IS the next parish south eastward from Cowdham.
It took its name from the old English words Noke, a
corner, and bolt, a wood; a derivation which aptly
expresses the situation of this place, at the noke or
corner of a wood.
This parish is but small; it lies near the summit
of the upper or northern ridge of Kentish hills, which
are the bounds of the southern part of it. The village, having the church in it, lies nearly in the centre
of the parish, having Shelleys and Norsted-green to
the northward of it; the east and west parts are much
covered with coppice wood; at the former boundary
of it, at Nockholt-pound, is the London high road
through Farnborough to Sevenoaks. In the southern
part of the parish, near the summit of the hills, is the
well known toll of trees, commonly called Nockholtbeeches, which, though standing in a hollow, near
thirty feet deep, are seen as a conspicuous object at a
great distance, both from the north and south. The
soil is but poor, being in general a stiff clay, mixed
The boundaries of this parish, and the lordship of
Okholt, anno 3 Edward IV. are in a manuscript, among
the archieves of the dean and chapter of Canterbury.
The parish of Nockholt is within the manor of
Great Orpington, to which it is an appendage, which
manor is now in the possession of Sir John Dixon Dyke
of Lullingstone, bart.
BRAMPTON'S is a small manor in the western part
of this parish, among the woods, which was formerly
possessed by owners, who, most probably, ingrasted
their own surname on it. One of this family, John
de Brampton, held land at Ditton, in this county, in
the reign of king Edward I. (fn. 1) which at this time bears
This place afterwards became, by a female heir, to
be the inheritance of Petley; a family which owned
much land in this neighbourhood, from whence, about
the latter end of king Edward IV.'s reign, it was conveyed by sale to William Quintin, who was succeeded
by his son, Oliver Quintin of Seale; and his grandson, John, took the name of Quintin, alias Oliver,
and was feated at Leyborne; his son, Robert, transposed these names, being called Oliver, alias Quintin,
which last name he and his posterity entirely dropped; (fn. 2)
his descendant, Robert Oliver, was deceased in 1669,
and Thomas Oliver then possessed this estate. By a
female heiress of this name it went in marriage to St.
John of Sevenoke; she survived her husband, and as
terwards conveyed it by sale to Thomas Streatfield,
esq. of Sevenoke, who is the present possessor of this
estate, which has, for many years, lost even the reputation of having been a manor.
Brampton is held of the manor of Great Orpington
by the yearly rent of Is. 4d. per annum.
SHELLEY'S is another small manor here, lying about
half a mile northward of the village, which was antiently called the manor of Schottis, alias Ockholt, which
last name it had from its situation among the oaken
woods; Ac, in Saxon, signifying an oak; and holt, a
wood; the A in Ac being frequently changed into O,
as is plain in the names of many villages. It was antiently the property and residence of a younger branch
of the family of Shelle, or as they afterwards spelt their
name, Shelley. The elder branch afterwards settled
at Michel-grove, in Sussex, where they still remain.
This branch, in king Richard II.'s reign, changed
their antient bearing from the three escallops to Sable
a fess ingrailed between three welks or. (fn. 3)
Thomas Shelle possessed this manor in the reign of
king Edward I. writing himself De Schottis, alias Ockholt, and bearing for his arms, Three escallops (fn. 4) His
descendant, Thomas Shelle, was of Gaysum, in Westerham. He purchased Hall-place, in Bexley, at the
latter end of king Edward's III.'s reign, where his
posterity afterwards resided. (fn. 5) His son, John Shelle,
succeeded him in this manor, of which he was possessed in the reign of king Richard II. and it appears by
a deed, dated at Scottes Okolte, in the 20th year of
that reign, that John Reynold of Scottes Okolte, granted, among other premises, to Adam Sowedenne of
Sondrishe, certain land, which he had there by the
demise of John Shelle. (fn. 6)
One of his descendants, John Shelley, esq. of Hallplace, died possessed of the manor of Shelley's, alias
Ockholt, in the 20th year of king Henry VI. and was
buried, with Joane his wife, in Bexley church. He
was succeeded in it by William Shelley, esq. of Hallplace, who, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII.
alienated it, together with that seat, to Sir John
Champneys, (fn. 7) who had been lord mayor of London,
in the 26th year of that reign, (fn. 8) whose lands were disgavelled by the act of the 31st of it. He resided at
Hall-place, in Bexley, and dying in the 4th year of
queen Mary, left by Meriell his wife, daughter of
John Barrett esq. of Belhouse, in Essex, several sons
and daughters. Of the sons, in the year 1590, only
Justinian Champneis, the youngest, was living, and
then in possession of this estate; his son, Richard
Champneis, esq. conveyed it by sale to Wm. Gooday,
gent. of Suffolk, who bore for his arms, A fess wavy
between two leopards faces. He, by his last will, in
1647, devised his manor, called Shellies, lying in this
parish, to John and Roger, his two sons; John
Gooday of Pembroke-hall, in Cambridge, the elder
son, in 1651, conveyed his moiety of this manor to
his brother, Roger Gooday, citizen and merchant taylor of London, who died in 1675, and lies buried in
Chelsfield church. She died in that year, and by her
will confirmed the above gift.
His descendant, John Gooday, left an only daughter, Mary, who carried it in marriage to Mr. Richard
Pancourt, and they joined in the sale of it to Richard
Allnutt, esq. merchant of London; since whose death
it is become vested in the trustees of his will, viz.
Henry, Adams, William, Robert, and Arthur Pott,
esqrs. for the use of his grand children.
Alanus, prior, and the convent of Christ church,
in Canterbury, granted to Theob. de Einesford, and
his heirs, twenty-four acres of their demesne in North
Ockholt, to hold of them in gavelikende, by the rent
of twenty shillings per annum, he and his heirs performing suit to their court of Orpington, as the rest
of the tenants of the parish did. (fn. 9)
RICHARD STEVENS by will, in 1647, gave for the indigent
poor the sum of 40s. annually, issuing out of land, vested in earl
Stanhope, and now of the above annual produce.
NOCKHOLT is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester. It is a peculiar of the archbishop of Canterbury, and as such is
in the deanry of Shoreham.
The church stands in the midst of the village. It
consists of one isle and a chancel, having a tower
steeple at the west end, in which are three bells. It
had a spire, which was blown down, and has never
since been rebuilt. There are very few inscriptions in
it, and only one of those of any account, being on a
grave stone, on the north side of the chancel, part of
which is under the rails, for Francis Collins, minister
of this church, obt. Aug. 28, 1670. (fn. 10) It was once
esteemed as a chapel to the church of Orpington, but
it is now parochial, and held as a perpetual curacy,
the patronage of which belongs to the rectors of the
church of Orpington.
By virtue of a commission of enquiry into the value of
church livings, in 1650, issuing out of the court of
chancery, it was returned, that Knockholt was a parsonage, with a house, and two acres of glebe land, all
worth thirty-four pounds per annum, one master Collins enjoying it; and that the tithes of wood of this
place were included in the lease of Orpington parsonage, let by the rector thereof. (fn. 11)
The curate of Nockholt is endowed with the portion of two-thirds of the great tithes arising in this
Chapel Of Nockholt.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Rector of Orpington||William Gale, clerk, 1550.|
|Nicholas Messenger, buried Feb.
|Griffen Lloyd, 1578.|
|Michael Fludd, clerk, 1600.|
|John Dennis, 1610.|
|Michael Flood, buried Feb. 20,
|Francis Collins, obt. Aug. 28,
1670. (fn. 12) |
|William Paule, buried Sep. 19,
|James Haydocke, 1675.|
|Thomas Watts, A.M. 1687, resigned 1732, (fn. 13) |
|James Whitehouse, A.M. obt.
|Francis Fawkes, A.M. 1755. (fn. 14) |
|Thomas Browne, A.B. 1777, ob.
1788. (fn. 15) |
|Henry Fly, A.M. Present curate.|