Parishes: Wichling

Pages 549-553

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

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IS the next parish north-westward from Otterden. It is called in the book of Domesday, Winchelesmere; in antient deeds, Winchelinges; and in later ones, Wynchelyng and Wichling.

THIS PARISH is the whole of it situated in the division of West Kent, is much like that of Otterden last described. It lies upon the hill, close on the east side of the valley, through which the road leads from Ospringe through Doddington to Hollingborne-hill and Maidstone. The lands init are very barren, and abound with flints, and on the western side they are mostly chalk, and much covered with coppice wood. It is a lonely unfrequented place, of but little or no thoroughfare, and what village there is, stands round a green near the church, at a small distance from which is the parsonage.

THIS PARISH was part of those estates, given by William the Conqueror to his half-brother Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is described in the survey of Domesday as follows:

Hugo, the grandson of Herbert, holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Winchelesmere. It was taxed at half a suling. The arable land is one carucate, and there is in demesne with three servants, and a church, and wood for the pannage of five hogs, and in the time of king Edward the Confessor, there were three houses in Canterbury belonging to this manor, paying forty pence. The whole in the time of king Edward the Confessor, was worth one hundred shillings, and afterwards, and now, forty shillings.

Uluiet held it of king Edward, and could go whither he pleased.

About four years after taking the above survey, the bishop was disgraced, and the king his brother seized on all his estates. After which, this manor came into the possession of Jeffry de Peverel, to whom it was assigned for his assistance in the defence of Dover-castle, and with other lands made up the barony of Peverel, as it was called, being held of that castle in capite by barony.

In the reign of Henry III. it was in the tenure of John de Mares, (fn. 1) and after him of Fulk de Peyforer, in the same reign, whose descendant William Peyforer, in the 20th year of Edward III. held it of the king in capite, as three parts of a knight's see, at Wichling, held of the honor of Peverel, and by ward to the castle of Dover. He alienated this manor soon afterwards to Roger Northwood, who died possessed of it in the 35th year of that reign, holding it by the service before-mentioned. In his descendants it continued down to John Northwood, esq. who died possessed of it anno 4 Henry V. leaving his two sisters his coheirs, who entitled their husbands, John Barley, esq. of Hertfordshire, and Sir John Norton, of this county, to their respective shares in it.

After which, the dean and canons of the college or free chapel of St. Stephen, in Westminster, seem to have become entitled to this manor, which, in the reign of king Henry VII. was in the tenure of John Dygges, esq. of Barham, who died possessed of it in the 19th year of that reign, holding it, as was found by the inquisition taken after his death, of the abovementioned dean and canons, by homage and fealty, and the service of three parts of one knight's see, and the yearly payment to the king's castle of Dover, as before-mentioned.

The dean and canons continued the proprietors of this manor till the dissolution of their college, which happened in the 1st year of king Edward VI. in consequence of the act for the suppression of all free-chapels, colleges, chantries, &c. by which they, as well as all their lands, revenues, &c. were surrendered up into the king's hands.

The year after which, this manor was surveyed by order of the king's court of augmentation, when it was returned, that it belonged to the late college of St. Stephen, and was of the yearly value of 6l. 6s. 8d. and that there was payable yearly out of it six-pence, to the sheriff twenty-five shillings for blanch-rent, and 1½d. for castle-guard rent to Dover-castle.

King Edward VI. in his 3d year, granted this manor, with all its liberties and privileges, (fn. 2) among others late belonging to the above-mentioned college, to Sir Thomas Cheney, with all its liberties and privileges, knight of the garter, lord warden, &c. whose son Henry, lord Cheney, about the middle of queen Elizabeth's reign, alienated this manor to Edward Filmer, esq. afterwards knighted by that queen, who was of East Sutton, in this county. His great-grandson Robert Filmer, esq. of East Sutton, was created a baronet in 1674, from whom this manor has descended down to Sir Beversham Filmer, bart. of East Sutton, the present possessor of it.

There are no charities belonging to this parish. The poor constantly relieved are about four, and casually ten.

WICHLING is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sittingborne.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Margaret, consists of one small isle and a chancel, having a low pointed steeple at the west end of it. In it there is a memorial for Robard Filmar, of Wichelin, next brother to Sir Edward Filmer, the purchaser of this manor, who died in 1615; and one likewise for Annys, widow of Raynold Filmar, (fourth son of Sir Edward above-mentioned) who died in 1616. This church seems formerly to have been an appendage to the manor of Wichling; however that be, the family of Northwood possessed the advowson of it at the different periods of time in which they held the manor; and John Northwood died possessed of both anno 4 Henry V.s. p. leaving his two sisters his coheirs, who entitled their husbands, John Barley, esq. and Sir J. Norton to their respective inrerests in them.

After which, this advowson seems to have passed from them through the like chain of owners as the manor of Harrietsham, lately described, did, to William Stede, esq. of Harrietsham, and from him to William Stede, LL. D. who in the year 1656 sold it to Thomas Conway, whose descendant Michael Wilkins Conway, in 1763, alienated it to Unwin, and he has since, for two hundred and fifty pounds conveyed it by sale to Springhall, the present owner of it.

This rectory is a discharged living in the king's books, of the clear yearly certified value of twenty four pounds, the yearly tenths being 8s. 2d.

In 1640 it was valued at fifty-five pounds. Communicants thirty-six.

In Tanner's Monast. p. 208, mention is made of pat. 18 Edward III. p.1. m.10. pro Capella de Wicheling, among the possessions of Minster nunnery in Shepey.

Church of Wichling.

Or by whom presented.
James Partrich. Thomas Partrich, June 3, 1585, obt.1605.
Stede, family of, William Wilcocke, A.B. Sept. 27, 1605, obt. 1628. (fn. 3)
William Culpeper, February 8, 1628. (fn. 4)
The Crown, hac vice. Michael Hudson, A. M. April 22, 1653. (fn. 5)
William Stede, LL. D. Thomas Conway, A.M. Nov. 1, 1661.
The Crown, hac vice. Thomas Conway, jun. A. B. Dec. 6, 1690, obt. 1711.
Mary Conway. Thomas Nicholson, A. M. Nov. 21, 1711, obt. 1763.
Edward Baker. Arthur Clarke, A. B. Feb. 21, 1763, resigned 1767.
Mr. Richard Shringhall. William Dormer, A. B. June 2, 1767, obt. Jan. 12, 1788.
William Wrighte, 1789, the present rector.


  • 1. Register of St. Augustine's monastery, cart. 441.
  • 2. Rot. Esch. an. 3 Edw. VI. pt. 3. Coke's Entries, p. 106.
  • 3. He lies buried in this church.
  • 4. Walk. Suff. Clergy, pt. ii. p. 220.
  • 5. Rym. Fœd. vol. xix. p. 539.