Parishes: Crundal

Pages 368-381

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.

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LIES the next parish north-eastward from Wye. It appears by the register of Leeds abbey, that this parish was likewise once called Dromwæd, which name I conjecture to be the same now called Tremworth; in which register it is said, that Dromewida and Crundale is one and the same parish; Dromewida & Crundale sunt una & eadem villa; and in another place mention is made de Ecclesia de Dromwæd.

It is but a small parish, containing within it not more than twenty-four houses; it is an out of the way situation, having little or no traffic through it. The hills are very frequent in it, and exceedingly barren; the soil is in general chalk, covered with quantities of flints. The country here is very healthy; it is exceeding cold, and has a wild and dreary appearance, great part of it consists of open downs, most of which are uncultivated, those on the eastern side lying on the high ridge of hills adjoining to Wye downs. In the middle of the parish there is some coppice wood, and still more at the north-east boundaries of it.

There are two small streets or hamlets, one in the valley, called Danord, corruptly for Danewood-street; the other eastward from it, on the hills called Solestreet, which is the principal one, where there is a fair for toys and pedlary held yearly on Whit Monday. Close at the end of the former, in the valley, stands the parsonage, a genteel habitable dwelling, and on the hill, about three-quarters of a mile from it the church. About a mile westward, over the hill, is Little Ollantigh, belonging to Samuel-Elias Sawbridge, esq. situated on the downs, this is but a modern name, given to it when the late Mr. Jacob Sawbridge, by his brother's permission, resided at it. It lies among Mr. Sawbridge's park grounds, the land within the inclosure of it being made into gardens for the seat of Ollantigh, and the house for the habitation of the gardeners, and others. Beyond this the downs reach still further westwards, the whole of them being usually called Tremworth downs, from the manor of that name, the house of which is situated on the western bounds of this parish, in the bottom, almost close to the river Stour. The old mansion has been moated round, and many fragments of the arms of Kempe are still remaining both in the windows and carvework of the wainscot and timbers of the house. It had formerly a domestic chapel belonging to it, some of the walls of which are still standing.

ON TREMWORTH DOWN, near the summit of the hill, about three-quarters of a mile from Crundal, there is a hollow road, on each side of which there have been found many remains of a Roman Jepulture; the first discovery of which was made in the year 1703, in the waggon road, where, by the descent of the hill, it was worn hollow, and another was again made in 1713, by the then earl of Winchelsea, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Forster, rector of this parish, who were so successful as to meet with several skeletons, bones, skulls, &c. of persons full grown, as well as children, and many urns, pans, and bottles of lead, coloured and fine red earths in graves, the sides and ends of which were firm close chalk in its natural undisturbed state, the earth near the skeletons being stained with blueish spots of mould, occasioned no doubt by the corruption of the bodies.

Roman urns and vessels from Crundal and Godmersham

But before this there had been taken up about the year 1678, a much larger urn than any found afterwards, in digging for land on the range of the hill eastward from Crundal, though in the parish of Godmersham. This was so large, that it might well have been thought one of those family urns, such as Morton describes in his History of Northamptonshire, from Meric Casaubon's notes on Antoninus, being big enough to hold half a bushel; but there was neither ashes nor bones in it, nor any thing else, but a shallow earthen pan, resembling that marked (3) below, with another little urn or pot standing in the midst of it, of fine red earth, and having some letters on it. It was covered with a flat, broad stone, and fenced round with a wall of flint, to defend it from external injuries. A plate is here given of several of the urns and vessels found as above-mentioned. (fn. 1)

The late Rev. Brian Faussett, of Heppington, in 1757 and 1759, dug very successfully at this place; and in the several graves which he opened, found numbers of urns, offuaries, pateræ, and lacrymatories, both of Roman earthen ware and of glass, of different sizes and colours, as red, lead-colour, dark-brown, and white, with the names of the different manufacturers on many of them. He found likewise several female trinkets, and a coin of the younger Faustina, wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who died in 177 after Christ; and what was very singular, the skeletons, of which he found several, all lay with their feet to the south-west. From the circumstance of finding in some graves, urns with burnt ashes and bones in them, and in others skeletons, it appears that this had been a common burial-place for some length of time; and the finding of the above mentioned coin proves it, without doubt, to have been Roman. Mr. Faussett though it to have been the place of sepulture for some few families, or at most for only two or three of the neighbouring villages. In one place near the graves, from the quantity of black mould in one particular place, different from the rest of the soil near it, he imagined that spot might have been made use of as their ustrina, that is, where the funeral pile was placed to burn the bodies of the dead. All the above remains of Roman antiquity discovered by him are now in the valuable collection of his son Henry Godfrey Faussett, esq. of Heppington.

THE ROYAL MANOR OF WYE claims paramount over this parish, subordinate to which are THE MANORS OF CRUNDAL AND HADLOE, which, with the rest of this parish, were parcel of the honor of Clare, belonging to the noble family of Clare, earls of Gloucester, of whom they were held by the family of Handlou, afterwards written Hadloe, whose seat here was called by their name. John de Handlou possessed these manors in the reign of king Henry III. and died anno 11 Edward I. (fn. 2) possessed of large estates in this and the counties of Oxford, Buckingham, and Gloucester. His son, of the same name, in the 1st year of king Edward II. had a charter of free-warren in all his demesne lands at Crondale, Tremeworth, Vanne, and Ashenedene. He died in the 20th year of king Ed ward III. leaving Edmund his grandson his heir, who possessed his estates here; but he died s. p. in the 32d year of it, and his two sisters, Margaret, then married to John de Apulby, and Elizabeth to John de la Pole, became his heirs to all his estates here, and elsewhere, they sold these manors soon afterwards to Waretius de Valoins, who was before possessed of Tremworth, and other large estates in these parts. He died without male issue, and his two daughters became his coheirs, one of whom married Sir Francis Fogge, grandson of Otho, who came out of Lancashire into Kent, and the other, Thomas de Aldon, who, on the division of their estates, became possessed of these manors of Crundal and Hadloe; and in his descendants they continued till they were at length, by a female heir, carried in marriage to Heron, of Lincolnshire, who, in order to purchase other estates nearer to him in that county, passed away these manors, with the rest of her inheritance in this parish, to Sir Thomas Kempe, of Ollantigh, whose descendant Sir Thomas Kempe dying in 1607, without male issue, his four daughters became his coheirs, one of whom, Mary, married Sir Dudley Diggs, and on the partition of their inheritance, he became in her right entitled to them, and soon afterwards alienated them to Jeremy Gay, of London; from which name they some years afterwards were alienated to John Whitfield, gent. of Canterbury, whose second son Robert Whitfield, of Chartham, about the beginning of king George II.'s reign, passed them away by sale to Humphry Pudner, esq. of Canterbury, whose daughter, and at length sole heir Catherine, carried them in marriage to Thomas Barrett, esq. of Lee, in Ickham, who died possessed of these manors in 1757, leaving Catherine his wife surviving, who then became entitled to them. She died in 1785, upon which they came, by deed of settlement as well as by her will, to her only son and heir Thomas Barrett, esq. of Lee, who within a few months afterwards exchanged them, for Garwinton, in Littleborne, with Thomas Knight, esq. of Godmersham, whose son of the same name dying in 1794, s. p. gave them, together with the estate of Little Winchcombe, in this parish likewise, by will, to Edward Austen, esq. of Rowling-place, now of Godmersham, the eldest son of the Rev. George Austen, rector of Steventon, in Hampshire, who continues the present proprietor of them. A court baron is held for these manors.

Crundale-house is situated at a small distance southeastward from Danord-street. The scite of Hadloe manor is at a small distance still further southward. The house of which has been down time out of mind; but there was a baron on it, called Hadloe-barn, remaining till within these few years, which has been lately likewise pulled down.

WINCHCOMBE is an estate in this parish, which in very early times was the property as well as residence of the family of Carter, ancestors to those of this name now residing at Canterbury, who, according to tradition, were settled here as early as the reign of king Edward II. and in the reign of king Henry VI. Thomas Carter, gent. of Crundall, was returned in the list of those gentlemen of this county, who were entitled to bear the antient arms of their ancestors, which were, Azure, two lions rampant, combatant, or; they continued possessors of this seat, till at length Mr. George Carter, within memory, alienated it to Mr. Thomas Curteis, whose son William dying s. p. by will gave it to his wife Juliana, remarried to William Fenton, esq. of Maidstone, and again on his death, to William Harvey, physician, of Maidstone. She died in 1768, s. p. and by will devised it to her surviving husband for his life, on whose death in 1779, it became by her will the property of her second husband's nephew, Mr.Fenton, who now owns it.

THE MANOR OF TREMWORTH, called in antient Latin deeds, Dromwed and Dromwida, was formerly of such eminent account, that the whole parish was called by that name, and in some of them it is said, that Dromwide and Crundale was one and the same parish; and in others, afterwards when, the above name grew into disuse, Crundale is frequently mentioned as lying in Tremworth.

THE MANOR OF VANNE, or VANNES, was likewise of some note in the time of the Conqueror, being described in the record of Domesday, under the title of the lands beloging to Odo, bishop of Baieux:

Adam holds of the bishop, Fanne. It was taxed at half a sulling. The arable land is one carucate and an half. In demesne there are two carucates, and three villeins, and three servants, and a church, and thirteen acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of ten hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth four pounds, and afterwards twenty shillings, now four pounds. Hugo de Montfort holds from thence as much as is worth twenty shillings.

Which last mentioned land is thus mentioned under the general title of Hugo de Montfort's lands, further on in the same survey:

..and as yet Adam has one denne, which lay in Fane manor. There are two borderers, paying thirty pence. It is and was worth separately five shillings.

About four years after the taking of the above survey, the bishop of Baieux was disgraced, and all his possessions were forfeited to the crown, soon after which the seignory of these manors was granted by it to the family of Clare, earls of Gloucester, of whom they were again held by the family of Valoigns. Ruallon de Valoigns possessed both these manors at the latter end of king Stephen's reign, as did his descendant Allen de Valoigns in the next reign of king Henry II. who resided at times both at Tremworth, and kepton, in Ashford. He was sheriff from the 30th year to the end of that reign, and is frequently written in the Pipe-rolls, Valoigns of Tremworth. Waretius de Valoyns, for so the name was then written, kept his shrievalty here in the 31st and 32d year of king Edward I. Soon after which the Handloes, who were likewise owners before of much land in this parish, were become possessed of both these manors; for in the 1st year of king Edward II. John de Handlo had a grant of free warren, for his lands in Tremworth, Vanne, and Crundale, as well as on his other estates. His grandson Edmund succeeded to them, as well as to the advowson of the church of Crundale; but he died s. p. in the 29th year of king Edward the IIId.'s leaving his two sisters, viz. Margaret, then wife of John Appulby, and Elizabeth of Edmund de la Pole, his coheirs, the former of whom dying s. p. the entire fee of these manors, as well as of the advowson above-mentioned, as part of their inheritance, came into the possession of Edmund de la Pole and Elizabeth his wife, being held of the king in capite. (fn. 3) Soon after which they seem to have come again into the hands of the crown; for in the 43d year of that reign, Ingelran-de Ghisnes, lord of Couci, afterwards earl of Bedford and count of Soissons, who had married Isabel, that king's daughter, obtained a grant of the manors of Tremworth and Vanne. He died anno 21 Richard II. leaving by her two daughters his heirs, Mary, married to Henry de Barre, and Philippa, to Robert de Vere, duke of Ireland; but these manors, with the advowson of Crundal, on his dying without heirs male, reverted according to the limitation in the grant, again to the crown, whence they were immediately afterwards granted to Henry Yevele, for his life, and as quickly afterwards the reversion of them to the master and chaplains of the college of Maydenstone, then lately founded by archbishop Courtney, in free and pure, perpetual alms, which was confirmed by king Henry IV. in his 1st year, by inspexi mus; and in the possession of the college they continued till the suppression of it in the 1st year of king Edward VI. anno 1546, when they came into the king's hands, who in his 3d year, granted the manors of Tremworth and Faynes, with the advowson of the church of Crundal, late belonging to the above college, to Sir Thomas Cheney, to hold in capite by knight's service, and his son Henry, lord Cheney, in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, alienated them to Sir Thomas Kempe, of Ollantigh, whose son, of the same name, dying without male issue in 1607, devised the manor of Tremworth, with the advowson of the church of Crundal, by will to his brother Reginald, who afterwards resided here. He died at Tremworth in 1622, and was buried in this church, leaving one son Thomas, who died s. p. and three daughters, who at length became his coheirs. Anne, married to Josias Clarke; Amy, to Maurice Tuke, of Essex; and Dorothy, to Denny; and in the pertition of their inheritance, the manor of Tremworth, with other lands adjoining, and the advowson of the church of Crundal, was allotted to Maurice Tuke, in right of his wife. They left an only daughter and heir Dorothy, who carried this manor and advowson in marriage to Sir Robert Filmer, bart. of East Sutton, who died possessed of them in 1675, as did his greatgrandson Sir John Filmer, bart. of East Sutton, in 1797, s. p. and by will gave them to his next brother, now Sir Beversham Filmer, bart. of East Sutton, who is the present possessor of them. A court baron is regularly held for this manor.

CAKES YOKE is a manor here, adjoining to the parish of Wye, in which, as appears by an arbitration in the hands of the owner of this manor, the scite of it is proved to be within that parish, though it has for a length of time paid both to the church and poor of Crundal. This manor, by tradition, was in the name of Chapman for a very considerable length of time, and continued so, till at length William Chapman, gent. of Crundal, leaving an only daughter and heir Margaret, she entitled her husband William Laming, gent. of Wye, to the possession of it, and he died possessed of it in 1756, whose eldest son Mr. John Laming succeeded him, and he is the present owner of it.


SIR THOMAS KEMPE, by deed in 1503, gave all the trees near or about the church-yard, as a succour and defence to the church. They stand in a piece of ground on the west side of it, which now belongs to the owner of Ollantigh.

THERE has been, time out of mind, two quit-rents paid, each of three-halfpence a years, one out of two acres of land, the other out of a tenement, both at Hessole-street, in the possession of Mr. Ayling; and another quit-rent, of 6d. per annum, out of two acres lying at Little Crundal, now in the possession of Mr. Laming. All three are constantly applied by the churchwardens to the repair of the church.

RICHARD FORSTER, rector of this parish, by will in 1728, gave a parochial library; also two acres of land, lying on the north side of Denwood-street, and a yearly rent charge of 40s. out of a tenement called Little Ripple, in this parish, and the land belonging to it in Crundal and Godmersham, and another yearly rent of 4l. out of a house and lands belonging to it, adjoining to the above street, in this parish, for the use of his successors, rectors of Crundal, for ever.

N. B. This last rent charge of 4l. per annum has been sold, by the consent of the ordinary, patron, and incumbent, and the money laid out in the purchasing of about six acres of land, lying adjoining to Denwood-street, as an augmentation of the glebe.

MR. FORSTER likewise gave a house and an acre of land, lying at Filchborow, in Crundal, and a field, called Harman Hewett, or the Barn-field, containing six acres, lying in Godmersham, to be applied by the minister of the parish and officers, to the teaching of poor children to read and say the Church Catechism, or else to the relief of poor widows and labourers, belonging to and being in this parish; so that yearly on Easter Tuesday 20s. be distributed among such persons.

THOMASINE PHILIPOT, Widow, by will in 1711, left a yearly pension of 10s. out of her house and lands at Sole-street, in Crundal, to the poor of this parish for ever, to be distributed among them by the churchwardens on Christmas-day.

JOHN FINCH, gent. of Limne, by will in 1705, gave 40s. without any deduction, upon Christmas-day for ever, payable out of his lands in Crundal and Godmersham, by the church wardens and overseers of Godmersham, to two of the eldest, poorest, and most industrious labouring men in the parish of Crundal, and who never received relief of this or any other parish, that is, 20s. to each of them yearly on Christmas-day for ever.

Crundal is within the ECCLISIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the discese of Canterbury, and deanry of Bridge.

The church, which stands on high grounds, is dedicated to St. Mary. It consists of one isle and one chancel, with a tower Steeple on the north side, having a small pointed low turret on the top. There are three bells in it. In the church-porch is a coffin-shaped stone, with a cross story on it, and round the edge there have been large French capital letters, of which three or four only remain. At the west end of the isle is a vauk, in which life Jacob Sawbridge, esq. and Anne his wife, who once resided at Little Ollantigh, in this parish, with two of their children, who died insants. In the chancel is a large white stone, with the figure and inscription on it, for John Sprot, once rector here; and there was in this church, a memorial for Judith Cerclere Mission, who fied from France on account of her religion, and, after many perils and dangers, arrived at London in 1685, obt. 1692. The altar piece was given by Sir Robert Filmer, bart. in 1704. In the church-yard, on the south side, is a tomb for the worthy and beneficent Richard Forster, rector here, and near it a handsome white marble one, for Mrs. Juliana Harvey and her husband William Harvey, M.D.

The rectory of Crundal was given by the family of Valoyns, in the reign of king Henry II. by the name of the church of Dromwide, to the prior and convent of Leeds, in perpetual alms; (fn. 4) but this never took effect, nor did they ever gain the possession of it, the heirs of the donor of it refusing to ratify this gift, so that there were continual controversies on that account. At length it was agreed, at the instance of archbishop Hubert, that Hamo de Valoyns should grant a rent of 25s. from his church of Dromwæd to the prior and canons for ever; saving to him and his heirs, the presentation to the church, so that the canons should not claim any further right to themselves, nor present to the parsonage in it, nor do any other act to bring his grant into doubt. All which the archbishop confirmed under his seal, by inspeximus. Notwithstanding this, the payment of the above pension seems to have been contested by the rectors of this church; but, on appeal to the pope in king Henry the IIId.'s reign, it was given in favour of the canons, to be paid yearly to them by the rectors of this church, nomine beneficii; and all these confirmations of the several archbishops were again confirmed by the prior and convent of Canterbury in 1278. After which this church remained in the patronage of the lords of Tremworth manor, with which it continued in like manner as has been already mentioned, till it came into the possession of the late Sir John Filmer, bart. who by will in 1796 devised it with that manor to his brother Sir Beversham Filmer, bart. the present proprietor of it. The above-mentioned pension of 25s. on the suppression of the priory of Leeds, came into the king's hands, who settled it on his new founded dean and chapter of Rochester, to whom it now continues to be paid.

This rectory is valued in the king's books at 11l. 10s. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 3s. 1d.

In 1588 it was valued at eighty pounds. Communicant one hundred and ninety-one. In 1640 it was valued at only sixty pounds. Communicants one hundred. In 1615 the rector and churchwardens testified, that there was one parcel of glebe, containing eight acres, adjoining to the close where the parsonage-house stood; and there is now six acres more of glebe lying near Denwood-street, purchased by the rector and church wardens, as has been mentioned before, in the list of charitable benefactions.

THERE IS a portion of corn tithes in this parish, arising from different fields and parts of others, containing in the whole about one hundred acres, called Towne-barn tithery, which was for many years in the family of Finch, earls of Winchelsea, and from them came to George Finch Hatton, esq. of Eastwell, the present owner of it.

There was a portion of tithes, called belonging to the tithes of Fannes, in this parish and Wye, belonging to the priory of Stratford Bow, which on the suppression in the reign of king Henry VIII. was granted to Sir Ralph Sadler, to hold in capite. This seems to have been the portion of tithes above-mentioned, rather than for it to have been belonging to Wye college, as has been generally supposed.

Church of Crundal.

Or by whom presented.
Thomas Allen, gent. Ralph Johnson, June 27, 1587, obt. 1632. (fn. 5)
Stephen Thomas, A. M. Nov. 5, 1632, obt. 1650. (fn. 6)
Richard Allen, senior, in 1663, obt. 1671. (fn. 7)
Robert Filmer, esq. Richard Allen, jun. A. M. May 18, 1671, obt. 1693. (fn. 8)
Sir Robert Filmer, bart. John Rumney, A. M. May 30, 1694, obt. 1698. (fn. 9)
Richard Forster, A. M. inducted June 4, 1698, obt. January, 1729. (fn. 10)
Silas Drayton, A. M. Feb. 13, 1729, resigned 1751. (fn. 11)
Sir Edward Filmer, bart. Edm. Filmer, A. B. July 5, 1751, the present rector. (fn. 12)


  • 1. The dimensions of them were as follows, No. (1) was about 4¼ inches high; No. (2) the least of all, 3, I line; No. (4) was 5 I inches high, the diameter of the orifice within, 1 1 inch, and of the foot without, 1 inch. No. (6) was 3 4 inches high, the diameter at the top, from out to out, 3 25 inches, and that of the bottom, 2 25. No. (7) was in height 4 inches, the diameter of the top, from out to out, 3–5– the bottom, 1–9.
  • 2. See Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 61, 62; and vol. ii. of this history, p. 187.
  • 3. Dugd. Bar, Vol. ii. p. 61. Kennet's Paroch. Antiq. p. 501.
  • 4. See the Register of Leeds abbey.
  • 5. He was buried in this church.
  • 6. Rym. Fœd. vol. xix. p. 443, 539. He was buried here, and in the register is stiled gentleman.
  • 7. He was buried here, and in the register is likewise stiled gentleman.
  • 8. He was buried here. See Sufferings of the Quakers, p. 10.
  • 9. He was likewise vicar of Sutton Valence, where he died.
  • 10. Then rector of Beckley, in Sussex, and afterwards vicar of Eastchurch, in Shepey. He was a liberal benefactor to this rectory, as well as to the parish, almost rebuilding the parsonage house, and leaving by his last will several legacies, both for the benefit of his successors and the poor of his parish; besides which, in his life-time, he new pewed and beautified the chancel of this church. He was a man of excellent piety and charity, and endowed with every qualification to make him memorable and praise-worthy.
  • 11. He resigned this rectory for the vicarage of Postling. He died in 1767, and was buried here.
  • 12. And in 1759 by dispensation rector of Hinxhill. He is next brother to Sir Beversham Filmer, bart.