The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
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LIES adjoining to Deal southward, being probably so called quasi vallum maris, that is, the wall, or fortification made aginst the sea. It was once part of the hundred of Cornilo, but was very early made a branch of the cinque ports, and a member to the port of Sandwich; nevertheless, king Henry VI. on some disputes arising concerning it, again annexed and confirmed it to that jurisdiction, in which it still continues.
THE VILLAGE of Walmer is situated on rising ground, about a mile from Deal southward, and about half a mile from the sea-shore, at the ending of the chalk cliffs, close to which is Walmer castle, built with the neighbouring ones of Deal and Sandown, all of the like sort, by king Henry VIII. in the year 1539, for the defence of the coast.
George Leith, esq. is the present captain of it, and Edward Pyott his lieutenant.
WALMER CASTLE stands beautifully pleasant, close to the shore, having an uninterrupted view of the Downs and the adjoining channel, as far as the coast of France, the naval commerce of the whole world passing before it. The apartments towards the sea have been modernized, and handsomely fitted up, and have been made use of for some time past by the constable of Dover castle and lord-warden, for his residence in these parts. The present constable and lord-warden, that great minister of state, THE RIGHT HON. WILLIAM PITT, whose birth within this county reflects additional honor to it, resides at it, whenever his time can be spared from his momentous care of the public welfare of the British empire.
Towards the village of Walmer is a flat, many feet. lower than the high water mark, which the beach thrown up along the shore has fenced from the sea, and which probably when Cæsar landed on this coast, might be all covered with water. Round Walmer church, which stands at the south end of the village, on a rise, is a deep single fosse. Here Dr. Packe supposes Cæsar fought his first battle in the sea, and set his men on shore. There are other visible marks of intrenchments at Hawkeshill-close, near the castle to the southward, and on the place called Dane Pits, on the old down, not far off from it. (fn. 1)
This parish is noted for the salubrity of its air, and the beautiful prospects over the Downs and the neighbouring channel, as well as the adjoining country, which is for the most part uninclosed corn fields. The soil in the low part of it, between Deal castle and Walmer-street, is underneath a deep rich loam; to the southward, on the hill, it is open down land. The vallies in it are fertile. There is not any woodland.
The high road from Deal to Dover passes through the village, which is called Walmer street, and is very neat and prettily built, having several genteel handsome houses in it, which are much resorted to in the summer season, for the benefit of sea-bathing, the healthiness of the air, and the conveniency of its situation in the neighbourhood of Deal and Dover.
Leland, in his Itinerary, vol. vii. p. 125, gives the following description of this place, as in his time, viz. king Henry VIII.'s reign:
" Walmer is about a mile from Dele shore and looke as from the farther syde of the mouth of Dovre the shore is low to Walmer so is the shore all cliffy and hy from Walmere to the very point of Dovar castell, and there the shore falleth flat and a litle beyound the towne of Dovar the shore clyvith to Folkestane. From Walmer to St. Margaretes ij and 2 miles to Dover."
There are at present about seventy houses in this parish, and 800 acres of land. There is no fair.
THE MANOR OF WALMER was antiently part of the possessions of the eminent family of Auberville, who held it by knight's service, of Hamo de Crevequer, as of the manor of Folkestone. At length, Sir William de Auberville, of Westenhanger, left an only daughter and heir Joane, who marrying Nicholas de Criol, brought him this estate as part of her inheritance. The Criols, or Keriels, bore for their arms, Argent, two chevrons, and a canton, gules; in imitation of their superior lords, the Clares, earls of Gloucester, who bore Or, three chevrons gules. (fn. 2) From him this manor devolved at length by succession to Sir Thomas Keriell, for so their name was at that time in general spelt, who was slain at the second battle of St. Alban's, in the 38th year of king Henry VI. in asserting the cause of the house of York. He left two daughters his coheirs, of whom Alice the youngest, married John Fogge, esq. of Repton, afterwards knighted; and on the division of their inheritance, this manor was allotted to him, and he by will devised it to his son Sir Thomas Fogge, sergeant-porter of Calais, both under king Henry VII. and VIII. whose daughter and coheir Anne entitled her second husband Henry Isham, esq. to the possession of it; but his son Edmund Isham leaving an only daughter and heir Mary, she carried it in marriage to Sir George Perkins, whose daughter Mary married Sir Richard Minshall, of Cheshire, afterwards created by king Charles I in his 18th year, Baron Minshull, of Minshull, in that county, and they together joined in the sale of it in the 2d year of that reign, to Mr. James Hugessen, of Dover, who died possessed of it in 1637, and in his descendants it continued down to WilliamWestern Hugessen, esq. of Provenders, who died in 1764, leaving three daughters his coheirs; the youngest of whom, Sarah, died unmarried, and under age, in 1777; upon which the two remaining daughters and coheirs became entitled to it, of whom Dorothy married Sir Joseph Banks, bart. and Mary married Sir Edward Knatchbull, bart. and they, about the year 1789. joined in the sale of it to George Leith, esq. of Deal, the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor. The mansion of the Criols is situated not far from the side of the church yard. The ruins shew it to have been a large venerable mansion, with towers all built of bolder flints and ashler stone, and as supposed by Nicholas de Criol, in Edward I. or II.'s reign. In the church yard several stone coffins were discovered a few years ago, supposed to have belonged to some of this family.
A PERSON UNKNOWN gave to the poor of this parish, part of a house vested in the churchwardens and overseers, the produce to be laid out in the purchase of coals, for such as do not receive alms, now of the annual value of 1l. 3s.
WALMER is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sandwich.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, consists of one isle and a chancel; there is no steeple, only one side of the antient tower remains, but there are two small bells in it. There are doors on the north and south sides of the church, with circular arches, with zig-zag and nail headed mouldings; and the western face of the arch, between the body and the chancel is like wise circular, and full of similar ornaments. On a grave-stone, at the entrance of the chancel, is an inscription to the memory of Anne, wise of Christopher Boys, captain of Walmer castle, and daughter of Thomas Fog, esq. by whom she had ten children. She died 1680. Against the north wall is a monument for William I isle, one of the equerries of the body of king James and king Charles. Also of Edmund Lisle his brother, sewer of the chamber of queen Elizabeth, king James, and king Charles, having been twenty-one years captain of Walmer castle, lineally descended from the lords de Lisle and Rougemont. William and Edmund both died in 1637, leaving Nicholas their bro ther, possessor of their antient inheritance of Wilburgham Lisles, in Cambridgeshire; arms at the top, Lisle, a fefs, between two chevrons, sable, with quarterings. In the parish register is entered:— 1637. Mr. Wm. Lisle, gent. doctus senex an 73 visit ælebs studiis incumbens — 1637. Mr. Edmd Lisle, captain of the castle.
The church of Walmer was antiently part of the possessions of the family of Auberville, of Westenhanger; one of whom, Sir William de Auberville, senior, in king Richard I.'s reign, having founded West Langdon abbey, as has been more fully mentioned before, gave this church to it in pure and perpetual alms, which gift was afterwards confirmed by Simon de Albrincis his descendant. and in the 30th year of king Edward I. by Nicholas de Criol. (fn. 3) After which, this church continued with the abbey of Langdon, to which it was appropriated, till the dissolution of it in the 27th year of king Henry VIII when it was, among the rest of the possessions of the abbey, granted in the 29th year of that reign to the archbishop Cranmer, who, though he not long after exchanged the scite of the abbey and other possessions of it with the crown, yet he retained the advowson and parsonage of this church, among others, by a particular exception in the deed; since which it has continued part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, the archbishop being both patron and proprietor of the appropriation of this church. Mr. John Cannon, jun. of Deal, is the present lessee of this parsonage. The church of Walmer has been long since esteemed as a perpetual curacy, and continues so at this time.
It is not valued in the king's books. In 1578 here were communicants eighty one. There are at present about three hundred and fifty inhabitants in this parish. In 1640, the stipend to the curate was eight pounds. Archbishop Juxon augmented the stipend 20l. per annum, anno 12 and 13 Charles II. since which it has been augmented by the governors of queen Anne's bounty. It is now of the yearly certified value of thirty two pounds.
Church of Walmer.
|The Archbishop.||Thomas Paramore, A. M. in 1680. (fn. 4)|
|John Ramsey, A. M. in 1702.|
|Edward Lloyd, A. B. obt. April 11, 1741. (fn. 5)|
|Sayer Rudd, M. D. 1752, obt. 1757. (fn. 6)|
|John Maximilian Delangle, resig. 1771.|
|Robert Philips, 1771, obt. 1798. (fn. 7)|
|Thomas Timms, 1798, the present curate.|