The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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ADJOINING to East Barming westward lies West Barming, commonly called Barnjet.
It is written variously in antient deeds; in some, West Barming and Barmelinges, in others Baringjet, alias Paringet, (fn. 1) which seems to be a corruption from Barmingjet, as it is spelt in the Registrum Roffense. In the Textus Roffensis it is called Bearmlingetes.
THE PARISH of West Barming is very small, it is much the same as to soil, and other particulars, as that of East Barming last described, the high road from Maidstone to Tunbridge continues through it, the woods in the upper part of it come down to within one field of the road, and the remainder is more open and free from trees than the former parish. At the western boundaries are the plantations and park of Testonhouse; on the southern side of the road is the seat of Barnjet, most pleasantly situated on a spot capable of great improvement, below it is a bridge across the Medway, built not many years since by Mr. Amhurst, at a small distance below the antient ford over the river, before repaired by the commissioners of the navigation. From the high road there is a pretty steep descent of grass and meadow land to the river, its southern boundary, and a most beautiful prospect of the meandring river, Teston bridge, and the rich adjoining country.
AT THE TIME of taking the general survey of Domesday, this place was part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, of whom it was held by Ralph de Columbels, as appears by the following entry in it, under the general title of that prelate's lands:
Ranulf de Columbels holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Bermelie. It was taxed at one yoke. The arable land is . . . . In demesne there is one carucate, with five servants and four acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of three hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth fifteen shillings, when he received twenty shillings, now forty shillings.
On the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux about four years afterwards, this, among the rest of his possessions, became confiscated to the crown, and seems soon afterwards to have been granted to the family of Crevequer, of which it was held about the latter end of king Richard I's reign by a family who took their surname from their possessions here.
Accordingly in the two scutages raised in the 2d and 3d years of king John's reign, William de Barmelinges is charged two marcs for one knight's fee, late of the fee of Robert de Crevequer, and then in the king's hands.
William de Barmelinges died in the 22d of king Edward I. possessed of the manor of West Barmelinges, with the hamlet of Pimpe and Ledhoc, holding them of the king in capite, as did his son Robert de Barmeling, in the 31st of that reign. In the 6th year of king Edward III. John de Fremingham possessed two parts of this manor, as he did in the 20th year of that reign, the other part before possessed by the Barmelings being alienated elsewhere, as appears by the book for collecting the aid of that year, in which John de Fremingham and John de Huntingdon, alias Hunton, are charged for the knight's fee, which Robert de Barmelyng before held in West Barmelyng of the king; that part possessed by the latter extending into the parish of Yalding, as will be mentioned hereafter in the description of that parish.
John de Fremingham died in the 23d year of the above reign, possessed of his two parts of this manor, together with the advowson of the church held of the king in capite, which afterwards descended to John, son of Sir Ralph de Fremingham, of Lose, who died in the 12th year of king Henry IV. and leaving no issue by Alice his wife, by his will devised this manor and advowson to certain feoffees, who in compliance with it next year, assigned it over, to John de Pimpe, and his heirs male, with remainder to Roger Isle, as being the nearest of blood to him, and to the heirs male of his body, with divers remainders over.
From the family of Pimpe this estate came in king Henry the VIIIth's reign into the possession of Sir Henry Isley, who by the act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI. procured his lands in this county to be disgavelled, who being attainted in-the 1st year of queen Mary, his lands were confiscated to the crown, whence this manor was granted that year to Sir John Baker, the queen's attorney general, to hold in capite, whose descendant Sir John Baker, bart. of Sissinghurst, after the death of king Charles I. seems to have alienated it, together with the estate of East Barming, to Golding, who died in 1674, possessed of this manor.
His son, Mr. Henry Golding, gent. resided at the manor-house of West Barming, called Barnjet, and about the year 1700 alienated this estate to captain Nicholas Amhurst, who was afterwards of Barnjet, and dying in 1715, was buried in East Farleigh church, since which this manor and estate has continued in his descendants down to John Amhurst, esq. the present possessor of it, who has lately rebuilt the mansion-house of Barnjet, and now resides in it. (fn. 2)
WEST BARMING is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and deanry of Malling.
The church of West Barming or Barmynget, seems antiently to have been reputed but as a chapel; for in the Textus Roffensis it is reckoned among those chapels which then paid chrism rent to the mother church of the diocese; notwithstanding which, it was afterwards esteemed as a parish church.
It was always accounted as an appendage to the manor, and was united to the church of Nettlested in the 2d year of king Henry VII. on the petition of John Pimpe, esq. lord of this manor and church of Barming jett, by Edmund, bishop of Rochester; in which, having set forth, that the fruits, tithes, oblations, obventions, profits, and other emoluments of this church were become so small and slender, on account of the small number of parishioners, the sterility of the land, the want of culture, the scarcity of husbandmen, and other matters happening more than common, that there was not at that time, nor was there like to be in future, a sufficient maintenance for the rector of it; therefore he, for the above and other just and reasonable causes, decreed that this church should not be esteemed as such, but as a chapel, dependent, united, and annexed to that of Nettlested; the rectors of which should for the future have and enjoy all profits, tithes, emoluments, &c. belonging to this church of Barmingjett, and convert and freely dispose of them to their own proper uses for ever, provided, nevertheless, that the cure of souls of the parishioners of it should be supplied with a sufficient and fit priest; and he decreed, that the rectors of Nettlested should in future pay yearly to the bishops of Rochester, the sum of twenty pence, and to the archdeacon of the place twelve pence yearly, in lieu of such payments as belonged to them, as of antient custom, from this church, before the annexing and consolidating of it. From which time the rector of Nettlested has been presented, instituted and inducted to the rectory of Nettlested, with the chapel of Barmingjett annexed. The rectors of Nettlested have not received any tithes of this parish for many years; the whole of them are now enjoyed by Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, of Teston, as part of the estate of the late Sir Philip Boteler, bart. and she receives the sum of fourteen pounds and six loads of straw annually, by composition, of Mr. John Amhurst, for his estate of Barnjet, in this parish.
Soon after the above union, this chapel seems to have fallen into ruin; part of the wall of it remained in the next field westward of Barnjet, and a small distance southward from the high road till within these few years, when Mr. Amhurst removed every stone that was lest of it.