Parishes: Brooke

Pages 381-384

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 southward from Wye. It is written in antient records both Broc and Broke, and takes its name from its low situation on the stream which runs through it, baroca in Saxon signifying a rivulet. It seems once to have been accounted a hundred of itself; but at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in the year 1080, it was reputed to be in the hundred of Wye, as it is now.

The parish is very small, and is but little known, lying out of the way of all traffic and throughfare. It is not more than a mile across each way, and has in it about twenty houses. It lies very low and wet, in a deep miry soil. There is some coppice wood in the southern part of it, about forty-three acres, of which twenty-eighty belong to the dean and chapter of Canterbury. The village is nearly in the centre of the parish, having the church at the north end of it. There is a small hamlet, called Little Bedleston, consisting of only two houses, in the eastern part of the parish, close under the high ridge of hills called Braborne-downs, to the foot of which this parish extends eastward.

BROOKE was given, long before the conquest, by Karlemann, a priest, to the church of Canterbury; but it was wrested from the church in the troublesome times which soon after followed, by reason of the Danish wars, and it continued in lay hands at the accession of the Conqueror; soon after which it appears to have been in the possession of Hugh de Montfort, from whom archbishop Lanfranc recovered Brooke again to his church in the solemn assembly of the whole county, held on this occassion by the king's command, at Pinenden-heath in 1076; and then on the division which the archbishop made of the lands of his church, this manor was allotted by him, among others, to the share of the priory of Christ-church, Canterbury; accordingly it is thus entered among the possessions of it, in the survey of Domesday, under the general title of Terra Monachorum Archiepi, i. e. lands of the monks of the archbishops;

In the hundred of Wi, the archbishop himself holds one manor, which was taxed at one suling, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, and now, for half a suling. The arable land is two carucates. In demesne there is one, and three villeins, with four borderers having two carucates and an half. There is a church, and one mill of two shillings, and two servants, and seven acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of ten hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth fifty shillings, now four pounds.

This manor was soon after this let to farm, by the monks, to Robert de Rumene, at the above rent, and was allotted de cibo eorum, that is, to the use of their refectory; and the possession of it was confirmed to them both by king Henry I. and II. (fn. 1) King Edward II. in his 10th year, granted to the prior and convent free warren in all their demesne lands in Broke, among other places which they were in possession of at the time of the charter of liberties granted to them by his grandfather Henry III. about which time this manor was valued at 22l. 1s. 10d. In which state it afterwards continued till the dissolution of the priory of Christchurch in the 31st year of Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands, where it did not remain long, for the king settled it by his dotation-charter, in his 33d year, on his new-erected dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose possessions it still remains.

The demesne lands have been constantly let by the dean and chapter on a beneficial lease, at the yearly rent of 13l. 6s. 8d. in money, and four quarters of wheat. The present lessee is Mr. John Berry, of Newbery, Berkshire; but the manerial rights they retain in their own hands.

A court baron is regularly held for this manor. There are no parochial charities.

BROOKE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Bridge. The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is but small, consisting of one isle and a chancel, with a low square tower at the west end, in which are two bells. There are no memorials of any account in it.

The church of Brooke has always been accounted an appendage to the manor, and as such passed with it from the priory of Christ-church into the hands of the crown, and from thence to the dean and chapter of Canterbury, who are the present patrons of it. The woods belonging to the dean and chapter here, claim an exemption from paying tithes.

This rectory is valued in the king's books at 7l. 7s. 3d. and is of the clear yearly certified value of thirty pounds. In 1588 it was valued at thirty pounds. Communicants ninety-two. In 1640 at sixty pounds. Communicants sixty. There are now only ten communicants. In 1724 it was augmented with the sum of 200l. given by the governors of queen Anne's bounty, on the gift of 100l. from the dean and chapter of Canterbury, and the like sum from Dr. Godolphin, dean of St. Paul's; with which there was purchased a piece of land, containing nine acres, called Great Chequer field, adjoining to the town of Wye.

Church of Brooke.

Or by whom presented.
Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. William Meredith, March 24, 1626, obt. 1635.
Samuel Raven, A. M. Dec. 12, 1635, obt. 1638.
Henry Sellar, A. M. July 17, 1638, obt. 1640.
Miles Barnes, A. M. July 1640, resigned 1663.
David Nierne, A. M. July 4, 1663.
Henry Cuffen, obt. 1667.
William Johnson, A. B. July 27, 1667, resigned 1669
John Stokes, A. M. Oct. 6, 1669, obt. 1672.
John Ansell, A.M. Nov. 16, 1672.
William Cade, obt. 1707.
John Booth, March 29, 1707.
Isaac Satur, obt. 1722.
William Gostling, A. M. Sept. 23, 1722, resigned 1733. (fn. 2)
The Crown, by lapse. James Henstridge, A. M. ind. Feb. 9, 1734, obt. Dec. 4, 1745.
Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. Francis Gregory, A. M. 1746, resigned 1751. (fn. 3)
John Gostling, A. M. July 27, 1751, the present rector. (fn. 4)


  • 1. Regist. Eccl. Christi, Cant. cart. 78.
  • 2. He resigned for the vicarage of Littleborne, and was afterwards vicar of Stone, in Oxney.
  • 3. He resigned for the vicarage of Milton, near Sittingborne.
  • 4. He held the rectory of Alkham with this or Brooke, as he does now the rectory of Milton near Canterbury, and the rectory of St. Peter with the vicarage of Holy Cross Westgate united, in Canterbury.