Parishes: Loose

Pages 359-365

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


ADJOINING to the parish of Maidstone southward lies that of Loose, written in antient records, Hlose and Lose.

It most probably takes its name from the stream here, losing itself for some space under ground, hlosan in Saxon, signifying to lose or be lost.

THE PARISH is situated both healthy and pleasant, the soil of it is in general very fertile, being a loam, covering the quarry rock at no great depth. It is exceedingly kindly for hops and fruit grounds, with both which it abounds, and there is a general neatness kept up here in the culture of them, which is particularly noticed in the green clipped hedges round them, which gives the whole the appearance of a well cultivated garden ground. Its length, from north to south, is about two miles; it is but narrow across, being not more than one at its greatest width. The high road from Maidstone towards the Weald, over Cocksheath, a small part of which is within this parish, runs along the eastern boundary of it, as does the stream, which rises at Langley, along the valley, at the western boundary of it. This stream, about a mile from its rise, loses itself at Brishing, under ground, running through a subterraneous passage for near half a mile, from which circumstance this parish is supposed to take its name; and here I shall observe, that there are many instances in this kingdom of rivers losing themselves in this manner, as the Lin, in Devonshire; Mole, in Surry; Deverill, in Wiltshire; Recall, in Yorkshire; Hamps and Manyfold, in Staffordshire; and Arien, in Denbigshire; and perhaps several more.

After this river has thus lost itself, it rises again at the quarries, at the eastern bounds of this parish, and running above ground, directs its course north west, to this village, situated on the Maidstone road, about half a mile from Cocksheath, romantically on the steep ascent of a hill, at the foot of which is the church in the middle of it. On the east side, though at a small distance, is Salt's place, a seat which was formerly possessed by the family of Bufkin, who owned considerable estates in this county, from whom it came, as their heir, to John Martin, esq. of Stanmer, in Sussex, and bore for his arms, Gules, a lion rampant, and eight cross croslets or; whose son, Denny Martin, afterwards resided here, having married Frances, one of the daughters of Thomas lord Fairfax, by whom he had several sons and daughters; she died possessed of it in 1791, since which her eldest son, the Rev. Denny Martin, who has taken the name of Fairfax, and now of Leeds castle, and D. D. is become the present owner of it. At the village, the above mentioned stream receives another, which rises on the hill just above the church, and then having crossed the road, flows on northward, leaving Loose-court and Hale-place a little to the right; the neatness and rural elegance of the grounds belonging to the former greatly contributing to the pleasantness of this place; the latter, situated on the side of a hill, having a pleasing view over the country northwestward. It was formerly called Le Hayle, and by the antient gateway seems to have been an habitation of some account in past times; it belonged to the family of Beale for several descents, and continued so till a female heir carried it in marriage to Mr. William Post, gent. of London; who, in 1763, new fronted the house, and now resides in it. After having passed this latter seat, the stream flows on, and joins the river Medway, between Upper and Lower Tovill, and though, in its course, through this parish, it does not run but little more than two miles, yet there are so many mills on it, for different manufacturers, within sight of each other, that it may be said to form a chain of them along the whole of it.

LOOSE was given by king Ethelwolf, son of king Egbert, about the year 832, to a widow, named Sueta, and her daughter and they made a donation of it to the monks of the priory of Christ church, in Canterbury, who allotted it towards the expence of their cloathing. (fn. 1)

This place is not mentioned in the record of Domesday; as it adjoined to East Farleigh, and was, as well as that, part of the possessions of the priory of Christ-church, (fn. 2) it is most probably included in the description of that manor. In the reign of king Edward I. the manor of Lose, with its appurtenances, was valued at eighteen pounds. (fn. 3) King Edward II. by his charter, in his 10th year, confirmed to the prior free warren in all the demesne lands, acquired since the time of his grandfather; so that they were not within the bounds of his forest, &c. (fn. 4) This manor continued part of the possessions of the priory till its dissolution in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when it was surrendered into the king's hands, where it did not remain long, for he settled it, by his dotation charter, in the 33d year of his reign, on his new-erected dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose inheritance it now continues.

There is a court leet and court baron held for this manor, at which are chosen borsholders for the boroughs of Wanshurst, Falksheath, and Pattenden, in the Weald.

In the 33d year of king Henry VIII. the lessee of this manor was Stephen Astyn, who was succeeded in the 30th year of queen Elizabeth by John Smythe. In the year 1630 Robert Swinock was tenant of it, who held it till after the death of king Charles. In 1661 the lease of it was granted to Alabaster Fludd, esq. who in 1675 was succeeded by Benjamin Calamy, D. D. In 1669 Abraham Campion, D. D. was the lessee; but in 1724 William Barrowby, M. D. held it, and soon afterwards parted with his interest in it to John Hayes, as he did to Thomas Crispe, commonly called, as well as his descendants, Cripps, to whom the lease of it was granted in 1734; in which name it continued down to Mr. Thomas Crispe, gent. who resided here, and by his continual improvements to the grounds and waters of it, rendered this place as delightful and pleasant a spot, as a ferme ornee, as any this part of Kent can boast of. His only son, John Crispe, succeeded him here, and died s. p. in 1792, upon which it came to his sister Elizabeth, whose husband, Mr. John Pensold, of Maidstone, became in her right entitled to the possession of the lease of this manor, where he now resides.

There seems to have been another manor in this parish, stiled likewise THE MANOR OF LOOSE, which was once the inheritance of the noted family of Fremingham, who from their being stiled of Lose, most probably had some mansion for their residence in this parish, and the owners of Pimp's-court, though it is situated in the adjoining parish of East Farleigh, having at this time a seat in this church, in some measure corroborates it, though that might perhaps be granted in regard to their contiguity to this church, and great distance from the other. John, son of Sir Ralph de Fremingham, of Lose, died in the 12th year of king Henry IV. possessed of this manor of Lose, and leaving no issue, he by will devised it to feoffees, who next year assigned it over accordingly, to John, son of Reginald de Pimpe, of Pimpe's court, in East-Farleigh, and his heirs male, with remainder to Roger Isle, as being the nearest of blood to him. After which this manor, by unity of possession, became blended with that estate, and remains so at this time, as may be seen in the description of it below, under that of the parish of East Farleigh.

There are no parochial charities.

LOOSE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sutton.

The church is dedicated to All Saints, and is a small building with a pointed steeple. It was antiently esteemed but a chapel of ease to the church of Maidstone, which was of the patronage of the see of Canterbury.

The rectory of the church of Maidstone, with the chapels of Loose and Detling annexed, was appropriated by archbishop Courtney, in the 19th year of king Richard II. to his new-founded college of All Saints, in Maidstone; but the patronage of the advowson of the church and chapels annexed, the archbishop reserved to himself and successors. In which state they remained till archbishop Cranmer, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. exchanged the advowson and patronage of that church and the chapels annexed to it, with the king. (fn. 5) Upon the dissolution of the college, in the 1st year of king Edward VI. the rectory, as well as the advowson of the church and chapels before-mentioned, became vested in the crown; after which the church of Maidstone was left, through the king's favor, to the inhabitants of that town and parish, and that, as well as the chapels of Loose and Detling, were served by curates nominated by the king, whose stipends were paid by the king's lessee of the great tithes of these parishes. At which time the barn, tenths, and glebe of the parish of Loose were valued at 5l. 13s. 4d. per annum; and the stipend paid to the curate of this church by the archbishop's lessee was 2l. 13s. 4d.

Queen Elizabeth, in her 6th year, granted the reversion of the rectory of the several parishes of Maidstone, Loose, and Detling, then in lease to Christopher Roper, esq. to Mathew, archbishop of Canterbury, in exchange; since which it has continued part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury to the present time.

This church still continues under the denomination of a perpetual curacy, presented to by the archbishop, and is exempt from the archdeacon of Canterbury.

In 1640 the curacy was valued at thirty-six pounds per annum. In 1643 the sequestrators of archbishop Laud's revenue craved the allowance of 2l. 13s. 4d. being the yearly pension paid by the archbishop to the vicar of Loose, and in bishop Williams's map it is likewise noted as a vicarage. Archbishop Juxon, in 1661, in consequence of the king's letters mandatory, augmented the stipend of this curacy with the annual sum of 5l. 13s. 4d.

Mr. Richard Beale, a Hamburgh merchant, formerly a native of this parish, at his death in 1702, left five hundred pounds for an augmentation to this curacy; with which a farm in Smarden, of twenty pounds per annum, was purchased and appropriated to that use. It is not in charge in the king's books.


Or by whom presented.
Chambers, obt. 1625. (fn. 6)
Archbishops of Canterbury John Aymes, sequestered April 18, 1643. (fn. 7)
Lock, ejected 1662. (fn. 8)
Henry Walter, 1666.
Henry Briggs, D. D. 1712. (fn. 9)
Thomas Frank, A. M. 1722, obt. 1784. (fn. 10)
Denny Martin Fairfax, D. D. 1784, the present curate.


  • 1. Dugd. Mon. vol. i. p. 29.
  • 2. Madox's Firm. Burg. p. 17.
  • 3. Battely's Som. part ii. Appendix, p. 50.
  • 4. Reg. Eccl. Christi, Cant. Cart. 134.
  • 5. Dugd. Mon. vol. iii. p. 132. Augtn. off. box A. 21.
  • 6. He is called late vicar, deceased in 1625. Willis's Augin. off.
  • 7. White's Centuries, p. 2.
  • 8. Calamy's Life of Baxter, p. 2.
  • 9. Blomfield's Hist. Norf. part ii. p. 643.
  • 10. He was in 1731 presented to the church of Cranfield, in Bedfordshire.