LIES the next parish southward from Wye. It is
written in antient records both Broc and Broke, and
takes its name from its low situation on the stream
which runs through it, baroca in Saxon signifying a rivulet. It seems once to have been accounted a hundred of itself; but at the time of taking the survey of
Domesday, in the year 1080, it was reputed to be in
the hundred of Wye, as it is now.
The parish is very small, and is but little known,
lying out of the way of all traffic and throughfare. It
is not more than a mile across each way, and has in it
about twenty houses. It lies very low and wet, in a
deep miry soil. There is some coppice wood in the
southern part of it, about forty-three acres, of which
twenty-eighty belong to the dean and chapter of Canterbury. The village is nearly in the centre of the
parish, having the church at the north end of it. There
is a small hamlet, called Little Bedleston, consisting of
only two houses, in the eastern part of the parish, close
under the high ridge of hills called Braborne-downs,
to the foot of which this parish extends eastward.
BROOKE was given, long before the conquest, by
Karlemann, a priest, to the church of Canterbury;
but it was wrested from the church in the troublesome
times which soon after followed, by reason of the Danish wars, and it continued in lay hands at the accession
of the Conqueror; soon after which it appears to have
been in the possession of Hugh de Montfort, from
whom archbishop Lanfranc recovered Brooke again
to his church in the solemn assembly of the whole
county, held on this occassion by the king's command,
at Pinenden-heath in 1076; and then on the division
which the archbishop made of the lands of his church,
this manor was allotted by him, among others, to the
share of the priory of Christ-church, Canterbury; accordingly it is thus entered among the possessions of it,
in the survey of Domesday, under the general title of
Terra Monachorum Archiepi, i. e. lands of the monks of
In the hundred of Wi, the archbishop himself holds
one manor, which was taxed at one suling, in the time of
king Edward the Confessor, and now, for half a suling.
The arable land is two carucates. In demesne there is
one, and three villeins, with four borderers having two
carucates and an half. There is a church, and one mill of
two shillings, and two servants, and seven acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of ten hogs. In the time of
king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth
fifty shillings, now four pounds.
This manor was soon after this let to farm, by the
monks, to Robert de Rumene, at the above rent, and
was allotted de cibo eorum, that is, to the use of their
refectory; and the possession of it was confirmed to
them both by king Henry I. and II. (fn. 1) King Edward II.
in his 10th year, granted to the prior and convent free
warren in all their demesne lands in Broke, among
other places which they were in possession of at the time
of the charter of liberties granted to them by his grandfather Henry III. about which time this manor was
valued at 22l. 1s. 10d. In which state it afterwards
continued till the dissolution of the priory of Christchurch in the 31st year of Henry VIII. when it came
into the king's hands, where it did not remain long,
for the king settled it by his dotation-charter, in his 33d
year, on his new-erected dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose possessions it still remains.
The demesne lands have been constantly let by the
dean and chapter on a beneficial lease, at the yearly
rent of 13l. 6s. 8d. in money, and four quarters of
wheat. The present lessee is Mr. John Berry, of Newbery, Berkshire; but the manerial rights they retain
in their own hands.
A court baron is regularly held for this manor.
There are no parochial charities.
BROOKE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Bridge.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is but
small, consisting of one isle and a chancel, with a low
square tower at the west end, in which are two bells.
There are no memorials of any account in it.
The church of Brooke has always been accounted an
appendage to the manor, and as such passed with it
from the priory of Christ-church into the hands of the
crown, and from thence to the dean and chapter of
Canterbury, who are the present patrons of it. The
woods belonging to the dean and chapter here, claim
an exemption from paying tithes.
This rectory is valued in the king's books at 7l. 7s. 3d.
and is of the clear yearly certified value of thirty pounds.
In 1588 it was valued at thirty pounds. Communicants
ninety-two. In 1640 at sixty pounds. Communicants
sixty. There are now only ten communicants. In
1724 it was augmented with the sum of 200l. given by
the governors of queen Anne's bounty, on the gift of
100l. from the dean and chapter of Canterbury, and
the like sum from Dr. Godolphin, dean of St. Paul's;
with which there was purchased a piece of land, containing nine acres, called Great Chequer field, adjoining
to the town of Wye.
Church of Brooke.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.||William Meredith, March 24,
1626, obt. 1635.|
|Samuel Raven, A. M. Dec. 12,
1635, obt. 1638.|
|Henry Sellar, A. M. July 17,
1638, obt. 1640.|
|Miles Barnes, A. M. July 1640,
|David Nierne, A. M. July 4,
|Henry Cuffen, obt. 1667.|
|William Johnson, A. B. July 27,
1667, resigned 1669|
|John Stokes, A. M. Oct. 6, 1669,
|John Ansell, A.M. Nov. 16,
|William Cade, obt. 1707.|
|John Booth, March 29, 1707.|
|Isaac Satur, obt. 1722.|
|William Gostling, A. M. Sept.
23, 1722, resigned 1733. (fn. 2) |
|The Crown, by lapse.||James Henstridge, A. M. ind.
Feb. 9, 1734, obt. Dec. 4,
|Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.||Francis Gregory, A. M. 1746,
resigned 1751. (fn. 3) |
|John Gostling, A. M. July 27,
1751, the present rector. (fn. 4) |