Parishes: Word

Pages 145-151

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.

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WRITTEN formerly Worthe, is the next parish eastward from Woodnesborough, which latter is the original Saxon name, the letter d in that language being stricken through, making it the same sound as th. (fn. 1)

There are three boroughs in this parish, viz. Felderland, Word-street, and Hackling; the borsholders for the two former of which are appointed at Eastrycourt, being within the jurisdiction of that manor; for the latter at Adisham, which manor claims over a part of this borough.

THE PARISH OF WORD lies very flat and low, and is very unhealthy; it is in shape very long and narrow, being near three miles from east to west, and not more than one mile across the other way. The village called Word-street, containing twenty-nine houses, having the church close to it, is situated nearly in the middle of the parish; at the southern boundary of which, is the hamlet of Hackling, containing five houses, the principal estate in which, called Hackling farm, belongs to Mrs. Eleanor Dare, of Felderland. At the western extremity of the parish is the borough and hamlet of Felderland, or Fenderland, partly in Word, and partly in Eastry, formerly esteemed a manor, the property of the Manwoods, afterwards of the Harveys, of Combe, and now belonging to the right hon. PeterLewis-Francis, earl Cowper; adjoining to which, in the same borough, is the farm of Upton, situated about a quarter of a mile westward of the church, the estate of which likewise belongs to earl Cowper.

At a small distance further the marshes begin, where there is a parcel of land called Worth, or Worde Minnis, and belongs to the archbishop, the present lessee being Mr. Thomas Rammel, of Eastry. Here are two streams, called the south and north streams, which direct their course through these marshes northwestward towards Sandwich; the latter of these was formerly the famous water of Gestling, through which the sea once flowed, and was noted much for being the water in which felons were punished by drowning, their bodies being carried by the current of it into the sea. The marshes here are called Lydden valley, (from the manor of Lydde-court, in this parish, below described, called formerly Hlyden) which is under the direction of the commissioners of sewers for the eastern parts of Kent; and to which the north stream is the common sewer. The marshes continue beyond this stream about half a mile northward, where the sand downs begin.

These sand downs are a long bank of sand, covered with green swerd of very unequal surface, and edge the sea shore for five miles and upwards from Peppernesse, which is the south east point of Sandwich bay, as far as Deal. They are about a quarter of a mile broad, except about the castle, which is, from its situation, called Sandowne castle, where they end with the beach, but a little way within the shore, about the middle of them is a cut, called the Old Haven, which runs slanting from the sea along these downs, near but not quite into the river Stour, about three quarters of a mile eastward below Sandwich. The castle of Sandowne is situated about half a mile from the north end of the town of Deal; it was built with Deal castle, and several others, by king Henry VIII. in the year 1539, for the desence of this coast, each being built with four round lunets of very thick stone arched work, with many large portholes; in the middle is a great round tower, with a large cistern for water on the top of it; underneath is an arched cavern, bomb proof; the whole is encompassed with a fossee, over which is a draw-bridge. It is under the government of the lord warden, who appoints the captain and other officers of it, by the act of 32d of king Henry VIII. This castle has lately had some little repair made to it, which, however, has made it but barely habitable.

This parish contains about fifty houses. The lands in it are of about the annual value of 3000l. The soil is very rich and fertile, and may properly be called the garden of this part of Kent, and is the most productive for wheat, of any perhaps within the county. There are no woodlands in it. There is no fair.

THE PRINCIPAL MANOR in this parish is that of LYDDE-COURT, written in Saxon,Hlyden, which was given by Offa, king of Mercia, in the year 774, to the church of Christ, in Canterbury, L. S. A. as the charter expresses it, meaning, with the same franchises and liberties that the manor of Adisham had before been given to it. After which, this manor continued with the priory of Christ-church, and king Edward I. in his 7th year, granted to it the liberty and franchise of wreck of the sea, apud le Lyde, which I suppose to be this manor; and king Edward II. in his 10th year, granted to the priory, free-warren within their demesne lands within it; (fn. 2) and in this state this manor continued till the dissolution of the priory in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands, who settled it, among other premises, in his 33d year, on his new erected dean and chapter of Canterbury, by whom it was afterwards, in the 36th year of that reign, regranted to the king, who sold it that year to Stephen Motte, and John Wylde, gent. and they alienated it to Richard Southwell, who in the 1st year of king Edward VI. passed it away by sale to Thomas Rolfe, and he afterwards conveyed it to William Lovelace, serjeant-at-law, who died possessed of it in 1576, and his son Sir William Lovelace, of Bethersden, alienated it to Thomas Smith, esq. of Westenhanger, from whom it descended down to Philip, viscount Strangford, who sold it to Herbert Randolph, esq. and he passed away a part of it, called afterwards Lydde Court Ingrounds, with the manor or royalty of Lydde-court, in Word and Eastry, and lands belonging to it, in 1706, to Sir Henry Furnese, bart. of Waldershare, and his grandson of the same name, dying in 1735, under age and unmarried, his estates became vested in his three sisters, as the three daughters and coheirs of his father Sir Robert Furnese, in equal shares, in coparcenary. After which a partition of them having been agreed to, which was confirmed by an act next year, this manor, with the lands and appurtenances belonging to it, was allotted to Selina, the third daughter, (fn. 3) who afterwards married E. Dering, esq. and entitled him to this estate. He survived her and afterwards succeeded his father in the title of baronet, and continued in the possession of this estate till 1779, when he passed it away by sale to Mr. William Walker and Mr. James Cannon, of Deal, Who are the present owners of it.

The house, called the Downes house, is the courtlodge, but no court has been held for many years.

THE REMAINING, and by far the greatest partof this estate, called, for distinction,

LYDDE-COURT OUTGROUNDS, was likewise in the possession of the Smiths, of Westenhanger, and was demised by Thomas Smith, esq. of that place, to Roger Manwood, jurat of Sandwich, for a long term of years, at which time the outer downs were enwarrened for hares and rabbits.

From Thomas Smythe, esq. this estate descended down to Philip, viscount Strangford, who sold the whole of it, with the manor, royalties, &c. as has been mentioned before, to Herbert Randolph, esq. who passed a way the manor and part of the lands belonging to it, to Sir Henry Furnese, bart. and the other, being by far the greatest part of it, since called Lydde Court Outgrounds, to Richard Harvey, esq. of Eythorne, who in 1720 alienated it to Sir Robert Furnese, bart. before mentioned, in whose descendants it continued down to Catherine, his daughter and coheir, who carried it in marriage, first to Lewis, earl of Rockingham, and secondly to Francis, earl of Guildford, to whom on her death in 1766, she devised this estate. He died possessed of it in 1790, and his grandson, the right hon. George Augustus, earl of Guildford, is the present possessor of it. This estate comprehends all that tract of land, partly sandy, partly marshy, and the whole nearly pasturage, lying on the south side of Sandwich haven, bounded on the east by the sea shore, and on the west by the ditch, along which the footway to Deal leads, and which is the eastern boundary of Lydde court Inngrounds.

In the year 1565, there was a suit in the star chamber, respecting a road from Sandowne gate and Sandwich, to the castle in the Downes, which was referred to the archbishop and Sir Richard Sackville; who awarded, that there should be a highway sixteen feet broad over Lyd-court grounds.

SANDOWNE, so called from the sand downs over which it principally extends, is a manor, which lies partly in this parish, and partly in that of St. Clement's, in Sandwich, within the jurisdiction of which corporation the latter part of it is. This manor was antiently the estate of the Perots, who held the same, as the private deeds of this name and family shew, as high as the reign of king Henry III. Thomas de Perot died possessed of it in the 4th year of that reign, at which time he had those privileges and franchises, the same as other manors of that time; Henry Perot, the last of this name, at the beginning of king Edward III.'s reign, was succeeded by John de Sandhurst, who left an only daughter and heir Christian, who married William de Langley. (fn. 4) After which it continued in his descendants till it passed to the Peytons, and thence in like manner as Knolton above described, by sale to the Narboroughs, and afterwards by marriage to Sir Thomas D'Aeth, bart whose grandson Sir Narborough D's Aeth, bart. now of Knolton, is the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

There are no parochial charities.The poor constantly relieved are about twenty-five, casually as many.

THIS PARISH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanryof Sandwich.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a small mean building, having a low pointed wooden turret at the west end, in which are two bells. The church consists of a nave, two isles, and a chancel, the north isle extending only about halfway towards the west end. In the south wall of the chancel is an arched tomb, on which probably was once the figure of some person, who was the founder, or at least a good benefactor towards the building. In the south isle are several gravestones for the Philpotts, of this parish; and an altar monument for Mr. Ralph Philpott, obt. 1704.

In the church-yard are altar tombs to the memories of the same family of Philpott.

The church of Word, or Worth, has ever been esteemed as a chapel to the mother church of Eastry, and continues so at this time, being accounted as a part of the same appropriation, a further account of which may be seen in the description of that church before. The vicar of Eastry is inducted to the vicarage of the church of Eastry, with the chapels of Shrinkling and Word annexed to it.

It is included with the church of Eastry in the valuation of it in the king's books. In 1578 here were communicants one hundred and forty-four, in 1644 only one hundred and fourteen.

The rectorial or great tithes of this parish, as part of the rectory of Eastry, were demised on a beneficial lease, to the late countess dowager of Guildford, whose younger children are now entitled to the present interest in this lease.

The lessee of the parsonage is bound to repair the chancel of this church.


  • 1. See Verstegan, p. 297.
  • 2. Regist. Eccliæ Christi. Cant. cart. 134. Again confirmed by king Henry VI. See MSS Bibl. Cott.
  • 3. See more of the descent of the estates of Sir Henry Furnese, under Waldershare, before.
  • 4. Philipott, p.360.See a more particular account of the descent of this manor, and the several possessors of it under Knolton.