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 south-eastward from West Langdon, being written in Domesday, Gociston, and in other records both Gounceston and Gusseton. There is a borsholder for the borough of Guston, chosen at the court leet of Dover priory, which court claims paramount over that district. The manor of Ripple claims likewise over part of this parish, as does the manor of East Langdon.
THIS SMALL PARISH is unfrequented, and but little known. It lies, as well as those last-described, among the continued high hills and deep valleys which extend over the whole of this country, which is alike, much of it downy, very open and uninclosed, and the land very chalky and poor, great part of it being covered with furze and heath. The village, with the church, is situated in the northern part of it. There is nothing worth further notice in it.
THE MANOR OF GUSTON formerly belonged to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, who held it as a prebend in the church of St. Martin, in Dover; but it does not seem to have been given to them till after the taking of the survey of Domesday, in 1080; for it is thus entered in that record, under the general title of the possessions of the canons of St. Martin:
In Gocistone, Ulric holds one yoke, and there he has two villeins, and one borderer, with one carucate. To this land there belong twenty five acres of land in Corneli hundred, and there are five borderers with half a carucate. In the whole it is worth twenty shillings. In the time of king Edward the Consessor ten shillings. Elric held it as a prebend.
It was not long after this, that this prebend was given to St. Augustine's monastery, and in 1179, anno 24 Henry II. the abbot procured a bull from the pope to confirm it to them, and his successors afterwards obtained several others from the future popes, for the like purpose. (fn. 1)
In the 7th year of king Edward II. anno 1313, in the iter of H. de Stanton and his sociates, justices itinerant, the abbot, upon a quo warranto, claimed and was allowed certain liberties in this manor of Goncistone, among others, and view of frank-pledge and weif within it, as having been granted by several of the king's predecessors, and confirmed by him in his 6th year, the same having been allowed in the last iter of J. de. Berewick, all which was afterwards confirmed by king Edward III. by inspeximus, in his 36th year, and by king Henry VI. afterwards. In king Richard II.'s reign the measurement of the abbot's lands at Gonstone, was one hundred and nine acres of pasture.
In which state this manor continued, with THE MANOR OF FRITH, now usually called the Fright, from its heathy situation in the part of this parish, adjoining to Buckland and Charlton, which was likewise part of the antient possessions of the same canons of St. Martin's, till the final dissolution of that priory in the 27th year of king Henry VIII. when this manor or prebend of Guston, and that of Frith, came into the hands of the crown, whence they were granted by the king in his 29th year, with the scite of the priory and other possessions late belonging to it, in exchange to the archbishop, in which situation these manors still continue, his grace the archbishop being at this time entitled to the inheritance of them.
There are no courts held for these manors, nor have they any manerial rights, the manor of Dover priory claiming such rights over them. The right hon. the earl of Guildford is the present lessee of these manors, and the parsonage of Guston.
The church, which is exempted from the archdeacon, is dedicated to St. Martin, and consists of only one isle and a chancel, having neither tower nor steeple, nor any monument or thing worth notice in it.
This church was part of the antient possessions of the priory of St. Martin, to which it was appropriated by archbishop Edmund in 1239, anno 24 Henry III. with a reserve of eight marcs to the vicar for his portion, which was confirmed by the pope. On the dissolution of the priory in the 27th year of Henry VIII. the appropriation of this church, with the advowson of the vicarage, came into the king's hands, and was granted as above-mentioned, with the other possessions of the priory, in the 29th year of that reign, to the archbishop, in exchange, subject to the payment of four pounds yearly to the vicar; since which they have remained parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, his grace the archbishop being at this time possessed of them. The earl of Guildford is the present lessee of this parsonage.
It has long since been esteemed as a chapel. The archbishop nominates a perpetual curate to it, and pays the antient pension of four pounds yearly to the curate, who is entitled to the small tithes of the parish.
It was lately returned to be of the yearly value of fourteen pounds, since which it has been augmented by the governors of queen Anne's bounty, in conjunction with the adjoining parish of West Langdon, of which an account has been given before in the description of that vicarage.