The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
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IS the next parish eastward from Shebbertswell, being written in Domesday, Colret, and taking its name most probably from its cold and bleak situation, though it is supposed by some to have been so called, from Ceoldred, king of Mercia, who is said to have come into this part of Kent, in the year 715, as will be further noticed hereaster. There are two boroughs in this parish; of Coldred, and of Popshall.
THE PARISH lies on high ground, in an open uninclosed country, very bleak, but exceedingly healthy; being unfrequented it is but very little known. The church is situated at the west end of it, next to Shebbertswell, having a hamlet, called Coldred-street, adjoining to it, close to Waldershare park, which incloses a small part of this parish within its pales; not far from which is Popeshall-house, and Newsole farm, vulgarly called Mewsole, formerly belonging to the abbey of St. Augustine, and accounted a manor. (fn. 1) It now belongs to the earl of Guildford.
At the boundary of the parish, next to Ewell, is the hamlet and farm of Singledge, the latter of which belongs to the trustees of Dover harbour. This parish contains about 1500 acres of land; the soil of it is much the same as that of Shebbertswell last-described. There is some woodland in that part of it next to Whitfield and Ewell. The inhabitants of Coldred, in the perambulation of their bounds, not only include great part of Waldershare park, but even claim to divide and go through the mansion-house; but this they were re. fused in their last walk, the parish of Waldershare having been induced to dispute their right, so that the bounds between them remain still undecided. There is no fair.
As an instance of the salubrity of the air of this place, out of thirty families in it, containing one with another about five in a family, as Mr. Pettit, the minister, here told a friend of Dr. Harris, in the year 1700, for seven years before he had buried only one person in his parish, and that several of the inhabitants here had exceeded the age of one hundred years. (fn. 2) There is a fair intrenchment about this church of Coldred, having a large mount in the north-east part of it. The tradition of the place is, that it was made by a king of this name, perhaps Ceoldred, king of Mercia, who might come hither anno 715, to assist the Kentish men against Ina, king of the West Saxons, who had imposed a heavy tribute on them but a little time before, in the year 694, and probably held them in great subjection still. For the Saxon chronicle tells us, that Ina and Ceoldred fought a battle at Wodnesbeorh in 715, which certainly was Woodnesborough, near Sandwich, not far from hence, where there is a very great mount thrown up. The church stands on very high ground, on part of the scite of the old fortification above-mentioned, the sosse on the north-west forming a boundary to the church yard, being there of a very considerable depth, the highway separating the above part from the remainder on the south east. In the middle of this road, some years since, a large well was discovered by the earth giving way; the area of the whole within the intrenchment contains something more than two acres; it probably may be of Roman original, whatever use might be made of it afterwards. Upon enlarging Waldershare park, between twenty and thirty years ago, and digging the ground deeper than common, for a plantation of about two acres of ground, a considerable quantity of urns, pateræ, and other Roman utensils, of different coloured earths, evidently of that nation, burnt bones, &c. &c. were discovered throughout the whole of it. They were found north-east from the above fortification, at a little more than a quarter of a mile distance. This land having always been in tillage, there were no inequalities remaining on the surface to point out any vestigia of this burial-place. See a plan of this fortification, p. 374.
Ralph de Curbespine holds Colret of the bishop. The arable land is. . . . . . . In demesne there is one carucate and an half, and six villeins, with seven borderers, having two carucates. There are two servants, and four acres of pasture. It was taxed at two sulings. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth eight pounds, and afterwards twently shillings, now six pounds. Molleue held it of king Edward.
Four years after taking this survey, the bishop of Baieux was disgraced, and this manor, among the rest of his possessions, was confiscated to the crown, from whence it was soon afterwards granted to the family of Saye, in which it continued till the reign of Henry III. when Jeffry de Saye, with the consent of his son William, granted this manor, together with the sepulture of his body, to the hospital of St.Mary, in Dover, afterwards called the Maison Dieu, then lately founded, which gift was confirmed by king Henry III. in his 15th year; after which king Edward I. in his 14th year, granted a charter of free-warren, a privilege of no small consequence in those early times, to the master and brethren of the hospital, for their manor of Coldred; (fn. 3) after which it continued part of the revenues of the hospital, till the reign of king Henry VIII. when on the suppression of it this manor came into the king's hands, who in his 29th year granted it, among other premises, to Thomas Culpeper, to hold in capite by knight's service; but he did not possess it long, for it appears by the escheat rolls, that it was again in the crown in the 34th year of that reign, in which the king granted it to Sir John Gage, comptroller of his houshold, as a reward for his services in Scotland, to hold in like manner, but he exchanged a great part of it next year with the archbishop, for the confirmation of which an act passed anno 35 Henry VIII. since which this estate, which still bore the name of the manor of Coldred, has continued parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, his grace the archbishop being at this time entitled to the inheritance of it. The seite of this manor, with its lands and appurtenances, is held of the archbishop on a beneficial lease by Mr. Robert Finnis. There is no court held for this manor.
THE OTHER PART of the manor, which remained in the possession of Sir John Gage, retained likewise the name of the manor of Coldred, and continued his property till the 38th year of king Henry VIII. when he passed it away back again to the crown, (fn. 4) where it staid till king Edward VI. in his 7th year, granted this manor of Coldred, with other premises in this parish, late belonging to the Maison Dieu, in Dover, to Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, and he very soon afterwards passed it away by sale to Richard Monins, esq. of Saltwood castle, who died possessed of it anno 3 Elizabeth, and his great-grandson Sir Edward Monins, bart. of Waldershare, died possessed of it in 1663, after which his heirs and trustees joined in the sale of it, together with other manors and lands in this parish and neighbourhood, to Sir Henry Furnese, bart. afterwards of Waldershare, who died possessed of it in 1712, after which, his grand-daughter Catherine, carried it in marriage, first to Lewis, earl of Rockingham, and secondly to Francis, earl of Guildford, by neither of whom she had issue, and dying in 1766, bequeathed this manor, among the rest of her estates, to her surviving husband, who died possessed of it in 1790, upon which it came to his eldest son and heir Frederick, earl of Guildford, and knight of the garter, and again on his death in 1792, to his eldest son the present right hon. George-Augustus, earl of Guildford, the owner of it. (fn. 5) A court leet and court baron is held for this manor.
THE MANOR OF POPESHALL, or Popshall, as it is commonly called, and sometimes erroneously, Copsall, is situated at the eastern boundary of this parish, adjoining to Waldershare park. It is written in the survey of Domesday, Popeselle; at the time of taking which, it was part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in it:
The same Osbern (son of Letard) holds of the bishop, Popeselle. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is. . . . . . In demesne there are two carucates and one villein, with four borderers, having half a carucate. Two freemen held this land of king Edward. A certain knight of his held half a yoke, and there he has one carucate in demesne. The whole in the time of king Edward the Confessor was worth sixty shillings, and afterwards twenty, now one hundred shillings.
In Beusberge hundred, Radulf de Curbespine holds half a yoke in Popessale, and there he has three oxgangs of land. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth four shillings, now eight shillings. Uluric held it of king Edward.
On the bishop of Baieux's disgrace, which happened about four years afterwards, the king his brother, consiscated all his possessions, and granted the lands abovementioned, among others, to Hugh de Port.
These lands, which together made up the barony of Port, were held of the king in capite by barony, the tenant of them being bound by his tenure to maintain a certain number of soldiers from time to time, for the defence of Dover castle, and it was afterwards held by knight's service of his descendants (who assumed the name of St. John, and made their seat of Basing, in Hampshire, the chief, or capital of their barony), by the family of Orlanstone, of Orlanstone, in this country; for William de Orlanstone held it, as appears by an escheat roll, marked with the number 86, in Henry III's reign, and left it to his son William de Orlanstone, who in the 51st year of that reign obtained a charter of freewarren, among other liberties, for his manors of Orlanstone and Popeshalle. At length his descendant John de Orlanstone, about the latter end of king Edward the IIId.'s reign, alienated this manor to Horne, a branch of that family of this name seated at Hornesplace, in Apledore, in which name it continued, till James Horne, dying s. p. in the 20th year of king Henry VI. it descended to John Digge, of Barham, whose ancestor of the same name had married Juliana, sister, and at length heir, of James Horne above mentioned, and in his descendants it continued down to Sir Dudley Diggs, of Chilham-castle, who about the latter end of king James I's reign, alienated it to Sir William Monins, bart. of Waldershare, who was possessed of the remaining part of Popeshall, probably the same as is described in the survey of Domesday as abovementioned, as having been held by Ralph de Curbespine, which had been in the possession of his ancestors of the name of Monins, as far back as the beginning of king Edward III.'s reign. (fn. 6) His son, Sir Edward Monins, bart. died possessed of the whole of this estate in 1663, after which his heirs and trustees joined in the sale of it, together with other manors and lands in this parish and neighbourhood, to Sir Henry Furnese, bart. who died in 1712 possessed of it; since which it has descended down in like manner as that of Coldred, above described, to the present right hon. George Augustus, earl of Guildford, who is the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
Henry Malmains, of Waldershare, by his will anno 1274, mentions the church of Popeshale, among others, to which he had given legacies; and in a manuscript of Christ-church, Canterbury, mention is made, that the pension of the vicar of Coldred was assigned to the maintenance of one chaplain at Popeshall; and in the valuation of churches made in the 8th year of king Richard II. anno 1384, the churches of Coldrede and Popeleshale, belonging to Dover priory, are both mentioned. The foundations of this chapel, or church, are still to be seen at a small distance from the manor house.
There was a portion of tithes arising from seventy-six acres of the manor of Popeshall, which belonged to the abbot of Langdon. (fn. 7) It is now the property of the earl of Guildford.
A BRANCH of the family of Finch was settled at Coldred, in the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, of whom there is a pedigree in the Heraldic Visitation of Kent, 1619. They bore for their arms, the same as those of Eastwell, but with the chevron ingrailed.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Pancrase, is very small and mean, consisting of only one isle and a chancel. It has one bell in it, but the steeple of it has been down for many years past. There are two singular nitches, such as are not seen in these parts, piercing the head wall of this church, at the west end, where it rises above the roof, each of which probably held a bell formerly, and though not used in common in this part of the country, are at this time frequent in the parts adjacent to Calais, in France, formerly under the dominion of the English. In the chancel are memorials for the Ockmans, of Deal, arms, A fess between three crescents, impaling a fess dancette, between three balls. On a brass plate, an inscription for William Fyntch, gent. obt. 1615, who married Bennet, daughter and heir of Christopher Hunniwood, gent. A memorial in the body for Margaret, wife of Thomas Jeken, obt. 1616. A monument for Edward Pettit, A. M. vicar of Shepperdswell and Coldred, obt. June 20, 1709.
The church of Coldred was given to the priory of St. Martin, in Dover, by archbishop Langton, in the beginning of king Henry II.'s reign, and was not long afterwards appropriated to it, and confirmed by the chapter of Christ-church, with the deduction of a competent portion of six marcs to the vicar for his maintenance, (fn. 8) and in this state it continued till the dissolution of the priory, in the 27th year of Henry VIII. when it was suppressed by act, as being under the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds. After which the king granted this church and the advowson of the vicarage, with the scite and other possessions of the priory, in his 29th year, to the archbishop, part of whose possessions they remain at this time. This parsonage is held of the archbishop on a beneficial lease by the right hon. the earl of Guildford. There are twenty acres of glebe land belonging to it. It is valued in the king's books at 6l. 2s. 6d. and the yearly tenths at 12s. 3d. The antient yearly pension of four pounds is still paid by the archbishop, as possessor of the priory lands of Dover to the vicar. In 1588 here were communicants sixty, and it was valued at twenty pounds. In 1640 here were communicants sixty, and it was valued at thirty pounds.
This vicarage was augmented with the yearly sum of twenty pounds, to be paid by the lessee of the great tithes, by archbishop Juxon, anno 12 Charles II. and confirmed by another indenture, anno 28 of the same reign. It is now of the clear yearly certified valued of 35l. 7s. 9d.
Archbishop Whitgift in 1584, united this vicarage and the adjoining one of Shebbertswell; and archbishop Sancrost in 1680, again consolidated these vicarages, in which state they continue at this time, the Rev. Richard Blackett Dechair being the present vicar of both these parishes.
THERE WAS A PORTION OF TITHES, as has been already mentioned, payable to the abbot and convent of Langdon, from certain lands of the manor of Popeshall; and the same abbot, &c. was entitled to the small tithes of a tenement in this parish, which they held of the prior and convent of Cumbwell, concerning which there was an agreement between the abbot and convent and those of St. Martin's, Dover, the appropriators of this church in the year 1227. There are at this time seventy acres of land belonging to Popshall, and eighteen acres and a half to Newsole, tithe free, which seem to be the above portion of tithes. There is now another portion of tithes arising from ninety acres of land in this parish, payable to the lords of the manor of Temple Ewell adjoining. (fn. 9)