Parishes: Halling

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: Halling', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3( Canterbury, 1797), British History Online [accessed 13 July 2024].

Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Halling', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3( Canterbury, 1797), British History Online, accessed July 13, 2024,

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Halling". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. (Canterbury, 1797), , British History Online. Web. 13 July 2024.

In this section


THE next parish eastward from Luddesdon is Halling, written in Domesday, and other records, Hallinges; and in Saxon, Haling, that is, the low meadow or pasture.

THE PARISH of Halling is bounded, on its eastern side, by the river. Medway, at a small distance from the banks of which, close to the marshes, is the village called Lower Halling, in which are the ruins of the bishop of Rochester's palace, and the church; thro' this village the road leads from Stroud, and from hence thro' Snodland towards the London high road to Maidstone, which it meets at Larkfield. About half a mile westward from Lower Halling, on higher ground, is another village, called Upper Halling, situated nearly at the foot of the great ridge of chalk hills, beyond the summit of which this parish extends over the large wood, called Halling wood, at the western boundary of it, next to Luddesdon. The soil is for the most part chalk, and but poor land; the quantity of marshes, both salt and fresh, between the uplands and the river, render this place far from being either a pleasant or healthy situation. This parish, with others in this neighbourhood, was antiently contributory to the third pier of Rochester bridge. (fn. 1) woods, meadows, marshes, fishings, huntings, and

EGBERTH, king of Kent, with the consent of his nobles and princes, gave ten ploughlands in Halling, with all their appurtenances, together with the fields, woods, meadows, marshes, fishings, huntings, and fowlings belonging to them, to bishop Doran and the church of Rochester; to which he added these denberies in the Weald, Bixle, Speldhirst, Meredæn, Thærbe, Eastan, and Rustewellee and Teppenhyse. Among the witnesses who confirmed this gift were king Hearberth and archbishop Jaenberth. This appears by the Text. Rossensis; but the names of these two kings, in this deed of gift, are quite irreconcileable to the histories of those times: Janibert was archbishop of Canterbury from 764 to 793, at which time it does not appear there were any such kings of Kent as either Egberth or Heaberth; for Aldric was king of Kent from 760 to 794; and Ecbert, king of the West Saxons, had no rule in Kent till the year 823, nor was he king of the West Saxons till anno 800. Dioran succeeded to the bishopric of Rochester, and died during the reign of king Alderic. Alford, in his Annals, mentions a letter, written in 764, from Eardulf, then made bishop of Rochester, to Eardulf, king of Kent, who was no doubt some petty prince or regulus in it, as most likely these kings, Egberth and Heaberth, were.

Halling does not seem to have remained long in the possession of the church of Rochester, being wrested from it during the confusion of the Danish wars in this kingdom; and William the Conqueror gave it to his half brother, Odo, bishop of Baieux, but archbishop Lanfranc recovered this manor, among others, in that solemn assembly of the whole county, held on this occassion, by the king's command, at Pinenden health, in 1076; after which he restored it to bishop Gundulph and the church of St. Andrew, which gift was afterwards confirmed by several archbishops of Canterbury. (fn. 2)

In the general survey of Domesday, taken about four years afterwards, it is thus described under the general title of the lands of the bishop of Rochester.

The same bishop (of Rochester) holds Hallinges. It was taxed in the time of king Edward the Confessor at six sulings, and now for two and an half. The arable land is seven carucates. In demesne there are three carucates and 15 villeins, with nine borderers having six carucates. There is a church and two servants, and 30 acres of meadow, and wood for the pannage of five hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth 7 pounds, now 16 pounds. What Richard (de Tonebrigge) holds in his lowy is worth 7 shillings.

By the above description it appears, that the whole of what was first given by king Egberth to the church of Rochester was not recovered by archbishop Lanfranc; indeed, out of the ten plough lands there only remained six to this manor in the time of king Edward the Confessor; and within twenty years afterwards, when Domesday was taken, they were diminished, to two and a half. It had likewise been stripped of the denberries in the Weald, annexed to it at the first donation of it, for the reader will observe, there is in the above survey only the pannage for five hogs belonging to it, and yet, what is worth notice, the six plough lands, in the time of king Edward, were worth only seven pounds, whereas, in the reign of the Conqueror, the two and an half were worth more than double that sum. Most probably archbishop Lanfranc recovered all of it that came into the bishop of Baieux's possession, and that the rest had been separated from it by its several possessors at different times before.

Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, who was elected to that see in the reign of the Conqueror, anno 1077, separated, after the example of Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, his maintenance as bishop from that of the monks of his church, in which division this manor was allotted to the bishop, and by him appropriated to the support of his table, or ad victum episcopi, as it was then styled. Soon after which the pleasantness of Halling, for such it was then esteemed, and its commodious situation, induced the bishop of Rochester to build an episcopal palace here for himself and his successors, which was grown so ruinous, when bishop Gilbert de Glanvill came to the see, in 1185, that he rebuilt it in a much more commodious manner. (fn. 3) The year before which, anno 1184, Richard archbishop of Canterbury, taking his way by Halling and Rochester, in his journey from Wrotham to Canterbury, was obliged to stop at this palace, through a violent sit of illness, of which he died the next day here, and was carried from hence to Canterbury, to be buried. (fn. 4)

On a taxation of the bishop of Rochester's manors, in 1255, it appears, that the whole yearly valuation of the manor of Halling, with his appendages of Holeberge and Cukelstane, of which the rents amounted to 25l. was in all 43l. 18s. the necessary and useful repair and maintenance of the buildings there to 100s. per annum; and that the manor of Halling had then within it two hundred and sixty-two acres of arable, valued at 4d. at the most each, by reason there was no marle there; and thirty-eight acres of salt meadow, each valued at sixpence; and that the vineyard was valued at 13s. 4d. per annum. At the latter end of the above reign, on a valuation of the bishop's manors, it appeared that he had only six, of which Halling was the principal; in which, with its appurtenances, Holberge and Cukelstane, there were reputed to be four ploughs, (fn. 5) and yet there were not in reality four plough lands; (fn. 6) each of which, according to the custom of the country, ought to contain one hundred and eighty acres of arable land, which there were not within the manor; but that the plough lands, with the whole pasture allotted for the keeping of cattle working on them, were worth seventeen pounds per annum; and that the annual rents of this manor, as well in money as in hens, eggs, plough shares, and oblations, were, with Holberge and Cukelstane, 138l. 6s. 4½d. and that there were three mills within it, worth 100s. per annum; and that the meadow of the manor was worth two marcs; the whole 61l. 12s. 0¾d. and in a subsequent valuation, the manor of Halling, without Kokilstan, was estimated at one hundred marcs.

There is an account in a manuscript, in the Cotton library, of the stock which ought to remain on the several manors of the bishopric, after the decease of each bishop, and among others of this of Halling; but during the vacancy of the see, which sometimes continued a long while, the several articles were frequently lost or destroyed, and the new bishop was obliged to replace them, with others, at his own cost.

It appears, by the pleas taken in the 21st year of king Edward I. that the bishop of Rochester had his prison within his manor here. (fn. 7) Lambarde, in his Perambulation, says, that Hamo de Hethe, bishop of Rochester, and confessor to king Edward II. had a vineyard here, probably the old one mentioned above, in king Henry III.'s reign, (in his time a plain meadow) and that the bishop sent a present of both wine and grapes from it to that prince, in the 19th year of his reign, who then rested at Bokingford in this county, where he had withdrawn, on the charge of his intention of visiting France, for the performance of his homage, due for the duchy of Aquitance. Bishop Hamo, in the year 1322, being the 16th of the above reign, resided the whole summer at Halling, during which he repaired the ruined buildings of his palace, and raised from the ground the hall and high front of it, (fn. 8) and two years afterwards he finished the inclosure of the walls, and the repair of the new chapel and chamber. In 1327, the bishop began to inclose the court of Halling, towards the church yard, with high walls, and new built the chamber of the clerks, the larder and the kitchen, and afterwards remained here all the ensuing summer and winter; and in 1337, he again repaired and augmented the buildings here. (fn. 9) The palace stood at a small distance from the church, near the banks of the Medway; in 1715, there was great part of the ruins of it remaining, as the chapel, the hall, and a gate, with the arms of the see of Rochester in stone; in which state it nearly remained till within memory, but within these twenty years most of it has been destroyed for the sake of the materials. There is a view of the ruins of it, as they remained not many years since, in Grose's Antiquities, vol. ii. There was in a nitche, over the outside of the chief door, in 1720, the figure of Hamo de Hethe, bishop of Rochester, dressed in his episcopal habit, in stone, about two feet high, and elegantly finished. It was soon afterwards blown down in a great storm of wind, but escaped damage by falling on some grass. It was afterwards presented to Dr. Atter bury, bishop of Rochester. The manor of Halling, with the scite of the palace, still remains part of the possessions of the bishopric of Rochester. In the reign of king Edward VI. John Scory, bishop of Rochester, let a lease of this manor and palace for ninetynine years, to Robert Dean, esq. of Rochester, who soon afterwards removed hither. He left by his wife, daughter of Richard Woodward, (fn. 10) a sole daughter and heir, Silvester, who, in 1573, married William Dalyson, esq. and he, on her father's death, became entitled to his interest in this lease, and resided here till his death; after which she re-married with William Lambarde, esq. the learned perambulator, who likewise resided here during her life; and after her death, in 1587, returned to his former residence at Greenwich; after which her interest in this place came to her son, by her first husband, Sir Maximilian Dalyson, who was of Halling, but his grandson of the same name, marrying Frances, the daughter of Tho. Stanley, esq. of West Peckham, removed thither, where this family have resided ever since. (fn. 11) His descendant, William Dalyson, esq. of Hamptons, in West Peckham, is the present lessee of this manor, the scite of the palace, and other appurtenances belonging to it.

LANGRIDGE is a manor here, which was antiently possessed by a family of the name of Bavent, whence it was called for some time Langridge, alias Bavent's. And there is a field here, yet called by the last of these names, where the ruins of buildings were visible, some years ago, and were most probably those of the antient mansion of this family. Adam de Bavent, in the 13th year of king Edward I. obtained a grant of free warren for his lands at Halling, in which he was succeeded by Roger Bavent, who, together with John de Langareche, who was witness to several deeds of land given to the bishop of Rochester at this place, in the reign of king Edward I. (fn. 12) held three quarters of a knight's fee in Halling of the bishop of Rochester. Roger Bavent and John de Melford possessed them in the 20th year of king Edward III. the former possessed his interest in this place at his death, in the 31st year of king Edward III. after which the whole of it seems to have been vested in the name of Melford, from which it was no long time afterwards sold to Raynwell, one of whose descendants, as appears by the Book of Aid, in the exchequer, alienated it, in the 17th year of king Henry VII. to Robert Watson, who immediately passed away his interest in it to Sir William Whorne, who had been lord mayor of London, in 1487, from which family it was alienated to Vane, and thence again to Barnewell, who about the beginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth, conveyed it by sale to Nicholas Leveson, alias Lewson, esq. of Staffordshire, who was sheriff of London in 1534, and afterwards resided much at Whorne's place, in the adjoining parish of Cookstone. His descendant, Richard Leveson, was made a knight of the Bath at the coronation of king Charles I. and succeeded to all his ancestors estates at Halling, Cookstone, and elsewhere in this county, and was of Trentham, in Staffordshire. (fn. 13) He alienated all his lands in this county to different persons, and among them this estate at Halling, to Barber, in which name it continued after the restoration of king Charles II. one of whose descendants alienated it to Golding, from whence, by a female heir, it was carried in marriage to Robin Wood, and on his death again, by a second marriage, to Mr. William Baker, who now possesses Langridge, and resides in it.


THIS PARISH has the right of nomination to one place in the new college of Cobham, founded by Sir William Brooke, lord Cobham, now under the direction of the wardens of Rochesterbridge, for one poor person, to be chosen and presented so and by such as the ordinances of the college have power to present and elect for this parish; and if the parish of Cookstone should make default in electing a poor person in their turn, then the benefit of such election devolves to this parish.

REGINALD GREGORY, alias CHEVING, gave by will, in 1776, the yearly sum of 10s. to be laid out in bread, and distributed to the poor on the Sunday next preceding Christmas day, yearly, charged on an estate in Halling, Snodland, and Padlesworth, and now of that annual produce.

A PERSON UNKNOWN gave, for the benefit of the poor, the annual sum of 10s.

HALLING is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and deanry of Rochester. The church, which is dedicated to St. John Baptist, is a small building with a low spire at the west end.

Among others in it, are the following monuments and memorials: In the chancel, a brass plate for John Collard, one of the clerks of the king's exchequer, and Margery his wife; on one are four shields of arms, the first, Girony of ten nebulee, two on a fess between three mullets, pierced as many cross croslets; 2d, Semi of cross croslets, botony fitched, three mens heads couped, banded about the temples, within a bordure impaling quarterly..... and vaire, over all a bend; 3d, Semi of cross croslets, &c. as before; 4th is lost; and 5th, on two arms erased in saltier, an heart vulnerated gutte de sang. In the nave, against the west pillar, a brass plate and figures for Silvester, daughter of Robert Dene, married to William Dalyson, esq. and afterwards William Lambarde, gent. ob. 1587, leaving by the first, Maximilian and Silvester, and by the second, Multon and Margaret, and Gore and Fane, sons and twins. (fn. 14)

Gilbert de Glanvill, bishop of Rochester, having, about the year 1193, built an hospital at Stroud, in this neighbourhood, for the reception of poor travellers, and the relief of other indigent persons, gave to it, with the consent of the prior and convent of Rochester, as well as of his archdeacon, among other premises, this church of Halling, with all its appurtenances, and the portion arising from the tithes of his knight's fees in Halling and Holeberge, and Ku kelstan, to hold in free pure, and perpetual alms; and he ordained, that the master of the hospital should provide a fit priest to minister in this church, whom he should present to the bishop, and that neither he nor his church should be burthened with any pecuniary exaction, either by the bishop, archdeacon, or dean, or any other, excepting synodals due of old time, which gift was confirmed by Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, and by king Edward III. in his 6th year, by his letters patent of inspeximus. (fn. 15) In the reign of king Henry VIII. there arose great disputes between Henry Johnson, then vicar of this church, and John Wildbore, master of the hospital of Stroud, then possessed of the appropriation of the church of Halling (in the instrument for which there was a saving clause for a fit portion for the vicar for the time being in it) concerning the augmentation of his vicarage, which, by the interposition of their mutual friends, they agreed to leave to the bishop of Rochester, either to assign the portion of it, or to re-endow it if there should be occassion, and both engaged to submit to his decree. In consequence of which, John Hilsey, then bishop of Rochester, by his instrument, dated in 1538, endowed the vicarage of Halling as follows: First, that the vicar for the time being should receive, as his portion of the vicarage, of the master and his brethren, and their successors, 5l. 10s. yearly, at four equal payments, and that he should further have the mansion of the vicarage, with the garden adjoining, and so many acres of land as the vicar there used of old to have, and then had and possessed; and also all oblations whatsoever within the bounds and limits of the parish; and all the tithes of hay, lambs, wool, mills, calves, chicken, pigs, geese, ducks, eggs, bees, honey, wax, cheese, milk, milkmeats, flax, hemp, pears, apples, garden herbs, pidgeon houses, merchan desings, fisheries, pastures, onions, garlic, and saffron; and also the tithes of sheaves increasing in gardens, either cultivated with the plough or dug with the foot, within the parish; and also the tithes of wood for fuel, coppice wood, thorns, rushes, and of silva cedua, as of all billets, faggots, and fardels whatsoever, arising within the bounds and limits of the parish, all which the vicar and his successors should receive and have. And he further decreed, that the burthens of repairing, amending, and new building the said mansion, with all its appurtenances, whenever need should be, and of the celebration and ministration of the sacraments and of the sacramentals to the parishoners, of the finding of bread and wine, and lights to the church of Halling, either of right or custom due, should belong to and be borne by the vicar and his successors, as well as all episcopal burthens of the church, according to the taxation of his portion. But the burthen of repairing and amending the chancel of the church, as well within as without, and the finding and repairing of books, vestments, and other ornaments, for the celebration of those divine rights, which of old, either by right or custom belonged to the rectors of this church, should be borne by the master and his brethern, and their successors, at their own proper charge and expence. And that all other burthens, ordinary and extraordinary, of the vicarage, and belonging to the vicar, by reason of the vicarage, except as before excepted, should belong to him and his successors, to be borne and supported at his and their own proper cost and expence, saving to the bishop and his successors, a right of augmenting this vicarage, and correcting and amending and explaining the above endowment, (fn. 16) whenever he or they should think it expedient so to do; and also saving to him and his successors, bishops of Rochester, and to the cathedral church of Rochester, all episcopal rights and customs, &c.

In this situation the church and vicarage of Halling remained till the year 1539, anno 31 Henry VIII. when the hospital of Stroud, alias Newark, was, together with all its possessions, surrendered, with the king's liscence, to the priory and convent of Rochester, where they staid but a few months, for next year, that priory was dissolved, and the rents and revenues of it were surrendered into the king's hands, where the church and advowson of the vicarage of Halling remained but a small time, for the king, by his dotation charter, in his 33d year, setteled them on his new founded dean and chapter of Rochester, subject to the annual pension of 5l. 10s. to be paid by them to the vicar of Halling for the time being, in which state they continue at this time, Mr. John May, of Snodland, being the present lessee, under the dean and chapter, for the parsonage of Halling.

In the 15th year of king Edward I. the church of Halling was valued at one hundred shillings. On the abolishing of deans and chapters, after the death of king Charles I. a survey was taken in Sept. 1649, of this parsonage, by which it appeared, that the parsonage of Halling consisted of a barn, house, &c. and was of the improved rent of 45l. 4s. per annum, and was let by lease, from the late dean and chapter of Rochester, for twenty-one years, to Geo. Woodyeare, at the yearly rent of 9l. 10s. out of which lease the advowson of the vicarage was exempted. In 1650, the vicarage of Halling was surveyed, and returned to be in the whole of the yearly value of 40l. 19s. including the pension of 5l. 10s. paid yearly to the vicar by the tenant of the parsonage. (fn. 17) This vicarage is valued in the king's books at 7l. 13s. 4d. and the yearly tenths at 15s. 4d. In 1729, it was worth 72l. per annum.

Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, at the foundation of the abbey of Malling, granted to it, as part of its endowment, the tithes of the vineyards in this parish, which gift was confirmed by the several succeeding bishops of Rochester, to the time of bishop Gualeran, inclusive, who lived in the reign of king Henry II. and by several of the archbishops of Canterbury afterwards. (fn. 18)

There was a FREE CHAPEL or CHANTRY in this parish, dedicated to St. Laurence, which was suppressed by the act passed in the 1st year of king Edward VI. and the lands and revenues of it given to the king. Queen Mary, in her first year, let to ferme to Dionifia Leveson, widow, all that the scite of the free chapel of St. Laurence in Halling, with several pieces of land lately belonging to it in Halland and Snodland, containing fifteen acres of land, or thereabouts, at the yearly rent of twelve shillings and sixteen pence.

Church of Halling.

Or by whom presented.
Master and Brethren of Stroud Hospital. Henry Johnson, B. D. in 1535. (fn. 19)
Dean and Chapter of Rochester. William Leeds, in 1630. (fn. 20)
Robert Berisford.
William White, 1723.
Ralph Bishop, resig. 1729. (fn. 21)
John Price, A. M. inst. Dec. 20, 1729. (fn. 22)
Robert Fountain, A. M. ins. 1770, resig. 1777. (fn. 23)
John Leech, A. M. June 1777, obt. June 16, 1791. (fn. 24)
William Dyer, A. M. 1791. Present vicar.


  • 1. Lambarde's Perambulation, p. 420.
  • 2. Reg. Roff. p. 442. Dugd. Mon. vol. iii. p. 2.
  • 3. Dugdale's Mon. vol. iii. p. i. Reg. Roff. p. 11.
  • 4. Lambarde's Perambulation, p. 559. Weever, p. 218.
  • 5. Carucæ.
  • 6. Carucatæ.
  • 7. Reg. Roff. p. 89, 132, 111.
  • 8. Lamb. Peramb. p. 444.
  • 9. Wharton's Ang. Sac. vol. i. p. 365, 368, 374.
  • 10. Visitation of the County of Kent, in 1619.
  • 11. See more of the Dalysons, under West Peckham.
  • 12. Reg. Roff. p. 394, 395, 398. Philipott, p. 127, 176.
  • 13. See more of this family, under Cookstone.
  • 14. See the mon. and inscrip. at large, in Reg. Roff. p. 772.
  • 15. Dugd. Mon. vol. ii. p. 434. Reg. Roff. p. 258, 392, 631.
  • 16. Regist. J. Hilsey, f. 196, pr. in Reg. Roff. p. 400. This is the latest endowment of any vicarage that I have as yet met with.
  • 17. Parliamentary Surveys, Lamberth library, vol. xix.
  • 18. Regist. Rossen. p. 480, 481, 486. There is an engraving of the ruins of this chapel in Custum. Roff. p. 118.
  • 19. Reg. Roff. p. 400.
  • 20. MSS. E. H.
  • 21. He resigned this vicarage for that of Hoo. He was a minor canon of Rochester.
  • 22. Also vicar of Chalk by dispensation.
  • 23. Minor canon of Rochester. He resigned this vicarage for that of West Farleigh.
  • 24. He held this vicarage, with the rectory of Wouldham, by dispensation.