The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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COMMONLY called Warde, lies northward from Bobbing last-described, the parish of Milton intervening, the greatest part of which lies within that hundred, over which that manor claims as paramount. The remaining, or eastern part of it is within the hundred of Tenham, and the lands in it are held of that manor.
THIS PARISH lies very low, and on a level with the adjoining marshes, the situation and look of it is not unlike the sens in Lincolshire. It is hardly known, excepting to those who travel towards the Isle of Shepey, to which the road leads through this parish over the marshes to the King's ferry, from which the village, with the church, stand at about a mile distance, and about two from the town of Milton north-westward.
There are sixteen houses in it, and about sixty or seventy inhabitants. The lands are very even and flat, of a soft boggy nature, almost all of them are pasture ground and marshes, which have great quantities of sheep continually seeding on them. Dr. Plot remarks that the sheep never rot in the marshes of this parish, but that in those of Tenham they do, the sheep having in their livers little animals breeding in the shape of plaise, occasioned, as it is believed, by their feeding on the herb spearwort, which grows there plentifully among the grass. Its low and moist situation close to so large a tract of marshes and the waters of the Swale, which are its northern boundary, render it hardly ever free from fogs and noisome vapours, and in summer in dry weather, the stench of the mud in the ponds and ditches, and the badness of the water, contribute so much to its unwholesomeness, that almost every one is terrified from attempting to live in it, and it is consequently but very thinly inhabited. It has been remarked that the thatch on the roofs of buildings in this parish cannot be preserved long, the rooks and other birds continually carrying it away, which circumstance arises from the quantity of flies harbouring in it, owing to its situation, much more than in other places; and it is for the sake of these flies that the birds unthatch the buildings. There is some land in this parish called Swain's Down, a name plainly of Danish original, and there are still the vestigia of some antient fortifications or works thrown up, remaining on it.
HELMES, or Holmes, now vulgarly called Soames, is a manor which lies partly in this parish, and partly in Milton; the house of it being commonly called the Moated House, from a large moat having been formerly made round it.
This manor was antiently part of the possessions of the family of Savage, seated at Bobbing, one of which, Arnold, son of Sir Thomas Savage, died possessed of it in the 49th year of king Edward III. After which it continued in his descendants of the names of Savage and Clifford, in like manner as Bobbing, down to Alexander Clifford, esq. who resided at this manor of Holmes, during his father's life-time, at whose death he removed to Bobbing; at length his descendant Henry Clifford, esq. of Bobbing, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, alienated it to Thomas Thomson, of Sandwich, whose descendant, of the same name, leaving two sons, Thomas, of Kenfield in Petham, and Henry of Royton-chapel, in Lenham, the latter of them became by his father's will possessed of this manor. After which it passed in the same tract of ownership as Royton, (fn. 1) till it was sold with that estate to Thomas Best, esq. of Chilston, who by will in 1795, gave it with his other estates in this county to his nephew George Best, esq. of Chilston, and he has lately sold it to Mr. Joseph Rond Davies, the present owner of it.
John Bunce, of Milton, linen-draper, by his will in 1681, left to the poor of this parish 40s. chargeable on an estate at Iwade, belonging to Mr. John Murton, of Goodnestone, to be distributed among them by the churchwardens on St. John's day.
The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is a small neat building, consists of two isles and two chancels, having a low pointed steeple, in which are two bells. There is some good painted glass in the windows of it.
The abbot and convent of St. Augustine was possessed of the portion of tithes of Colesland, in this parish, which Thomas, curate of this parish, released all his right to, before Selfrid, bishop of Chichester, in the year 1202, anno 4 of king John. (fn. 2)
In 1730 it was augmented by lot, by the governors of queen Anne's bounty, with two hundred pounds, and again by them in 1766 with the like sum. It was afterwards augmented with two hundred pounds more, on a distribution of the like sum from Mrs. Ursula Taylor's legacy, paid to them by Sir Philip Boteler, bart. which, with two hundred pounds since added, has been laid out by the present Incumbent in the freehold purchase, in the parish of Borden, about three miles from Iwade, the annual rent of which is now twentyeight pounds. (fn. 3)