Parishes: Monkton

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

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Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Monkton', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10( Canterbury, 1800), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Monkton', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10( Canterbury, 1800), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Monkton". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10. (Canterbury, 1800), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.

In this section


LIES the next parish south-eastward from St. Nicholas, in the lower half hundred of Ringslow likewise. It is written in the survey of Domesday, Monocstune, i. e. Monks town, and in other record Munchetun, Munketune, and Monkynton; all which names it had from its being part of the possessions of the monks of the priory of Christ-church, in Canterbury.

The PARISH OF MONKTON is about three miles from east to west, and as much from north to south. The village, called Monkton-street, is situated rather on low ground, about a mile eastward from Sarre, having the church on the side of it, and Monktoncourt, an antient timbered building, at a small distance from the west end of it, between which and Sarr, is the hamlet of Gore-street. At a small distance from the village is the vicarage and parsonagehouse, called the Ambry farm; the lands northward of the street rise to high land, being open common land, over which the road leads across the island eastward, close to which is Monkton mill; and at the eastern boundary of the parish, Cleve-court. Southward of the village is a large parcel of marsh land, called Monkton level, under the direction of the commissioners of sewers for the eastern parts of Kent, which reaches down as far as the river Stour.

By the return made to the council's letter by archbishop Parker's order in 1563, there were then computed to be in this parish fifteen households.

The market mentioned here after to have been granted in king Henry VI.'s reign has been long since disused; but there are two fairs, one held on the day of St. Mary Magdalen, July 22d, for the sale of hogs; the other on October 11th, for toys, &c.

In the Heraldic visitation of Kent, anno 1619, there is a pedigree of Thomas Mason, of Monkton, whose eldest son William was of Bury St. Edmunds, esq. and custos brevium of the court of king's bench; and his youngest son James was of Frindsbury, in this county. They bore for their arms, Party per pale, argent and sable, a chevron, between three billets, counterchanged.

Thomas Delaway was deputy to Robert Walleran, who was sheriff part of the 46 and 47 years of king Henry III. and he held this office at his seat in this parish.

THE MANOR OF MONKTON was in the year 961 given by queen Ediva, mother of king Edmund and king Eadred, to Christ church, in Canterbury, among other lands, free from all secular service, excepting the trinoda necessitas, of repelling invasion, and the repair of castles and highways; (fn. 1) and it continued in the possession of that church at the time of taking the general survey of Domesday, in the 15th year of the Conqueror's reign, in which it is thus described, under the general title of Terra Monachorum Archiepi, lands of the monks of the archbishop; that is, of Christchurch above-mentioned.

In Borowart left, in Tanet hundred, the archbishop himself holds Monocstune. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was taxed at twenty sulings, and now for eighteen. The arable land is thirty one carucates. In demesne there are four and four times twenty and nine villeins, with twenty-one borderers; having twenty-seven carucates. There are two churches, and one mill of ten shillings. There is a new fishery, and one salt work of fifteen pence; wood for the pannage of ten hogs.

In the whole value it was worth in the time of king Edward the Confessor and afterwards twenty pounds, and now forty pounds.

The great extent of this manor, comprehending near one half of the island, that is, all that part of it on the western side of St. Mildred's Lynch, answers well the above description; and the extensive demesne lands of it, might well employ four score and nine villeins. The two churches were those of this parish and Woodchurch; the mill, now called Monkton mill, still remains; but the fishery and salt work are lost long ago by the deficiency of the river Wantsume. In the 21st year of king Edward I. the king brought a writ of right against the prior for this manor; but the jury gave it against him for the prior. In the 10th year of king Edward II. the prior ob tained a grant of free-warren in all his demesne lands in this manor, among others, which the prior or his predecessors had acquired since the time of the king's grandfather, so that the same were not within the bounds of his forest; at which time this manor, with its appurtenances, was valued at 621. (fn. 2)

The buildings of this manor were much augmented and repaired by prior Selling, about the year 1480, who built a new dormitory here for the use of the monks, when they visited this place; and his successor prior Goldstone, about the year 1500, erected two new barns and most of the other edifices. Henry VI. in his 25th year, granted to the prior a market weekly, to be held on a Saturday; and a fair yearly, on the feast of St. Mary Magdalen within this manor, which continued afterwards part of the possessions of the priory of Christ-church, till its dissolution in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when it was surrendered into the king's hands, who settled it, among other premises, in his 33d year, on his new-founded dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose inheritance it still continues. There is a court leet and court baron held for this manor.

The manerial rights, with the court leet and court baron, are reserved by the dean and chapter in their own hands; but the court lodge with its appurtenances, and the demesne lands, which are very extensive, are demised on a beneficial lease to Sir Brook William Bridges, bart. of Goodnestone, the rack rent of these premises being upwards of 700l. per annum.

CLEVE-COURT is a seat in this parish, pleasantly situated about two miles north-eastward from Monkton church, on high ground, having a fine prospect of the neighbouring country and the sea beyond it. This seat was formerly in the possession of the family of Quekes, resident at the seat of that name in the adjoining parish of Birchington, from whom it came, in king Henry VII.'s reign, by Agnes, the female heir of John Quekes, in marriage to John Crispe, esq. afterwards of Quekes, whose grandson John Crispe resided at Cleve, where he died in 1558 and was buried in this church, having ordered his arms to be placed in the next window to where he should lay, which they were accordingly, being Vert, on a chevron, argent, five horse shoes, sable, a bordure engrailed, gules, for a difference, being the bearing of this branch of this family. At length the heirs of his grandson Sir Edmund Crispe, afterwards sold it to Ruish, possessor likewise of the manor of Sarre, with which it passed in manner as has already been mentioned before, in marriage to Sir George Wentworth, and then again in like manner to Thomas, lord Howard, of Effingham. He about the year 1723 passed away this seat, with other estates in this island, to Mr. James Colebrooke, of London, and Mr. James Ruck, of London, bankers, who afterwards made a partition of these estates, in which this of Cleve-court was allotted to the latter, who built the present seat here; on his death it descended to his son, who passed it away by sale, about the year 1748, to Mr. Josiah Farrer, of Doctors Commons, proctor, who died in 1762, whose son Josias Fuller Farrer, esq. resided here and was high sheriff in 1773, since which he has resided abroad, but he is at this time owner of this seat. Mr. Edward Pett resides at it.


HENRY ROBINSON, gent. of Canterbury, by his will in 1642, gave to the vicar of Monkton and his successors, lands called Flete Close, in St. Laurence, and his meadow ground in Chislet, upon trust, that the rents there should be distributed towards the relief of four poor widows exceeding the age of sixty years, two of which widows should be dwelling in Monkton, and two in Birchington; which lands are now of the annual value of eight pounds.

There was a set of alms houses belonging to this parish, which were burnt down by accident in the beginning of the year 1792.

THIS PARISH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Westbere. (fn. 3)

The church, which is exempted from the archdeacon, is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen; it consists at present of only one isle and one chancel, having a square tower at the west end, in which is a very antient spiral staircase of wood. There are four bells in it. The body of it was antiently larger than it is now, consisting of two isles, part of the end of the north isle being still to be seen, and the arches between the two isles still remaining in the wall; at present it consists of but one isle and a chancel; in the latter are twelve stalls, used formerly by the clergy and the monks when they visited this place. In the windows there were some remains of painted glass, among which were the heads of several of the priors and these coats of arms; king Lucius, A plain cross. King Ethelred, Three circles, two and one; in the first, a lion passant; in the second, a griffin; and in the third, a king crowned and robed, with a globe and sceptre in his hands. Queen Ediva, Three lions, passant-guardant, an orle of hearts. Vert, on a chevron, argent, three bugle horns stringed, sable, between three talbot bounds passant, argent. Blechenden and Godfrey, quarterly. Blechenden impaling Blechenden. Dean Wotton, with his quarterings, and Crispe; of all which there now remain entire only a prior's head, and the arms of Crispe, Or, on a chevron, sable, five horse shoes, argent; under the shield, 1506. At the west end of the church, Weever, p. 266, says, were these verses in old English letters:

Insula rotunda Tanatos quam circuit unda
Fertilis et munda, nulli est in orbe secunda.

There are but few monuments or memorials in this church, most of the gravestones having lost their brasses, or are worn sinooth, among those which remain are the following: in the have of it, a gravestone, with the figure in brass of a priest in his habit, the inscription lost. On a brass plate, a memorial for Christopher Blechenden, gent. of this parish, with Amy and Margaret, his wives, obt. 1554; the brass, with the inscription, is nailed up in the vestry, as is that for Nicholas Robinson, gent. of Gore-street, ob. 1594. A monument for Frances, eldest daughter of Thomas Blechenden, gent. her first husband was Thomas Epps, gent. of New Romney; her second, Nicholas Robinson, gent. of Monkton; and her third, John Blechenden, esq. of Aldington, obt. 1611. One for Mr. Abraham Terry, of this parish, obt. 1661; also for Anne, wife of Abraham Terrey, obt. 1704; arms, Terry, ermine, on a pile, a leopard's head, pierced with a fleur de lis, impaling a chevron, between three holly leaves. On a flat stone, at the west end of the church, a memorial for Mr. John Ayling, vicar for forty-eight years, obt. 1710. A memorial for Lybbe Orchard, of Monkton-court, obt. 1680. A memorial for Mr. John Burkett, vicar, obt. 1772.

The church of Monkton, to which the two chapels of Birchington and Woodchurch were appendant, was appurtenant to the manor, and as such part of the antient possessions of the see of Canterbury. Archbishop Richard, (successor to archbishop Becket) in king Henry II.'s reign, appropriated this church, with its appendages, to the priory of Christ church; (fn. 4) but it did not continue long so, for archbishop Baldwin, his immediate successor, having quarrelled with the monks, on account of his intended college at Hackington, took this appropriation from them, and thus it remained as a rectory, till about the 39th year of king Edward III.'s reign, when archbishop Islip, with the king's licence, restored, re-united and annexed it again to the priory; but it appears that in return for this grant the archbishop had made over to him, by way of exchange, several advowsons in London, belonging to the priory.

In the 8th year of king Richard II. anno 1384, the appropriation of this church was valued among the temporalities of the almonry of the priory at 13l. 6s. 8d. and the portion of the monks in this church at 33l. 6s. 8d. (fn. 5) After which this appropriation continued in the possession of the monks, who managed it for the use of their almonry (whence it gained the name of the Almonry, or Ambry farm) till the dissolution of the priory in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when it came, with the advowson of the vicarage, into the king's hands, who granted them in his 33d year, by his dotation charter, to his new-founded dean and chapter of Canterbury, who are the present owners of this appropriation, or parsonage of Monkton. Mr. Finch is the present lessee of this parsonage.

The inhabitants of this place were obliged to pay annually to the convent of Christ-church, as appropriators of this church, a yearly service called Avercorn, by uncertain measure; but in the year 1263, it was determined that the quantity should be two bushels and an half; these payments of corn were usually made on All Saints day, and the custom seems to arise from what the Saxons used to call cyrie sceat, or church scot, which was a certain quantity of corn paid to the parish church on St. Martin's day, Nov. 11, as the first fruits of the corn. King Ina, in his laws, ordained this annual payment under severe penalties; when the Norman terms came into use it probably took the name of Avercorn.

By the survey of this parsonage, after the death of king Charles I. in 1649, it appears that it then consisted of a parsonage-house, containing a large hall, a fair parlour, a great kitchen, with several houses of office, below stairs; six lodging rooms, with garrets over them; three barns, with stables, a pigeon house, &c. a court-yard, a great fold yard, a garden and two orchards, containing thirteen acres, together with the tithes and profits to the parsonage belonging, estimated at 86l. 11s. 10d. per annum. (fn. 6)

The advowson of the vicarage, not withstanding the above grant of it to the dean and chapter, appears not long afterwards to have become parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, where it continues at this time, his grace the archbishop being the present patron of it.

This church of Monkton continued as a rectory, as has been above-mentioned, till the 39th year of king Edward III. but there was no vicarage endowed here till the 42d year of that reign, when archbishop Langham, by his instrument, anno 1377, decreed, that the portion of the vicar and vicarage of this church should consist in future, as undermentioned, viz. that the vicar should have in it, the hall with two chambers, the kithen, one pigeon-house, and one curtilage, competent for his condition, with a sufficient close within the manse of his portion, which the eleemosinary lately had in it and then extant, situated and built there, to be in future continually repaired at the cost of the vicar; and also all oblations, legacies and obventions whatsoever, and the tithes of wool, lambs, calves, butter, milk, cheese, hemp, flax, geese, ducks, pigs, eggs, wax, honey, apples, pear, pigeons, fishings, fowlings, huntings, businesses, mills, hay, herbage, silva cedua, and all other things, in any shape arising to the church of Monkton, or any chapels whatsoever dependant on it; and twelve pounds and twenty pence of good and lawful money, by the prior and chapter of Christ-church, yearly, for ever in future, to be paid to the vicar. Which oblations, legacies, profits and tithes, with the pigeon house aforesaid, as by an inquisition taken on the annual value of each, the archbishop was informed, together with the said twelve pounds and twenty pence yearly to be taken, amounted one year with another to the yearly sum of twenty-three pounds; all which, nevertheless, on account of casual events which might happen in future, he limited and taxed at ten marcs of silver only; at which sum the vicar accordingly should for his portion only pay and acknowledge the tenth; and that the vicar should find one chaplain in the chapel of Birchington, dependant on the church of Monketon, daily to celebrate; and another likewise in the chapel of Wode, dependant on the church of Monketon, to celebrate daily on Sundays, and on Wednesdays and Fridays, in the said chapels duly, in divine services; and that he should find the processional tapers, and the surplices, and should bind the books belonging to the rector to find, and should preserve them at his peril; and also all other burthens within the said church and chapels, accustomed to be found by the rector of the place, he should undergo, at his own costs and expences, with this exception, that the religious should repair the chancels of the church and chapels in all their members and particulars, and if they should fall down, should rebuild them at their own costs, all which the archbishop by his decree firmly established, and declared that the said portion was sufficient for the vicar for all future times, and this he did with the consent of the chapter in 1367. (fn. 7)

The vicarage of Monkton, with the chapels of Birchington and Wood, is valued in the king's books at 13l. 8s. 4d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 6s. 10d. In 1588 it was valued at forty pounds, communicants one hundred. In 1630 it was valued at 130l. communicants three hundred. In 1630 it was certified by the curate, churchwardens, and inhabitants, that there was then a vicarage-house, with a garden, a pidgeon-house, and three roods of land; and that there belonged to the church for repairing and beautifying it, one rood of marsh land, a tenement, with an orchard and garden, and appurtenances, a messuage and barn, with an orchard, garden, and four acres of land, and three acres more of arable land. (fn. 8) In 1649, as appears by the survey taken by order of the state, this vicarage was valued at forty pounds per annum only.

The antient pension of twelve pounds and twenty pence, heretofore paid by the prior and convent, is still paid by the dean and chapter to the vicar.

Church of Monkton, with the Chapels of Birchington and Wood.

Or by whom presented.
Archbishop of Canterbury. Meric Casaubon, S.T.P. Oct. 25, 1634. (fn. 9)
George Stancombe, August 18, 1647. (fn. 10)
Nicholas Thorowgood, in 1655, ejected August 1662. (fn. 11)
John Ayling, A.M. 1662, obt. Dec. 4, 1710. (fn. 12)
Thomas Wardroper, A.M. Jan. 10, 1710, obt. October 29, 1727.
James Bayley, A.M. admitted March 5, 1728, obt. Sept. 7, 1729.
Peter Vallavine, LL.B. 1729, obt. 1767. (fn. 13)
John Burket. A.B. Feb. 1767, obt. April 5, 1772. (fn. 14)
Joseph Hardy, A.M. August 1, 1772, obt. 1786. (fn. 15)
John Part, 1786, the present vicar.


  • 1. See Decem. Scriptores, col. 2221.
  • 2. Battely's Somner, pt. ii. appendix, p. 50.
  • 3. See an extract of the will in Lewis's Hist. Thanet, addenda, p. 19. No. 13.
  • 4. See the confirmations of them in Battely's Somn pt. ii. p. 97.
  • 5. See Stevens's Monasticon, vol. i. p. 39.
  • 6. Parliamentary Surveys, vol. xix. Augtn. office.
  • 7. Regist. Langham, £130. In the same register there is a composition between the prior and church of Canterbury and the vicar, concerning his portion, confirmed by Simon, archbishop of Canterbury, the year above-mentioned. Among the archives of Christ church, in Canterbury. Regist. Berthona, ps. 1, f. 144.
  • 8. See a terrier of these lands and premites, made in 1630, in Lewis's Thanet, appendix, p. 18.
  • 9. He succeeded his predecessor likewise in the vicarage of Minster.
  • 10. Likewise rector of Stonar, and lies buried in the church of Birchington.
  • 11. Ejected by the Bartholomew act. Calamy's Life of Baxter, p. 287.
  • 12. He lies buried in this church.
  • 13. And vicar of Preston by Wingham; he had been before vicar of Reculver, which he resigned on being collated to this vicarage.
  • 14. He lies buried in this church.
  • 15. And vicar of Hedcorne.