Parishes: Snodland

Pages 463-470

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


NORTHWARD from Ditton, on the western side of the Medway, a small part of Aylesford at New Hyth intervening, is Snodland, called in Domesday, ESNOILAND, and in the Textus Roffensis, SNODDINGLAND and SNODILAND.

SNODLAND lies on the western bank of the river, which is its eastern boundary opposite to Burham. The high road from Stroud to Larkfield goes through the village, which is situated about half a mile, and the church about midway from the river. It lies low, and being near the salt marshes, is not either very pleasant or very wholesome. In the southern part of the parish the stream which flows from Birling turns a pa per mill here, and thence flows into the Medway, not far from which is Snodland and New-Hyth common. In the northern part of the parish next to Lower Halling, is the hamlet of Holborough, usually called Hoborow, no doubt for Old Borough, a name implying the antiquity of this place. Many are inclined to believe, that the usual passage across the river in the time of the Romans, was from hence to Scarborough on the opposite shore. However that may be, Holborow was certainly known to them, for in queen Elizabeth's reign, an urn filled with ashes was discovered in digging for chalk on the hill above this place, a sure token of the Romans having frequented it. (fn. 1) In this hamlet Mr. John May resides in a handsome new-built house, near it there rises a small brook, which flows from hence into the Medway, at about half a mile distance. From this low and flat country, on the bank of the river, the ground rises westward up to the range of high chalk hills, where the land becomes poor and much covered with flints. Upon these hills among the woods is an estate, corruptly called Punish, for it takes its name from the family of Pouenesse, or Pevenashe, written by contraction Poneshe, who were possessed of it as high as king Henry the IIId's. reign, in queen Elizabeth's reign it was called Poynyshe, and was then in possession of the name of Brown, who held it of the bishop of Rochester as of his manor of Halling. (fn. 2) About a mile eastward from the above is a farm called Lads, which in king Edward I's. reign, and some generations afterwards, was in the possession of a family of that name, written in deeds of those times, Lad, and Le Lad.

This parish ought antiently to have contributed to the repair of the ninth pier of Rochester bridge.

Sir John Marsham, bart. and Sir Charles Bickerstaff, had a design of supplying the towns of Stroud, Rochester, and Chatham, with fresh water, by bringing it from the spring rising at the foot of Holborough hill, and others thereabouts, by a cut or channel through Halling and Cuxton thither, four miles of which was through Sir John Marsham's own lands, but after they had proceeded two miles, finding some obstructions, which could not be removed, but by an act, one was procured for the purpose in the 1st year of James II. but nothing further was afterwards done in it, for what reason does not appear.

In the year 838, king Egbert, with the consent of his son king Æthelwulf, gave to Beormod, bishop of Rochester, four plough lands at Snoddinglond and Holanbeorge, with the privilege of leaving them to whomever he pleased; and he granted that the lands should be free from all service, to which he added one mill on the stream, named Holanbeorges bourne, and on the hill belonging to the king fifty loads of wood, and likewife four denberies in the Weald. And in the year 841, Ethelwulf, king of the West Saxons, with the advice of his bishops and great men, gave to the bishop two ploughlands at Holanbeorges, in perpetual inheritance, with the like privilege, and that they should be free from all regal service.

Whilst Ælfstane was bishop of Rochester, who came to the see in 945, and died in 984, one Birtrick, a rich man, who lived at Meopham, with the consent of Elfswithe, his wife, made his testament, and gave, after their deaths, his lands at Snodland to St. Andrew's church at Rochester. (fn. 3)

The bishop of Rochester continued in the possession of this place at the time of taking the general survey of Domesday, about the 15th year of the Conqueror's reign, anno 1080, in which record it is thus entered, under the general title of that bishop's lands:

The same bishop (of Rochester) holds Esnoiland. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was taxed at six sulings, and now at three. The arable land is six carucates. In demesne there are two carucates and ten villeins, with six borderers, having six carucates. There is a church and five servants, and three mills of forty shillings, and thirty acres of meadow, wood for the pannage of four hogs. In the time of king Edward and afterwards, it was worth six pounds, and now nine pounds.

When bishop Gundulph, soon after this, following archbishop Lanfranc's example, separated his revenue from that of his priory, this manor, together with Holborough, continued part of the bishop's possessions, and was confirmed to the church of Rochester by archbishops Anselm and Boniface.

On a taxation of the bishop's manors next year, it appeared that Holeberge was a member of the manor of Halling, and had in it one hundred and ninety-seven acres of arable land, valued at four-pence per acre at the most, as there was no marle there. That there were here fourteen acres of meadow, six acres of pasture, which were salt, and three lately made fresh, each acre at eight-pence, and the mill at twenty shillings per annum.

Hamo, bishop of Rochester, in the year 1323, new built the mill at Holbergh, with timber from Perstede, at the expence of ten pounds. (fn. 4) At which time the bishop seems to have had a park here.

The estate of Snodland with Holborow, still continue part of the possessions of the right reverend the lord bishop of Rochester. William Dalyson, esq. of West Peckham, is the present lessee of the bishop's estate in this parish.

THE FAMILY of Palmer, who bore for their arms, Argent, a chevron between three palmers scrips, sable, tasselled and buckled, or resided for some time in this parish, at a seat they possessed in it, called The courtlodge. Several of them lie buried in the church of Snodland, particularly Thomas Palmer, who married the daughter of Fitzsimond, and died anno 1407. Weaver recites his epitaph thus, now obliterated:
Palmers al our faders were
I, a Palmer, livyd here
And travylled till worne wythe age
I endyd this worlds pylgramage
On the blyst Assention day
In the cherful month of May
A thowsand wyth fowre hundryd seven
And took my jorney hense to Heuen

From him descended the Palmers, of Tottington, in Aylesford, and of Howlets, in Bekesborne, now extinct.

The Palmers were succeeded here by the Leeds's, one of whom, William Leeds, lay interred in this church, whose arms, A fess between three eagles, were engraved in brass on his tomb, but they are now torn away; to whom, in the reign of king Charles I. succeeded the Whitfields, of Canterbury. It afterwards passed into the name of Crow, and from thence to the Mays, and it is now the estate of Mr. John May, of Holborough.

VELES, alias SNODLAND, is a manor in this parish, which in the reign of king Edward I. was held as half a knight's fee, of the bishop of Rochester, by John de Pevenashe, John Harange, and Walter Lad, as coparceners, and in the 20th year of king Edward III. Richard Pevenashe, John de Melford, John Lade, and Richard le Veel, paid aid for it.

This manor seems afterwards to have been wholly vested in the family of Veel, called in deeds likewise Le Vitele, and in Latin Vitulus. After they were extinct here, it passed into the name of Blunt, and from that to Turvye, of whose heirs it was held in the latter end of the reign of king Henry VIII. by Richard Harvey. (fn. 5) It passed, after some intermediate owners, by sale to Crow, and from thence in like manner to Mr. John May, whose two sons, Mr. John and William May, of this parish, afterwards possessed it. The latter died in 1777, on which the entire fee of it became vested in his brother Mr. John May, of Holborough, the present possessor of it.

HOLLOWAY COURT is a seat in this parish, which gave name to a family that resided at it. Henry de Holeweye paid aid for it in the beginning of the reign of king Henry III. (fn. 6) His descendant, William de Holeweye possessed it in the 30th year of king Edward I. from which name it passed into that of Tilghman, who were owners of it in the reign of king Edward III. Many of whom lie buried in this church, bearing for their arms, Per fess sable and argent, a lion rampant regardant, doubled queved counterchanged, crowned, as they were painted in very old glass in the windows of this house. Their pedigree is in Vistn. co. of Kent, anno 1619.

Richard Tilghman possessed it in the reign of king Henry IV. and in his descendants it continued down to Edward Tilghman, esq. who was of Snodland, and was twice married; by his first wife he had a son, Francis, and by his second, two sons, the eldest of whom, Whetenhall Tilghman, had part of his father's lands in this parish, which continued in his descendants till about the year 1680, when they were alienated to Sir John Marsham, bart. whose descendant, the right honorable Charles, lord Romney, is the present possessor of them.

Francis Tilghman, only son of Edward, by his first wife, was of Snodland, and possessed Holoway-court, where he resided in the reign of king James I. but died without surviving issue. He passed away this estate by sale to Clotworthy, descended from those of that name in Devonshire, and he by will gave it to his sister's son, Mr. Thomas Williams, who alienated it to Richard Manley, esq. who resided here, and dying in 1684, was buried in this church, leaving by Martha, daughter of John Baynard, of Shorne, widow of Bonham Faunce, of St. Margaret's, Rochester one son, Charles, and a daughter, Frances, married to Dr. Robert Conny, hereafter-mentioned. He sold Holloway court to Mr. John Conny, of Rochester, surgeon, son of Robert Conny, gent. of Godmanchester, in Huntingdonshire, and bore for his arms, Sable, a fess argent, cotized or, between three conies of the second. On whose decease his eldest son, Robert Conny, of Rochester, M. D. succeeded to it, and he sold it to Thomas Pearce, esq. a commissioner of the navy, whose three sons and coheirs, Thomas, Best, and Vincent Pearce, conveyed it by sale to Mr. John May, and his eldest son, Mr John May, of Holborough, in this parish, now possesses it.


WILLIAM ALISANDER gave by will in 1469, the annual sum of 2l. 12s. to be paid out of land, and to be distributed to the poor in bread, but this has not been paid in the memory of any person now living.

EDWARD GODDEN, gent. gave by will in 1661, to put out poor children apprentices, land vested in the churchwardens and overseers, now of the annual produce of 10l.

SNODLAND is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and deanry of Rochester.

The church is dedicated to All Saints. It is a small mean building with a low pointed steeple.

The church of Snodland has ever been appendant to the manor. It has never been appropriated, but con tinues a rectory in the patronage of the right reverend the lord bishop of Rochester.

Much dispute having arisen between the rector of this parish, and the rector of Woldham, on the opposite side of the river Medway, concerning the tithe of fish caught within the bounds of the parish of Woldham by the parishioners of Snodland, the same was settled, with the consent of both parties, by the bishop of Rochester, 1402, as may be seen more at large in the account of the rectory of Woldham. (fn. 7)

This rectory is valued in the king's books at twenty pounds, and the yearly tenths at two pounds.


PATRONS, Or by whom presented. RECTORS.
Bishop of Rochester Wynand de Dryland, in 1295. (fn. 8)
John de Denyngtone, in 1338. (fn. 9)
William de Meddeltone, in 1346. (fn. 10)
Roger at Cherche, in 1402. (fn. 11)
Thomas Dalby, obt. October 6, 1472. (fn. 12)
Medherst, S. T. P. about 1630. (fn. 13)
John Walyn, admitted in 1681, obt. Jan. 8, 1712. (fn. 14)
Thomas Washer, 1723, obt. 1748.
Lewis Hughes, A. M. 1748, ob. 1793.
Henry Wollaston, 1793, the present rector.


  • 1. Lambarde's Perambulation, p. 192.
  • 2. Rot. Esch. anno 4 and 5 Philip and Mary.
  • 3. See Meopham, vol i. of this History. p. 464.
  • 4. Ang. Sacr. vol. i. p. 363. Reg. Roff. p. 604.
  • 5. Mr. Petitt Fædary of Kent his book.
  • 6. Philipott, p. 322. Reg. Roff. p. 602.
  • 7. See above, p. 160, and Reg. Roff. p. 605.
  • 8. Reg. Roff. p. 260.
  • 9. Ibid. p. 430.
  • 10. Ibid. p. 128.
  • 11. Ibid. p. 606.
  • 12. He lies buried in the chancel of this church.
  • 13. MSS. Twysden.
  • 14. He lies buried in the chancel of this church; his son was minister of Cowdham.