The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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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 with chalk.
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 his name.
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.
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)
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)
Chapel Of Nockholt.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Rector of Orpington||William Gale, clerk, 1550.|
|Nicholas Messenger, buried Feb. 8, 1564.|
|Griffen Lloyd, 1578.|
|Michael Fludd, clerk, 1600.|
|John Dennis, 1610.|
|Michael Flood, buried Feb. 20, 1644.|
|Francis Collins, obt. Aug. 28, 1670. (fn. 12)|
|William Paule, buried Sep. 19, 1674.|
|James Haydocke, 1675.|
|Thomas Watts, A.M. 1687, resigned 1732, (fn. 13)|
|James Whitehouse, A.M. obt. March 1755.|
|Francis Fawkes, A.M. 1755. (fn. 14)|
|Thomas Browne, A.B. 1777, ob. 1788. (fn. 15)|
|Henry Fly, A.M. Present curate.|