Parishes: Shoreham

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.

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Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Shoreham', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3, (Canterbury, 1797) pp. 2-13. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Shoreham", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3, (Canterbury, 1797) 2-13. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "Parishes: Shoreham", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3, (Canterbury, 1797). 2-13. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

In this section


SHOREHAM lies the next parish southward from Lullingstone. In the Textus Roffensis it is written Scborham. (fn. 1)

THIS PARISH is watered by the river Darent, which takes its course through the middle of it. The village of Shoreham, which is by no means a small one, is situated on both sides of the river, over which there are two bridges in it, nearly at the southern boundary of the parish, next to Otford, having both the church and the seat of New House on the eastern side of it. Hence, on both sides, the chalk hills rise, on which the soil is but barren, and much covered with flints, rise pretty high; beyond which, towards the east and western boundaries of the parish are the two small hamlets of Romney-street and Thimbling-bottom; in the south part of the parish, are the estates of Sepham and Filston; and in the northern, close to the river, those of Preston and Shoreham, alias Lullingstone-castle; and about three quarters of a mile westward from the former, close to the pales of Lullingstone-park, though within the boundary of this parish, the farm, formerly accounted the manor of Cockburst, belonging to Sir John Dyke. The high road from Dartford through Farningham and Eynsford, towards Sevenoke, runs along the hills, on the eastern side of this parish, about a quarter of a mile from the village of Shoreham; which having no high road of any public intercourse through it, is but litthe frequented by travellers, nor does the nearness of the turnpike-road above mentioned contributed much towards it; the soil of which being wholly chalk, and very stony, renders it not very pleasant to travel on at any time. There is a fair held in the village, for pedlary, on the 1st of May.

THE MANOR was part of the antient possessions of the archbishop of Canterbury, and it continued so till archbishop Cranmer, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. conveyed it, among other premises, to that king, in exchange, together with all his lands and possessions in this parish, except presentations and advowsons, to the churches and vicarages of them. (fn. 2) It remained in the hands of the crown at the death of king Charles. I. after which the powers then in being seized on the royal estates, and passed an ordinance to vest them in trustees, in order to their being surveyed and sold, to supply the necessities of the state; (fn. 3) accordingly, in 1650, this manor was surveyed, when it was returned—That the quit-rents due to the lord of it, holden of the honour and manor of Otford, were held in free and socage tenure; that there was a court baron and a court leet; that there was in this manor yoakeland and inland, the former of which paid a heriot of the best living thing on demise or death; and that a reeve was chosen out of the tenants at the court baron, to collect all profits, and account for them. (fn. 4) After which this manor was sold by the state to John Singleton, with whom it remained till the restoration of king Charles II. when it again returned to the crown, where it continues at this time, being still accounted an appendage to the honour of Otford.

The dean and chapter of Rochester possesses, by purchase, from the crown, a see farm of 20l. 14s. 5d. yearly rent from this manor.

Near the entrance into this parish, southward from Lullingstone, lies PRESTON, adjoining to the river Darent. This place was formerly accounted an appendage to the manor of Halsted, and was held of the archbishop of Canterbury as such.

In the book of Knights Fees, for collecting the aid, in the 20th year of king Edward III. Lora, late wife of Ralph Savage, and heir of Reginald de Preston, is said to hold half a knight's fee, which William de Chelsfield before held in Halsted and Preston of the archbishop of Canterbury, viz. the manor of Halsted with Preston.

At the latter end of king Edward III. Preston was become the estate and residence of Sir Thomas de Buckland, who both himself and his ancestors were possessed of good estates elsewhere in this country; they bore for the arms, Argent, an eagle sable, beaked and unguled or, which coat is now quartered by the family of Polhill. Thomas Buckland, with his wife, lie buried here, in a chapel of their own founding. His descendant, Thomas Buckland, in the latter end of king Henry VI. left an only daughter and heir, Alice, who carried this estate in marriage to John Polley, alias Polhill, of Polhill-street, in Detling, where this family was originally situated, bearing for their arms, Argent, on a bend gules, three cross croslets or. He had three sons; John, who was of Preston; Thomas and Christopher; Thomas, the second son, had issue by John Miller, his wife, five sons; of whom John was of Shoreham; Thomas retained the name of Polley, and was ancestor of Sir Thomas Polley of Wrotham, and David Polhill, from whom came those of Otford and Chipsted; Robert; and William, whose descendants were of Philipotts, in Tunbridge; and were afterwards of Maidstone.

John Polhill, the eldest son, resided at Preston, which continued in his descendants, who seem to have removed their residence in general to Burwash, in Sussex, where several of them lie buried. One of them, John Polhill, of Burwash, at length passed away Preston by sale to Paul D'Aranda, esq. who died possessed of it in 1712. His son of the same name, was of Putney, in Surry, esq. and possessed this estate of Preston. He died in 1732, and lies buried in this church. This family bore for their arms, Azure, a castle of three towers argent, within a bordure or, charged with saltiers gules. Before his death; in 1715, he sold this estate to John Borrett, esq. who was originally of the county of Westmoreland, was master of the Inner Temple, and afterwards one of the prothonotaries of the court of common pleas, and bore for his arms, Ermines, three boars heads erected and erased or. He was twice married; first, to Anne, daughter of Bartholomew Partridge, merchant of London, by whom he had a son, Thomas, who survived him; secondly, to Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Sir John Trevor, secretary of state to Charles II. by whom he had six children; of whom Elizabeth married David Polhill, esq. of Chipsted. Trevor settled in the bishopric of Durham, and died anno 1770, whose son Thomas, afterwards married the youngest daughter and coheir of Thomas, only surviving son of John Borrett, by his first wife, father of the said Trevor; Edward married Susan, the daughter of Thomas Dixon, esq. of the county of York; Mary; and Ruth was the second wife of Sir Isaac Shard. John Borrett, esq. above mentioned, built a handsome seat, close to the river, at the south end of the village of Shoreham, which he called Newbouse, where he resided to the time of his death. He died in 1739, and was succeeded in this seat of New-house, with Preston, and in his other estates in this parish, by Thomas Borrett, esq. his only surviving son by his first wife, to whom he had resigned his office of prothonotary many years before his death.

Thomas Borrett, in 1735, married the daughter of Sir Thomas Scawen, alderman of London, and died in 1751, leaving his wife surviving, and two daughters his coheirs; one of whom married William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. of St. Clere's, in Ightham, and the other, Martha, married her kinsman, Thomas Borrett, son of Trevor Borrett, as mentioned above. They, on the death of their mother, became possessed of this seat, and the rest of their father's estates in Shoreham; and on the division of their inheritance, between their husbands, New-house, Preston, Shoreham-castle, Filston, and the rest of their estates in Shoreham, were allotted to Thomas Borrett, esq. who now possesses them, but the seat of New-house is at present uninhabited.

SHOREHAM-CASTLE, formerly called Lullingstone, alias Shoreham-castle, is situated close to the river Darent, on the western side of it, and near adjoining to the southern pales of Lullingstone park. To this castle there was a manor appendant, called the manor of Lulling stone-castle, of which Hugo de Poyntz died possessed in the 1st year of Edward II. In the 20th year of Edward III. Sir Roger de Chaundois paid aid for the manor of Lullingstone-castle, as one knights fee, which Hugo de Poyntz before held of the archbishop of Canterbury. In the reign of Edward IV. John de Neuburgh brought his plea against Robert Poyntz for this manor before the king's justices, Thomas Bourchier, archbishop of Canterbury, having remitted for that time only, with a saving of the right of himself and his successors, the jurisdiction of trying the same in his own court. (fn. 6) The former seems to have prevailed in this suit, and to have established himself and his descendants in the possession of this place; one of whom, Roger Newborough, in the 3d and 4th years of Philip and Mary, had possession granted of this manor, or castle of Lullingstone, alias Le Castell, with its appurtenances, holding it of the king in capite, as of the honour of Otford, by knights service. (fn. 7) In the 17th year of queen Elizabeth, John Newborough levied a fine of these premises, and then passed them away by sale to Thomas Polhill, of Preston, in this parish, whose descendant, John Polhill, of Preston, conveyed this estate, by sale, to Paul D' Aranda, esq. and his eldest son, Paul D' Aranda, esq. of Putney, in Surry, in 1715, sold both castle and manor to John Borrett, esq. whose descendant, Thomas Borrett, late of New-house, is the present owner of them.

Shoreham-castle, as it is now called, has been long in ruins; Leland tells us it was so in his time, in the reign of king Henry VIII. The present farm-house seems to have been built out of the ruins.

FILSTON, formerly written Vielston, is a manor here, situated about a quarter of a mile southward from the village of Shoreham. It was antiently held of the archbishop of Canterbury by the Clares, earls of Gloucester and Hertsord. In the year 1264, anno 42 Henry III. there was a composition entered into between archbishop Boniface and Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester, in relation to the customs and services, which the archbishop claimed of the earl, on account of the estates which the earl held of him in Tunbridge, Vieleston, and other places in this county; by which, among other things, it was agreed, that the earl should do homage and the service of one knight's fee for this manor of Vieleston, (fn. 8) and suit at the court of the archbishop and his successors at Ot ford. This manor was again held of the earl of Clare, in the reign of king Henry III. by a family who took their surname from it.

Hamon de Vielston possessed it in the above reign, and then demised several parcels of land in this parish to Sepham of Sepham, Timberden of Timberden, and others of lesser note. (fn. 9)

John de Vielston was sheriss of this county in the 10th year, and continued in that office to the 20th of Edward III. when it seems to have come to the crown; for in the book of aid made that year, Sir Reginald de Cobham is charged with one knight's fee, which John, son of John de Vielston, held in Vielston of the archbishop, and which fee Reginald then held by grant from the king.

Sir Reginald de Cobham died possessed of this estate, with Hiltesbury, Foucourt, and other lands here, (fn. 10) in the 35th year of the above reign. (fn. 11) His son Reginald was lord of Sterborough-castle, in Surry, from whom it descended to his grandson, Sir Thomas Cobham, who left a daughter and sole heir, Anne, and the carried Vielston, and the other estates before-mentioned, in marriage to Sir Edward Borough. She survived her husband, and died anno 20 Henry VIII possessed, as appears by the inquisition taken after her death of the manor of Vielston, with the hamlets or tenements of Hyltsbury, Chedingstone, Bowsell, Tyesherst, and other members belonging to the same, held of the archbishop by knight's service, as of his manor of Otford.

From this family Vielston passed by sale to Robert Blague, and from him again, quickly after, to Mr. William Petley, (fn. 12) one of whose descendants sold it to John Borrett, esq. prothonotary of the court of common pleas, and his grandson, Thomas Borrett, esq. late of New-house, in this parish, is the present owner of it.

SEPHAM is an estate in this parish, which is now called Up-Sepham, and lies about half a mile southward from Filston, which formerly had owners of that surname, an eminent family of long standing in this parish, one of whom William de Sepham died possessed of it in the 25th year of king Edward III. and it appears by the inquisitions made in the 12th and 13th years of king John, of knights and other services, which were held of the king in capite, and returned by the several sheriffs to the king's treasurer, that Ralph de Planers then held of the archbishop the eighth part of a knight's fee, in Sorham, (fn. 13) which estate was afterwards called by his name, in which family Planers continued till the beginning of the regin of Henry VI. and then it was conveyed by sale to Sepham, of Sepham, who bore for their arms, Sable, three cinquesoils argent, between seven cross-croslets fitchee of the second; which coat is still remaining on the roof of the cloysters of Canterbury cathedral.

After this family had continued owner of both these estates, one by purchase, and the other by descent, until the latter end of king Henry VII. Mr. John Sepham, who, in the 5th year of that reign, had rendered his services for them to the archbishop, of whom they were both held, passed away Sepham to William Martin, and Planers, the name of which is now almost unknown, to Cobbe, in which families, after they had remained till the latter end of king Henry VIII's reign, they were both demised by sale to Francis Sandback, esq. of the Inner Temple, whose sole child and heir, Alice, carried them in marriage to David Polhill, esq. the third son of Thomas, who was second son of Thomas Polley, alias Polhill, of Detling, by Alice his wife, daughter and heir of Thomas Buckland, and his direct descendant, Charles Polhill, esq. of Chipsted, in this county, is the present owner of these estates.


THOMAS TERRY, by will in 1728, gave to the use of the poor land vested in Jacob, Beard, then of the annual produce of 7l. but now of 14l. per annum.

JOHN BORRETT, esq. by will in 1736, gave to the use of the poor the annual sum of 3l. vested in Thomas Borrett, esq. and now of that annual produce.

MR. PETLEY, by will, gave out of the land of Filston farm, to be paid to three widows living in the alms-houses, 12s. per calendar month each, the land being now vested in Thomas Borrett, esq.

SHOREHAM is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester. It is a peculiar of the archbishop, and is within its own deanry of Shoreham; the several parishes of which, having been part of the antient possessions of the see of Canterbury, are exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese in which they lie, and as such are peculiar to the jurisdiction of the archbishop only, from whence they have acquired the name of the archbishop's peculiars, all such being within this deanry of Shoreham, and subject to his prerogative only.

The church of Shoreham is situated on the east side of the village, on a rising ground. It is a neat building, the steeple is of brick, and has been lately erected, as well as the chancel at the cast end. It is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. (fn. 14)

Among other monuments and inscriptions in this church, at the west end are memorials for Rutter, Cowell, Wells, Everest, and Perry; a mural monument for Anne, second daughter of John Borrett, esq. of the Inner Temple, obt. 1735. In the north isle, memorials for Everests and Watts; a grave-stone, with a brass plate and inscription, for William Wall, S.T.P. obt. Jan. 13, 1727, æ 82, vicar here for fifty-three years, and rector of Milton near twenty; he married Catherine, daughter of Edward Davenant, gent. and his sons Thomas and William, citizens of London, the former died 1709, æ 25; the latter in 1725, æ 40. A grave-stone at the entrance of the great chancel. with an inscription in brass, for Mr. Thomas Polhill, obt. 1588, and Anne his wife, daughter of William Plumly, of Otford, by whom he had one son and three daughters; a mural monument, with the bust of a lady and inscription, that in a vault adjacent is deposited Susannah, wife of Edward Borrett, esq. obt. 1751. In the north chancel, at the east end, a grave-stone for Paul Daranda, esq. of Shoreham, obt. 1712, æt. 60; another for Paul Daranda, esq. of Putney, son of the above, obt. 1732, æt. 46; arms, a castle within a bordure, charged with crosses; at the west end a mural marble for John Polhill, esq. late of Preston, in this parish, descended from the elder house of the Polhills, of that place, obt. 1651,æt. 39; he left John, Edward, and Elizabeth, by his wife Anne, one of the daughters of Sir Edward Gilbourne, of Shoreham; arms, Polhill with quarterings. A beautiful monument, executed by Sir H. Cheere, on which are the busts of a man and woman, for John Borrett, esq. master of the Inner Temple, and prothonotary, obt. 1739, æt. 82; arms, Borrett, with a crescent for difference, with impalements. In the great chancel, are many memorials for the family of Polley, of this parish. On the south side of the altar a large elegant monument, with the busts of a gentleman and lady, and inscription that in the north chancel lies buried Sir Abraham Shard, eldest son of Sir Isaac, of Lambeth, whose second wife was Ruth, daughter of John Borrett, esq. of this parish, by whom he left no surviving issue; he died in 1746, arms, argent a bend sable in chief, a bugle horn sable stringed gules, garnished, or, in base a buck's head couped, attired or impaling Borrett.

The church of Otford is a chapel to the church of Shoreham.

In the 15th year of king Edward I. the church of Shoreham was valued at fifty marcs. (fn. 15) It was part of the antient possessions of the archbishopric of Canterbury, and continued so till archbishop Cranmer, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. granted it, by the name of the advowson and patronage of Shoreham, with the chapel of Otford annexed to the parsonage of Shoreham; together with all other estates belonging to him in this parish to that king, in exchange for other premises. (fn. 16)

King Edward VI. in the first year of his reign, granted the parsonage and advowson of this church, with the chapel of Otford, to Sir Anthony Denny, to hold of the king in capite; (fn. 17) who presently after exchanged it with the dean and chapter of St. Peter's, Westminster, for the advowson and patronage of Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire. (fn. 18)

By virtue of the commission of enquiry into the value of church livings, in 1650, issuing out of chancery, it was returned, that Shoreham was a parsonage, valued at one hundred pounds per annum, with one barn, and one crost containing one acre, two acres of meadow, nine acres of arable, fifty-seven acres of wood, and one crost of half an acre, valued at fifteen pounds per annum; all in the hands of Erasmus Moyce, gent. and that there was also one old vicarage-house, and ten pounds per annum, which formerly belonged to the dean and chapter of Westminster, and valued at thirty pounds per annum; master Robert Rosse being the minister, and having no salary, but what the parishioners gave him. (fn. 19)

The rectory of Shoreham, with the chapel of Otford, is an appropriation now belonging to the dean and chapter of Westminster, and valued in the king's books at 34l. 9s. 9½d. and the yearly tenths at 3l. 8s. 11¼d. (fn. 20) The advowson of the vicarage is in the possession of the same dean and chapter. It is a discharged living in the king's books, of the clear yearly certified value of forty-five pounds, and the yearly tenths at 1l. 8s. 8d.

The vicarage house was erected here in the twentythird year of king Henry VIII. Among the archives of the dean and chapter of Westminster is an award, concerning the tithes of wood due to the vicar of this parish.

Church Of Shoreham.

Or by whom presented.
Dean and Chapter of Westminster Duke, ejected Aug. 1662. (fn. 21)
William Wall, D.D. presented 1674, obt. Jan. 13, 1728, æt. 82. (fn. 22)
Vincent Perronett, A.M. 1728, obt. May 9, 1785, æt. 90.
Charles Wake, S.T.P. 1785, obt. 1796.
William Cole, S.T.P. 1796, the present vicar.


  • 1. Text. Roff. p. 229.
  • 2. Aug. Off Box A. 21.
  • 3. Scob. Col. pt. i. p. 51.
  • 4. Parl. Surveys, Aug. Off. Roll. H. 11.
  • 5. Weever, p. 331.
  • 6. Harl. MSS. No. 324-3.
  • 7. Rot Esch.
  • 8. Regist. Christ church, Cant. No. 177 See Tunbridge.
  • 9. Philipott, p. 329.
  • 10. See more of this branch of Cobham of Sterborough, and of Borough, under Chidingstone.
  • 11. Rot. Esch.
  • 12. See more of this family under Halsted.
  • 13. Lib. Ruber. Scacc.
  • 14. Text. Roff. p. 229.
  • 15. Stev. Mon. p. 456.
  • 16. Augtn. Off. Box A 21.
  • 17. Rot. Esch. ejus an. pt. 9.
  • 18. Chauncy's Hertfor. p. 299.
  • 19. Parl. Sur. Lamb. lib. v. xix.
  • 20. Ect. Thef. p. 387.
  • 21. Calamy's Life of Baxter. See Reg. Roff.
  • 22. And rector of Milton by Graved He lies buried in this church.