The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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THE next parish south-eastward from Leeds is Bromfield, called in Domesday, Brunfelle, and probably took its name from the quantities of broom and heath, with which the greatest part of this parish was then covered.
THE PARISH of Bromfield extends towards the north as far as Leeds-castle, part of which, as well as of the park, is within the bounds of it. The Lenham rivulet flows through the northern part of it. Near the stream there is some tolerable fertile meadow ground. The church is situated on a rise on the northern side of the parish, which is but of moderate extent from east to west; above the church the lands are poor and heathy, where there is a warren, which has for a long time been the property of the owners of Leeds-castle, as it is now of the Rev. Dr. Fairfax. Towards the south the parish extends further, near two miles, quite across Kingswood, (a large tract of wood, being three miles long and one broad) to Chartway street, near the summit of the quarry hills, the northern side of which street is in this parish, and opposite one in East Sutton, near which the soil partakes much of the quarry stone. There is no village, and but few habitations in the parish; towards the eastern part of it is the small manor of Roses; there is a fair held here on Whit-Monday yearly. Besides which there is not any thing further in this parish worth notice.
THIS PLACE was part of those possessions, given by William the Conqueror to his half-brother Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is entered in the survey of Domesday as follows:
The same Robert (Latinus) holds to ferme Brunfelle. Adelold held it of the bishop. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is... In demesne there are two carucates, and five villeins, with ten borderers, having one carucate and an half. There is one mill of six shillings and eight pence, and pasture of fifteen shillings. There are twelve servants, and eight acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of twenty bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth four pounds, now one hundred shillings. Alumin held it of earl Goduin. To this manor there belonged certain free land for three oxen, and was worth five shillings.
After the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux, and the confiscation of his estates, about four years after the taking of the above survey, this place, with the adjoining parish of Leeds, was granted by the Conqueror to the noble family of Crevequer, of whom it was held afterwards by a family, who took their surname from it; one of whom, William de Bromfeld, held it in the reign of Henry II. as one quarter of a knight's fee. In the reign of king Edward I. Henry de Hoo held this estate of the barony of Crevequer; after which, it seems to have been blended in the same vicissitude of owners, that the manor of Leeds was, of which a more ample account may be found under the description of that manor and castle, and as such this manor is now in the possession of the Rev. Dr. Denny Martin Fairfax, of Leeds-castle.
MRS. ELIZABETH CAYSER, of Hollingborne, widow, by will in 1612, left a sum of money to buy a piece of land, which has been since purchased in that parish, and out of the rent of it, she directed, that yearly on the anniversary of her death, which happened on Sept. 22, 1615, five shillings should be distributed among the poorest persons of this parish, by the minister, churchwardens, and overseers of it, for the time being. (fn. 1)
The poor constantly relieved are about nine, and casually eighteen.
BROMFIELD is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sutton.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Margaret, was given by Robert de Crevequer to the priory of Ledes, on his foundation of it, together with that of Ledes, and the advowsons of all the churches of the barony of Crevequer; which gift was confirmed from time to time by his descendants, and by Edward III. in his 41st year, by his letters of inspeximus, and by several archbishops of Canterbury. After which, it appears to have been esteemed as a chapel to the church of Leeds, and as such to have been included in the several valuations made of that church. In which state it continued till the dissolution of the priory of Leeds, in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when it was, with all its possessions, surrendered up into the king's hands, since which, being esteemed as a chapel to the church of Leeds, it has passed as such, down to the present time, and under the like circumstances, being now as a chapel to that church, held in lease by John Calcraft, esq. of Leeds-abbey, as has been more fully related before, under the description of Leeds church.
A list of the curates of this church has already been given under the description of the church of Leeds.