest of whom, Frances, he had settled this manor, anno eighteen James I. on her relationship with John Alford, son of Edward, of Offington, in Sussex, esq. whose youngest daughter and coheir Elizabeth, married in the 12 months 1659, Charles Bickerstaffe, esq. afterwards knighted, and of Wilderness, in Seale, whom she survived, and afterwards, with her only daughter and heir Frances, an act obtaining been obtained for the goal anno 2 queen Anne, alienated it to Mr. William Blackmore, gent. of Tenterden, who in 1707 gave it by will to his nephew John, son of his brother James Blackmore, deceased, and his descendant Thomas Blackmore, esq. of Briggins, in Hertfordshire, is the existing proprietor of this manor.

THE MANOR OF PALSTER, or Palstre, identified as in antient writings, the denne of Palstre, is situated in the western portion of this parish, nevertheless it extends into the parish of Ebene. This manor, at the time of using the study of Domesday, was portion of the possessions of the bishop of Baieux, less than the typical title of whose lands it is thus entered in it.

In Oxenai hundred, Osbn Paisfor holds of the bishop of Baieux, Palestrei. It was taxed at 3 yokes. The arable land is two carucates. In demesne there is one, and nine borderers obtaining 50 percent a carucate. There is a church, and two servants, and ten acres of meadow, and 5 fisheries of twelve pence. Wooden for the pannage of ten hogs. In the time of king Edwards the Consessor, and afterwards, it was really worth forty shillings, now sixty shillings. Eduui the priest held it of king Edward.

On the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux, 4 several years afterwards, the seignory paramount of this manor was granted to the family of Crevequer, of whom it was held by a family who assumed their name from it, one of whom, Philip de Palstre, held it by knight’s provider in Henry III.’s reign, as did his descendant Thomas de Palstre in the twentieth 12 months of king Edward III. Shortly after which, it came into the family of Basing, who held it, with each other with a moiety of the passage of Smallhythe ferry, adjoining to it. From which name it promptly after handed into that of Charles, and Richard Charles, as seems by the inquisition taken after his death, anno 1 Richard II. died possessed of this manor, with the moiety of the above passage annexed to it, held in capite, as did his nephew Richard Charles, who on his death, s.p. became his heir, in the 11th 12 months of that reign. His son Robert dying furthermore s.p. his two sisters became his coheirs, of whom Alice entitled her partner William Snaith, esq. of Addington, to it, in whose descendants it continued till the reign of king Edward IV. in the 11th 12 months of which, Robert Wotton, esq. of Addington, died possessed of it, holding it as above-talked about. (fn. 2) How it handed from his heirs. I have not found but it went quickly afterwards into the possession of the family of Peckham, and in the 7th 12 months of king Henry VII. Katherine, widow of James Peckham, esq. died possessed of it, as did their son Thomas in the 7th 12 months of king Henry VIII. holding it in capite. He remaining one son, and a daughter, who married Sir George Harpur, who in her correct became, by her father’s will, possessed of it. He presently afterwards alienated it to Sir Thomas Wyatt, as he did to Robert Rudston, esq. who in the second and 3d of king Edward VI. had his lands in this county disgavelled, by the typical act then handed, but currently being attainted for his issue in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s revolt, in the to start with 12 months of queen Mary this manor became vested in the crown, where by it remained till the to start with 12 months of the reign of queen Elizabeth, when an act obtaining handed for restoring him in blood as well as to his estates, it came once again into his possession, and he, anno eighteen Elizabeth, levied a good of it. At duration his grandson Robert Rudston, in king Charles I.’s reign, alie nated it to Sir Edward Henden, one of the barons of the exchequer, who by will in 1662 gave it to his nephew Sir John Henden, (fn. 3) in whose descendants it continued till it was at duration offered, in king George I.’s reign, to Thomas May perhaps, esq. of Godmersham, afterwards Knight, who died possessed of it in 1781, as did his only son and heir Thomas Knight, esq. of Godmersham, in 1794, s.p. and by will devised it to his wife Mrs. Katherine Knight for lifetime, remainder to Edward Austen, esq. of Rolling, and she is now in the possession of it. (fn. four)

OWLIE, antiently prepared Oveley, is a further manor in this parish, which had after house owners of that surname, in which it remained till the beginning of Richard II.’s reign, when the family of Odiarne, who were being of good be aware in this county, became possessed of it, who bore for their arms, Sable, a chevron,amongst 3 included cups,or as they were being previously painted in the window at the entrance of the north chancel of this church in whom it remained till the latter stop of Henry VIII.’s reign, in the thirty sixth 12 months of which Thomas Odyarne seems by his will to have died possessed of it. He resided at his mansion-home of Acteden, now identified as Acton, in this parish, which Thomas Rayfield, of Wittersham, brother of Robert Rayfield, abbot of Boxley, had died possessed of anno 1494, and by his will had requested it to be offered, and which, with the manor of it, as well as this of Owlie, he devised to his two sons Thomas and John Odiarne, and they quickly afterwards offered the latter to John Maney, esq. of Biddenden, whose descendant Sir John Maney, bart. of Linton, in king Charles I.’s reign, handed it absent by sale to Peter Ricaut, esq. afterwards knighted, who offered it to Mr. Menell, of London. At duration after some intermediate house owners, it became by buy the residence of Thomas May perhaps, esq. afterwards Knight, and he died possessed of it in 1781, as did his only son and heir Thomas Knight, esq. of that spot, in 1794, s.p. His widow Mrs. Katherine Knight is now by his will become possessed of it.


THOMAS BEWFRERE, by will in 1463, requested that his feoffees should really make over to the churchwardens of Wittrisham, for at any time, a parcel of land, identified as Ruffins land, containing 5 acres, in that parish, in just the manor of Palstre, to be used to the church when there was most want of it.

THOMAS BEREDG, of Wittersham, by will in 1578, devised to the inadequate of this parish yearly, out of his lands for at any time, 3s. 4d. to be offered to the collectors on the Friday prior to Easter, less than the thorne in the church-property, to the keeping and preserving up of which, he gave the like yearly sum, to be paid out of his lands.

JOHN TRUELOVE, of Wittersham, by will in 1597, gave to the collectors of the inadequate, 20l. to be employed to the use of the inadequate men and women of it, and he requested his tenement and backyard garden to be offered, and the revenue that should really arise therefrom to be employed to the use of the inadequate, so that get should really be taken that it may yield a perpetual annuity to the inadequate man’s box.

The inadequate constantly managed are about 30, casually twenty-5.

WITTERSHAM is in just the WCCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Limne.

¶The church, which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon, is dedicated to St. John Baptist. It is a handsome setting up, consisting of two isles and two chancels, obtaining a tower steeple at the west stop, built in the beginning of king Henry the VIIIth.’s reign, in which hangs a peal of bells. The north chancel, previously identified as St. Mary’s chapel, is now identified as Acton chancel, as obtaining belonged to that manor. In the east window of it were being previously the arms of Watton. In the to start with of the home windows on the north side, is a legend, with the name of Pitlisden, which family after owned lands in this parish. And close to the entrance were being the arms and the name of Odiarne, in the window of it.

The church of Wittersham is parcel of the antient possessions of the see of Canterbury, and proceeds so at this time, his grace the archbishop currently being the existing patron of it.

The rectory of Wittersham is valued in the king’s guides at 15l. 8s. 6½d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 10s. 10¼d. In 1588 it was valued at one hundred and sixty pounds, communicants two hundred and fifteen. There are ten acres of glebe land. kingdom/study-kent/vol8/pp486-493

Posted by Jelltex on 2017-02-08 06:forty four:45

Tagged: , St John the Baptist , Wittersham , Kent , Church , Jelltex , Jelltecks