Parishes: Nettlested

Pages 118-126

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.

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SOUTHWARD from watringbury lies Nettlested, called in Domesday, Nedested.

This PARISH lies on the western bank of the Medway, which is its eastern boundary, whence the ground rises up to the grounds of Roydon-hall, at the opposite side of it. It is within the district of the Weald. The situation is low, and rather of a gloomy aspect, from the number of spreading and losty oaks, and elm trees interspersed throughout it; the soil a fertile clay, consisting much of it of rich grazing land like that already described in the adjoining parish of East Peckham, though it is equally fertile for the growth of corn and hops in the upper parts of it. The high road from Maidstone through Watringbury to Tunbridge, branches off from Watringbury, and leads through this parish, not far from the bank of the river; in the northern part of it is the church, and at some distance from it the remains of the antient Place bonse, by which it appears to have been built of stone, with handsome sized gothic windows; on a stone portal, in the west front is the date 1587, probably that of some large repair or addition made to it, as the other parts of the building carry with them marks of much greater antiquity. The grand entrance to the house from the river is yet standing. The form of the antient gardens with the ponds are yet remaining. The mansion appears to have been spacious and noble, equal to the respectable families who once resided in it, though now it is for the most part over-run with weeds and spontaneous shrubs, and bears with it every mark of that vicissitude and ruin which is the inevitable lot of the transitous labours of man, however his utmost endeavours may have been exerted to prevent it. It is now made use of as an oast to dry hops, and for a labourere to dwell in, the occupier of the manor farm living in a modern house between it and the church, hence the road leads through the village built at Nettlested-green, whence it divides, that to the left leading towards the river at Twyfordbridge, and the other strait forward through Hailstreet to it at Brandt-bridge, both leading towards the southern parts of the Weald and Suffex. The groves of young oaks, elms, and other trees, planted along the borders of the river Medway, contribute greatly to the beauty of the scenery, which is considerably heightened by the rich gardens of hops, and the dif ferent dwellings and cottages intervening at frequent spaces between them.

This parish, with others in this neighbourhood, was antiently bound to contribute to the repair of the fifth pier of Rochester bridge.

IN THE REIGN of William the Conqueror, this place was part of the possessions of the king's halfbrother, Odo, bishop of Baieux and earl of Kent, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in the survey of Domesday, taken about the year 1080.

Haimo holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Nedestede. It was taxed at three sulings. The arable land is six carucates. In demesne there is one, and fourteen villeins, having five carucates. There is a church, and fourteen servants, and two mills of fourteen shillings, and a fishery of two shillings, and seven acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of thirty-five bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth eight pounds, afterwards six pounds, now eight pounds and five shillings. Norman held it of king Edward.

Of this manor the bishop has thirty shillings and two houses.

And again in another place, in the same record:

Adam holds of the bishop (of Baieux) one yoke in Pimpa. The arable land is . . . He has there half a carucate, with two servants, and four acres of meadow and half a fishery, untaxed; wood for the pannage of six bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth six shillings, and afterwards five shillings, now ten shillings, yet it pays fifteen shillings. Godric held it of king Edward.

By another entry in the same book it appears, that Rayner, or Rannulf de Columbels, who held the manor of West Farleigh under the bishop, as one suling, held likewise another part of this estate, for after the description of his holding that manor it thus continues.

Of this suling Rayner (de Columbus) holds one yoke of the bishop in the manor of Pimpe, and he has there one carucate with nine servants, and three acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of four hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth twenty shillings, now forty shillings. Alnod Cilt held it of king Edward.

On the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux, about four years after the taking of the above survey, all his estates became confiscated to the crown, and these mentioned above, which comperhended the manors of Nettlested, with those of Hylth and Pimpe, were afterwards held of the Clares, earls of Gloucester, as chief lords of the fee, by the eminent family of Pimpe, who took their name from the latter of them, making it the principal seat of their residence, though they had another seat afterwards in East Farleigh, in this neighbourhood, and a third at Alhallows, in the hundred of Hoo. They bore for their arms, Gules, two bars argent, a chief vaire, as they now remain painted in the windows of this church.

Richard de Pimpe held these manors in the reigns of king Edward I. and II. and his descendant, Sir Philip de Pimpe, was a man of eminence and property in this county, as appears by his being one of those, who in the 11th year of king Edward III. were, in respect to their estates, assessed to furnish a guard for the defence of the sea coasts; towards which Sir Philip was ordered to provide two men at arms. (fn. 1)

His widow Joane married John de Coloigne, who, together with her son, Sir Thomas de Pimpe, paid respective aid for their lands in Nettlested, and adjoining to it, in the 20th year of king Edward III. that is to say,

"For the manor of Nettlested, the manor of Hylth and Hylth park, with other lands in Nettlested and Hylth, for the manor of Pimpe, in Nettlested, Crongebery, and Pimpe, all which were held of the earl of Gloucester, as chief lord of the see.

William, son of Sir Thomas de Pimpe, possessed Nettlested, and kept his Shrievalty here in the 37th, 45th, and 49th years of king Edward III. in which year he died, and his son, Reginald de Pimpe, of Pimpe's-court, in East Farleigh, on his death, served that office the remainder of that year.

His descendants continued to reside at Pimpe'scourt, in this parish, two of whom, Reginald and John Pimpe, unsuccessfully engaging, with others, in assisting Henry, duke of Buckingham, against king Richard III. were attainted, and their estates were declared forfeited to the crown. But on the death of king Richard, and the earl of Richmond's attaining the crown, they were restored in blood and estates. Reginald Pimpe died without male issue, leaving an only daughter and heir Anne, for whom an act had passed in the 1st year of that reign, and she married to Sir John Scott, of Scotts-hall, and John Pimpe, in the 2d year of king Henry VII. kept his Shrievalty at Pimpe's-court, in East Farleigh. He died in the 11th year of that reign, anno 1495, being then possessed of the manor, with the advowson of the church of Nettlested, the manor of Hilthe, and also the manor of Pimpe, with its appurtenances, in this parish and Yalding, and certain other lands and tenements in Yalding, all held of the duchess of Buckingham. He left an only daughter and heir, Winifred, married to Sir John Rainsford, who in her right possessed this manor. He died S.P. 1st Elizabeth, leaving his wife surviving, who appears by the escheat rolls to have been a lunatie, and to have died possessed of these manors and estates in the 18th year of that reign; when Sir Thomas Scott, of Scotts-hall, (grandson of Sir John Scott above-mentioned) seems to have succeeded to them, as her next of kin, and his second son, Sir John Scott, possessed it afterwards, and resided at Nettlested, which by the date remaining on the ruins of it, he seems to have made great additions to. He was twice married, but left issue by neither of his wives, and these manors and their appurtenances, came on his death to his brother, Edward Scott, esq. of Scottshall, whose descendant, George Scott, esq. of Scottshall, alienated the manors of Nettlested, Health and Pimpe, with the mansion and advowson of the church of Nettlested, by authority of an act of parliament passed anno 10 and 11 William III. to Sir Philip Boteler, bart. of Teston, whose son, Sir Philip Boteler, bart. died possessed of them in 1772, having by his will devised one moiety of his estates to Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, of Chart Sutton, and the other moiety to Elizabeth, viscountess dowager of Folkestone, and William Bouverie, earl of Radnor, both since deceased; and on a partition of his estates between them, the manors and estates of Nettlested, with the appendant advowson, were among others. allotted to Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, now of T'eston, the present possessor of them.

THE MANOR of LOMEWOOD, alias Laysers, formerly called Lomewood, alias Bromes, in this parish, was part of the possessions of the family of Clare, earls of Gloucester, and was settled by one of them on the priory of Black Canons, at Tunbridge, in this county.

This manor continued part of the revenues of the above priory till its dissolution in the 16th year of king Henry VIII. After which the king, in his 17th year, granted the above priory, with others then suppressed for the like purpose, together with all their manors, lands, and possessions, to Cardinal Wolsey, for the better endowment of his college, called Cardinal college, in Oxford.

But four years afterwards, the cardinal being cast in a præmunire, all the possessions of the college, which through want of time had not been firmly settled on it, became forfeited to the crown, (fn. 2) and the king, in his 27th year, granted this manor of Lomewood, alias Le Bromys, with all lands, &c. belonging to it in this parish, to Sir Edward Nevill, third son of George Nevill, lord Abergavenny, who, in consideration of a marriage to be had between his daughter Katherine, and George Roydon, son and heir apparent of Thomas Roydon, esq. of East Peckham, and of a certain sum paid to him, conveyed it, by the name of Cardinals lands, called Bromes, in Lomewood, to Thomas Roydon above-mentioned.

On the death of whose sons without issue, his five daughters became his coheirs; the second of whom, Elizabeth, as part of her share of the inheritance, entitled her husband, William Twysden, esq. of Chelmington, to this manor, then held in capite, and in his descendants it has continued down to Sir William Jarvis Twysden, bart. of Roydon-hall, in East Peckham, who is the present possessor of it.


JOHN THUNDER, about the year 1756, gave by will 5s. worth of bread, to be distributed yearly on Good Friday, to the poor of this parish for forty years, which term is now expired.

Nettlested is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the dioceseof Rochester and deanryof Malling.

The church, which stands at the east side of the village, is dedicated to St. Mary. It is a small but handsome building, with a low pointed tower or steeple. There are good remains of painted glass in it.

The church of Nettlested was always esteemed an appendage to the manor, and as such is now in the patronage of Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, of Teston.

Edmund, bishop of Rochester, anno 1486, at the instance of John Pimpe, esq. lord of the manor, and patron of the church of Barmingjett, united that church to this of Nettlested; and decreed, that after such union the former should not be esteemed as a church, but as a chapel, dependent, united, and annexed to this church of Nettlested; the rector of which and his successors should for the future have and enjoy all profits, tithes, and emoluments, &c. belonging to the church of Barmingjett, and convert and freely dispose of the same to his and their own proper uses for ever. And he decreed, that the rector and his successors should in future pay yearly to the bishop of Rochester and his successors, twenty pence, and to the archdeacon twelve pence yearly, in lieu of such payments as belonged to them of antient custom from the church of Barmingjett, before the annexing and consolidating of the same. (fn. 3)

In which situation it continues at this time; the rector of Nettlested being presented, instituted and inducted to, the rectory of Nettlested, with the chapel of Barmingjett annexed.

It is valued in the king's books, with the chapel of Barmingjett annexed, at 12l. 10s. 10d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 5s. 1d.

The learned Sir Roger Twysden, who lived in the reigns of king James and Charles I. in his discourse on the Weald, says, that in the time of the lady Golding, who hired the tithes of this parish, Nettlested was held to be in the Weald, and she denied the tithe of wood accordingly; yet the rector of it affirmed then to Sir Roger, that all, who had wood in the parish, paid tithe of it at that time to him, excepting himself.

The parsonage-house is a large antient well timbered building, having a court-yard before it, and an antient gateway, through which is the entrance to it from the high road.

Church of Nettlested, with the Chapel of Barmingjett annexed.

Or by whom presented.
Lords of the manor of Nettlested. Thomas Hundbache, 1486. (fn. 4)
William Jemmat, about 1625. (fn. 5)
John Pattenden, A. M. about 1630 (fn. 6)
Deacon, ejected 1662. (fn. 7)
Samuel Rhodes, A. M. obt. 1714.
Thomas Brewer, gent. obt. April 1, 1714. (fn. 8)
John Richards, A. M. (fn. 9)
Duncan Menzies, A. M. instit. 1761, obt. Sept. 27, 1781. (fn. 10)
James Ramsey, 1781, obt. 1789. (fn. 11)
John Kennedy, 1789, the present rector. (fn. 12)


  • 1. See Alhallows in Hoo, vol. iii. of this history, p. 29.
  • 2. See Lesnes abbey in Erith, where a further account is given of the foundation and endowment of this college, v. ii. p. 252.
  • 3. Reg. Roff. p. 162. See more of this under West Barming, alias Barmingjett.
  • 4. Reg. Roff. p. 162.
  • 5. See Wood's Ath. Ox. vol. ii. p. 607.
  • 6. MSS. Twysden.
  • 7. He was ejected by the Bartholomew Act.
  • 8. He was the son of Thomas Brewer, esq of West Farleigh. He lies buried in this church, and on his gravestone is stiled the Rev. Thomas Brewer, gent.
  • 9. Also vicar of Teston. He afterwards went distracted.
  • 10. And vicar of Teston.
  • 11. In 1782 a dispensation passed for his holding this rectory with Teston vicarage.
  • 12. And vicar of Teston.