Parishes: Limne

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1799.

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Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Limne', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8, (Canterbury, 1799) pp. 282-303. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Limne", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8, (Canterbury, 1799) 282-303. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "Parishes: Limne", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8, (Canterbury, 1799). 282-303. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,

In this section


LIES the next parish northward from Burmarsh, for the most part on the quarry or sand hill. It is written in antient records Limne, Limpne, and Limene, taking its name from the antient river Limene, which ran once below it, at the foot of the hill, where, and probably some way higher, the tide of the sea once flowed, through a sufficient channel for the passage of ships; forming here a commodious haven or port, called by the Romans Portus Lemanis, but for want of a sufficient force of the fresh waters to repel the sand and beach, continually driven up hither by the sea, not only this haven was choaked up, but the channel of the river Limene itself, which afterwards directed the whole course of its waters another way, and this port, as well as the channel through which it once flowed, even to its entrance or mouth next the sea, has been for some hundred years sound land, and pasturage for the cattle grazing on it. That part of this parish, in which the church and village are situated, lies within the hundred of Street, the south-east parts in the hundred of Worth, and the remainder, being the northern part of it, in that of Heane. The lower or southern part is within the level of Romney Marsh, where it is within the liberty and jurisdiction of the justices of it.

THIS PLACE is acknowledged by most writers to have been that station of the Romans mentioned in Ptolemy's geography, (fn. 1) by the name of AIMHN, and in the several copies of Antoninus's Itinerary, by that of Portus Lemanis, (fn. 2) a port which was at that time of very eminent account. The river Limene, now called the Rother, or at least a principal branch of it, once flowed from Apledore hither, by the foot of the hills, the cliffs of which still appear to have been washed and worn away by it. The channel where it ran is still visible, and the grounds along the course of it are now lower than in any other part of the marsh near it, the ditches remaining full here, when those higher, about Dimchurch and other places, are so dry, that there are no waters left to sew from them. (fn. 3) For want of the channel of this river to sew the grounds, there are many hundred acres of marsh lands, through which it once flowed, extending from Apledore and Ruckinge quite across to Fairfield and Snargate, which are become a swamp, and great part of them under water for the greatest part of the year. (fn. 3) On this river, at the foot of Limne-hill, the Romans had the above-mentioned famous port, the only one they had on this southern shore of Kent, to which the sea flowed up at that time from the mouth of it, which probably was not sar distant from Hythe westward, to desend which they had a strong fort about midway down the hill, in which, in the latter part of the Roman empire in Britain, was stationed a detachment of soldiers, called Turnacences, i. e. of Tournay, in Flanders, under their commander, and at the general disposition of the count of the Saxon shore in Britain. Besides this, at the summit of the hill, where the castle, or archdeacon's house now is, was most probably a watch tower, one of those five which the Romans, under Theodosius the younger, as Gildas tells us, built upon the southern coast of Britain, at certain distances, to watch the motions of the Saxons, and discover the approach of those pirates, whose invasions the fort below was of sufficient strength to repel.

The old castel of Lyme longed to Rich. Knight of Hyve, late decesid

To this place from the station of Durovernum, or Canterbury, was a Roman military road or street, now called Stone-street, lying strait and conspicuous for some miles at this time. The distance from one of these stations to the other, in Antoninus, being marked AD PORTUM LEMANIS, M. P. XVI. sixteen miles, which is answerable to much about the present distance of it. The fragments remaining of the fort above-mentioned, now called STUTFALL CASTLE, shew the walls of it to have been of a prodigious thickness. They are composed of rubble-stone, with a mortar mixed with small pebbles, the facings of them, excepting of one piece, being entirely gone. Those of them most entire throughout it, shew double rows of Roman tiles, fifteen and sixteen inches long, laid at about five feet distance apart, with their extremities curved down to clench one into the other, after the manner of those at Richborough castle. On the east and west sides are large fragments all down the hill. On the upper side of it are the most of them, seemingly in two lines about twenty-five feet distance from each other. At the upper north-west corner is part of a circular tower faced with squared stone, the inside filled up entirely solid. On the lower side next the marsh, there are no remains, perhaps the river, which ran beside it, might be a sufficient defence without any further addition. The area of it contains near ten acres of ground. The fragments remaining seem by length of time, the steepness of the hill, and what is more perhaps by their being stripped of their surface, to have been overthrown, and to have slipped from their original places. So that there is no ascertaining the exact form of this fort, but by what can at present be conjectured, it was of a square form, with the upper corners a little rounded off. This fort most probably continued of use only so long as the harbour and port close to it remained. But the time when it was deserted by the sea, and rendered useless by being choaked up with beach and sand, and the river Limene's course hither by that means swerved up, and directed wholly into another channel, has never been ascertained, though it was probably very soon after the Romans had left this island. For it seems to have been very early after the coming of the Saxons, that the port of West Hythe became of note, in the room of this decayed haven and port. Whilst the port and haven here was in a flourishing state, there is no doubt but the town of Limne was equally so. Leland calls it the great old towne, and says, it failed with its haven, and that thereby West Hythe strait increased and was in price, the following is his account of it: "Lymme hille, or Lyme, was sumtyme a famose haven and good for shyppes that myght cum to the foote of the hille. The place ys yet cawled Shypway and Old Haven. Farther at this day the lord of the V portes kepeth his principal cowrt a lytle by est fro Lymmehil. There remayneth at this day the ruines of a stronge sortresse of the Britons hangging on the hil and cummyng down to the very fote. The cumpase of the forteresse semeth to be a x acres and be lykelyhood yt had sum walle beside that strecchid up to the very top of the hille wher now is the paroch chirche and the archidiacon's howse of Cantorbury. The old walles of the castel made of Britons brikes, very large and great flynt set togyther almost indissolubely with morters made of smaule pybble. The walles be very thikke and yn the west end of the castel appereth the base of an old towre. Abowt this castel yn time of mind were fownd antiquites of mony of the Romeynes. Ther as the chirch is now was sumtyme withowt sayle an abbay. The graves yet appere yn the chirch and of the lodging of the abbay be now converted ynto the archidiacon's howse, the which ys made lyke a castelet embatelyd. There went from Lymme to Cantorbury a streate fayr paved, wherof at this day yt is cawled Stony streat. Yt is the straitets that ever I sawe and towards Cantorbury ward the pavement continually appereth a iiii or v myles. Ther cummeth at this day thorough Lymme castel a litle rylle and other prety waters resort to the places abowt Lymmehil; but wher the ryver Limene showld be I can not tel except yt showld be that that cummeth above Appledore . . iii . . . . myles of, and that ys cours ys now chaunged and renneth a nerer way unto the se by the encresing of Rumeney marsch that was sumtyme al se." (fn. 4) Notwithstanding its former size, it is now only a small inconsiderable village, situated on the summit of the quarryhill, having the church and the archdeacon's house at the corner of it. The latter, formerly called the castle, but now the court-lodge, is probably built on the scite of the antient Roman watch-tower above-mentioned, on the edge of the almost perpendicular summit of it. It is a fine losty castellated mansion, commanding an extensive view over the Marsh and adjoining ocean southward, from all which it is a most distinguished object. Several springs rise here out of the rock, one of which runs through the wall of the castle, and thence down the hill towards the marshes. The centre of the parish is along the ridge of these hills, which are here an entire surface of stone, on each side of which it extends, as well into the Marsh southward, to Botolphs, now called Butters bridge, which is supposed to have been the most antient stone bridge in England. It has lately been repaired with a new work of brick, so that there is nothing of the antient masonry of it to be seen, as it does above the hills northward to Newin-green, and the high road from Hythe to Ashford. Upon the point of a hill between Hythe and Limne castle, a new battery of four guns has been erected, which commands the adjacent coast, and is intended as a covering to the three new forts described under Hythe.

About half a mile eastward from the church of Limne is a place called in old records Shepway-cross, which was formerly so considerable as to give name to the whole lath, which from hence was called the lath of Shepway. At this place in former times were held pleas and great assemblies relating to the cinque ports, and here only in early times did the Limenarcha, or lord warden of the cinque ports receive his oath, at his first entry into his office.

Prince Edward, son of king Henry III. being then lord warden, received from the barons of the cinque ports, their oaths of sidelity to his father, against those who were supporters of the barons in their wars against him.

There has been mention made before, in the description of Folkestone, of the opinion of that town and neighbourhood, that the hills there, being part of the same ridge of sand or quarry hills on which Limne is situated, slip or press forward at times towards the sea. The truth of which is in some measure corroborated by a similar instance on these hills here, in the autumn of the year 17 , in consequence of a very wet season, when the brow on the south side of the hill towards the marsh sunk between forty and fifty feet, and raised the lower parts of it nearly as much, which was not perceived by the farmer's family, who inhabited the house on it, till they found the change in the morning, by their door-cases not suffering their doors to open. The house was strangely rent by this accident, and had it not been built of timber, must have fallen, as a very large barn near it did, which was built of stone, for one great crack of the earth went through the middle of it, and split a large kitchen chimney from top to bottom. (fn. 5)

A sketch of it is given on p. 281, before, wherein the references are a b c d The profile of the land. a The flat of the land towards the sea. d The flat land at top, stiff ground and rocky. + The scite of the farm afterwards, which had not only sunk down from d forty or fifty feet, but was also moved somewhat towards a. b The lower part raised to ?.

The MANOR OF ALDINGTON claims over part of this parish; the town and village of Limne, together with the church, being within the bounds of it, and the manor of Wellop being an appendage to that manor. (fn. 6)

BEREWICK, now called Berwick, is a manor here, which lies about half a mile northward of Limne church, in the valley between it and Newin-green. It was given before the Norman conquest, by king Knute, to Eadsy, a priest, who in the year 1032 gave it to the monastery of Christ-church, in Canterbury. The copy of the grant of it may be seen in Somner's Roman Ports, a curious specimen of the manner of the donations of that time; among other revenues of the priory it was allotted to the archbishop, of whom it was afterwards held by knight's service, and continued so till after the Norman conquest. Accordingly it is entered in the record of Domesday, under that general title, as follows:

In Estraites hundred, Wills de Eddesham holds of the archbishop, Berewic as one manor. It was taxed at half a suling. The arable land is three carucates. In demesne there are two, and nine villeins, with nine borderers having one carucate and an half. There are eighteen acres of meadow, and wood for the pannage of twenty bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth sixty shillings, and afterwards twenty shillings, now seven pounds, and yet it yields eleven pounds.

After which this manor appears to have come into the possession of the family of Auberville, in which it remained till Joane, daughter and heir of William de Auberville, marrying Nicholas de Criol, entitled him to it as part of her inheritance. At length his descendant Bertram de Criol dying s. p. Joane his sister carried it in marriage to Sir Richard de Rokesle, whose daughter and coheir Joane, about the middle of king Edward II.'s reign, marrying Thomas de Poynings, he became in her right possessed of it, and in his descendants it continued down to Sir Edward Poynings, of Westenhanger, on whose death in the 14th year of king Henry VIII. without legitimate issue, and even without any collateral kindred, who could make claim to his estates, this manor, among the rest of them, escheated to the crown, whence it was, by the king's bounty, soon afterwards conferred on his eldest natural son Sir Thomas Poynings, created Baron Poynings, of Ostenhanger. But in the 32d year of it, he, with Catherine his wife, exchanged this manor, with Westenhanger, and other premises, with the king, for other estates in other counties. After which this manor continued, in the same owners as Westenhanger, down to the family of Champneis, in which it is now vested, in the same proportions as that is, one sixth part in Miss Frances Champneis, and the two sons of John Burt, esq. deceased; and the remaining part in the Rev. William-Henry Burt Champneis. There is not any court held for it. (fn. 7)

OTTERPOOLE, usually called Afterpoole, is a manor in the north-west part of this parish, which, at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in the 15th year of the Conqueror's reign, was part of the possessions of Hugo de Montsort, accordingly it is thus entered in that record, under the general title of his lands:

Herveus holds of Hugo, Obtrepole. Alrebot held it of king Edward, and it was taxed for one suling. The arable land is six carucates. In demesne there is one, and eleven villeins with two carucates, and one servant, and ten acres of meadow, and wood paying five pence for pannage. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth fifty shillings, and afterwards twenty shillings, now four pounds.

On the voluntary exile of Robert, grandson of Hugo above-mentioned, in king Henry I.'s reign, the seignory of this manor, among the rest of his estates, came into the king's hands, of whom it was afterwards held by the family of De Marinis, one of whom, Albericus de Marinis, held it in the 12th and 13th years of king John's reign, as appears by the inquisitions then returned into the treasury, (fn. 8) in capite by knight's service, and by payment yearly to the ward of Dover castle. After which it passed in like manner as Blackmanstone, above-described, from his descendants into the family of Haut, and thence again by the marriage of Jane the youngest daughter of Sir Wm. Haut, of Bishopsborne, to Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Allington, who in her right became entitled to this manor, which in the 33d year of king Henry VIII. he passed away, among other premises, to the king, in exchange for other manors and lands therein mentioned, pursuant to an act passed for that purpose the year before. After which the king granted it by sale to James Hales, sergeant-at-law, afterwards a justice of the common pleas, to hold in capite; and his grandson Sir James Hales, of the Dungeon, alienated it, in the 21st year of queen Elizabeth, to Thomas Smith, esq. of Westenhanger, commonly called the Customer, whose grandson Thomas was created viscount Strangford. Since which it has continued, in the same descent of ownership as the manor of Westenhanger, down to the family of Champneis, in which it now remains, in the same proportions as that manor and Berewick before described, Miss Frances Champneis and the two sons of John Burt, esq. being owners of one sixth part, and the Rev. William-Henry Burt Champneis, the eldest of the sons of John Burt, esq. above-mentioned, being owner of the remaining part of this manor. A court baron is held for this manor.

BELLAVIEW, or Bellavue, so called from the beautiful view from it, is situated in this parish, near a mile south-westward from the church of Limne, being an antient moated seat, which in very early times belonged to the family of Criol, before they removed to Oftenhanger. Bertram de Criol, who was owner of it in king Henry III.'s reign, being constable of Dover castle and warden of the cinque ports. He left two sons, Nicholas, who married Joane, daughter of Sir William de Auberville, and John, whose inheritance came to Rokesley and the Poynings's, by female heirs. From Nicholas Criol, the eldest son above-mentioned, descended John Kyryel, gent. for so he spelt his name, who resided here, and died possessed of this seat of Bellavow anno 1504, the 20th of Henry VII. and was buried in St. Radigund's church, near Dover, next to Batreham Kyriell there, as his will in the prerogativeoffice, Canterbury, expresses it. He left one son John, who afterwards sold it to Richard Bernys, esq. who not long afterwards alienated it to Thomas Wombwell, of Northsleet, and he in the 25th year of the same reign of king Henry VIII. conveyed it to Peter Heyman, esq. of Sellindge, from whom it went by sale again not long afterwards to Bedingfield, descended from those of Oxborough, in Norfolk, in whose descendants, who bore for their arms, Ermine, an eagle displayed, gules, a crescent within a crescent, for difference, (fn. 9) it continued till it became the inheritance of several brothers, as coheirs in gavelkind, who joined together in the sale of their respective interests in it, about the end of king James I.'s reign, to Sir Edward Hales, knight and baronet, of Tunstall, in whose descendants it continued till it was at length alienated to Green, and George Green afterwards sold it to William Glanvill, esq. of Ightham, on whose death in 1766 it came to his son William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. of that place, the present owner of it.

STREET is an eminent manor, situated at the western bounds of this parish, near the foot of the same ridge of hills, within the liberty of Romney Marsh. It is written in Domesday, Estraites, and afterwards usually Court-at-street, but vulgarly Courtup-street, taking its name from the court or manor of it, and its situation near the street, or via strata of the Romans. It was situated close to a town or hamlet once here, which was antiently called Billerika, as appears by the escheatrolls of the reigns of king Edward III. and Richard II. the ruins of which may in some measure be still traced out, especially near those of the chapel, which are more than midway down the hill, and was built for the use of the inhabitants of it, for the common report has been, that the town here had been once very large, though now there remains only a cottage near the chapel, and a house or two near the summit of the hill. Leland, in his Itinerary, vol. vii. p. 142, says, "Billirica is a bowte a myle fro Lymme hille and at this day yt is a membre of Lymme paroche. Howbeyt there is a chaple for the howses ther that now remayne and this is the chaple communely cawlled Our Lady of Cowrt upStreate, wher the nunne of Cantorbiry wrought all her fals miracles. Hard by this chaple apere the old ruines of a castelet wherbi yt may be thowght that the place and the towne ther was cawled Bellirica as who should say in Latyne, Bellocastrum, and that the new name of Cowrt-up-Streate began by reason of the place or court that the lord of the solve kept ther. The commune voyce is ther that the towne hath bene large, and they shoe now ther Signa Prætoriana, that is to say a horne garnished with brasse and a mace. But the likelyhod ys that they longed to Lymme sumtyme a notable towne and haven."[marginal note: "Cowrt up-Streate, alias Billirica, longeth to one M. Coluyle Knight."]

In the time of the Saxons, one Godwin had possessions here, as appears in Somner's Treatise on Gavelkind, where there is a curious contract of marriage made in those times, being a chirograph remaining among the archives of Christ-church, in Canterbury, which Godwin made with Byrthric, when he wooed his daughter; in which he gave her one pound weight of gold if she consented, and those lands at Strete and Burwaremersh, with oxen, cows, horses, and bondsmen, the longest liver of them to take all, the contract was made at Kingston, before king Cnute, in the presence of archbishop Living, the convents of Christ church and St. Augustine, Æthelwines the sheriff, and many others. And when the maiden was fetched away to Brightling, in Suffex, there went with her, as sureties, a number of persons; and the writing threesold was kept in the convent of Christ-church, and in that of St. Augustine, and the third Byrthric had himself. After the Norman conquest, this manor was part of the possessions of Hugo de Montfort. Accordingly it is thus entered, under the general title of his lands, in the record of Domesday,

In Estraites hundred, Hugo de Manevile holds of Hugo, Estraites. Ulnod held it of king Edward. It was taxed at two sulings. The arable land is eight carucates In demesne there are two, and eleven villeins, with twentyfive borderers having five carucates. There is a church, and seven servants, and thirty acres of meadow. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth ten shillings, and afterwards four shillings, now eight pounds.

Ansfrid holds of Hugo one yoke, which one Sochman held in the same hundred of king Edward, and it was taxed at one yoke. The arable land is one carucate. There is that, with one villein, and two borderers, and one mill of twenty-six pence, and eight acres of meadow. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and now, it is and was worth forty shillings.

Robert Coc holds of Hugo one yoke, which one Sochman held, and it was taxed at as much. There is one carucate, with one borderer, and four acres of meadow. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and now, it was and is worth thirty shillings.

Of these three descriptions, the first of them, held by Hugo de Mannevile, is certainly that, however doubtful the other two may be as parts of it, which was afterwards called the manor of Streete, the seignory of which, on the voluntary exile of Robert de Montfort, grandson of Hugh above-mentioned, in Henry I.'s reign, came into the hands of the crown, as an escheat to it. After which it appears to have come into the possession of the family of Handelo, or Hadlow, who are mentioned in antient records of very high ascent, as lords of this manor, several of whom were men of eminence in those times, their arms being, Two chevrons, on a canton a crescent, in imitation of those of Criol, who bore the same without the crescent; (fn. 10) one of whom, Nicholas de Hadloe, in the 41st year of Henry III. had a charter of free-warren for all his demesne lands in this county, and the grant of a market, and a fair yearly, at his manor of Court-at-street, holding it in capite of the king, as of his castle of Dover, by knight's service, being part of those which made up the barony, called the Constabularie, there. In the 10th year of king Edward II. John de Hadloe had licence to fortify and embattle his house here, among others belonging to him. At length Nicholas de Hadloe, in the next reign of king Edward III. dying without issue male, his daughters and coheirs became entitled to this manor; by which means, before the 20th year of that reign, it became separated, and in the hands of different owners. After which, one moiety of it appears to have come into the possession of John Colvile, who had married Alice, one of the daughters and coheirs of Nicholas de Hadloe. And in his descendants it continued down to Francis Colvyle, who seems to have died possessed of the whole of this manor in the 8th year of king Henry VII. the other moiety of it having in the mean time descended in the names of Lisle, St. Laurence, and Spicer, (fn. 11) till at length the whole of it, by purchase or some other means, became vested in Francis Colvile above-mentioned. But his descendant Jeffry Colvile, in the 35th year of king Henry VIII. alienated this manor to Edward Thwayts, whose grandson Edward Thwayts, in the 11th year of queen Elizabeth, passed it away to Edward Jackman, citizen and alderman of London, who died that year, on which it descended to his son John Jackman, who alienated it to William Hewett, esq. whose grandson Sir William Hewett, of Brickles, in Norfolk, by will in 1662, devised it to trustees, to be sold, which it afterwards was, to Mr. George Lovejoy, clerk, whose widow Mrs. Frances Lovejoy died possessed of it in 1694, and her heirs afterwards alienated it to Sir William Honywood, bart. of Evington, whose descendant Sir John Honywood, bart. now of that place, is the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

THE CHAPEL here, of which some notice has been already taken before, usually called the chapel of Our Lady of Court-at-street, from its being dedicated to the blested Virgin Mary, was built for the use of the inhabitants of the adjoining hamlet; and when that fell to decay, this chapel most probably became neglected, insomuch, that in king Henry VIII.'s reign, it seems to have been mostly used for a hermit to dwell in; when, to hinder its total ruin, as well as to serve other purposes, Richard Master, parson of the adjoining parish of Aldington, encouraged a young woman, named Elizabeth Barton, who was troubled with fits, to counterfeit the prophetess of divine inspiration; and to make this chapel a place of note by her frequent resort to it, and miraculous conferences with our Lady of Court-atstreet, the patroness of it. The commencement of this transaction happened in the 17th year of Henry VIII. anno 1525, and she continued her divinations and prophecies for some months, mean while her same spread far and near, and coming to the ears of archbishop Warham, he granted a commission to Dr. Bocking and others, to examine into it, who, to shew their entire approbation of her conduct, accompanied her to this chapel, attended by many gentlemen and ladies, and near 3000 of the common people. Soon after this she was, by the archbishop, appointed a nun in St. Sepulchre's priory, where she continued, as usual, working her miracles and prophesying, and crying out continually on the advantages of performing vows and pilgrimages to this chapel, as by inspiration, being held in great estimation and reverence by persons of all ranks throughout the county, so that she acquired the name and character of the Holy Maid of Kent; and in this state she continued for several years, till the question of the king's marriage came to be moved, when she was persuaded to prophecy on state affairs, especially on that subject, feigning to understand by revelation, that if the king proceeded in his divorce, he should not continue king for one month after. Upon which he, who had looked on this matter as unworthy his notice, commanded that she and her accomplices should be brought before the Star Chamber, where in 1533, they consessed the whole to be a cheat, before a great assembly of the lords. Upon which, they were sentenced to make their public confession, after sermon, at St. Paul's; and being imprisoned afterwards in the Tower, the matter being brought before the House, an act passed for their attainder, anno 25 Henry VIII. (fn. 12) And accordingly, Elizabeth Barton herself, Richard Master, parson of Aldington, Edward Bocking, D. D. and Richard Dering, monks of Christ-church, in Canterbury; Henry Golde, clerk, parson of Aldermanbury; and Richard Risby, gent. were executed at Tyburn that year, and their heads set up in different parts of the town. John Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and several others, were found guilty of misprison or concealment of treason, and to forfeit their goods and chattels, and be imprisoned during pleasure. (fn. 13) In the conclusion of the act above-mentioned, all others who had been concerned in these impostures, were, at the earnest request of queen Anne, pardoned.

TO RETURN now to the remainder of the description of this parish, WELLOP, or Wylhope, is a manor in the south-west part of this parish, lying below the hill, within the liberties of Romney Marsh, which was part of the antient possessions of the see of Canterbury, and seems to have been an appendage to the archbishop's manor of Aldington, adjoining to it, and in the record of Domesday, in the description of that manor, under the general title of the archbishop's lands, there is this entry:

Of the manor of Aldinton, there lies in Limes half a yoke and half a virgate. The archbishop holds it in demesne, and has there one carucate and one villein, with eighteen borderers having one carucate and an half. There are seven priests who pay seven pounds and five shillings. The arable land is two carucates. It is and was worth twelve pounds, and it yet yields fifteen pounds.

The above description contained all the rest of the archbishop's estates in this parish, as well as the manor of Wellop, which afterwards continued parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury till the reign of king Henry VIII. in the 32d year of which, archbishop Cranmer exchanged the manors of Aldington and Wyllop, among other premises, with the king, for other estates elsewhere. Immediately after which, the king granted the scite and demesne lands of this manor to Mr. John Knatchbull, to hold for eighty years, as king James I. in his 8th year, did to Eldred and Whitmore, for sixty years, after which king Charles I. granted them, together with the manor itself, in fee to Sir Edward Hales, knight and baronet, (fn. 14) in whose descendants it continued down, till at length it was sold to Green, and Mr. George Green alienated it to William Glanvill, esq. of Ightham, since whose death the inheritance of it is become vested in his son William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. now of Ightham. A court baron is held for this manor.

THERE IS an estate called COMBE, in this parish, which formerly belonged to the Dennes, of Dennehill, and was afterwards purchased by the executors of the will of Dr. William Harvey, of Folkestone, who conveyed it to the trustees of the school and charity sounded by the Doctor, in Folkestone, in whom it now continues vested.

There were formerly several families of good account residing in this parish, who had estates here and in this neighbourhood. Among others, the Knatchbulls, Knights, Fagges, Kyryells, and Finches, as appears by their wills remaining in the Prerogative-office, in Canterbury.


WILLIAM FORDERD, by will in 1550, gave to this parish, among others, a portion of the rents of 25 acres of land in St. Mary's parish, in Romney Marsh; the portion of which to this parish is of the annual produce of 4l. 12s. 0¾d. to be distributed annually on Christmas day to the poor, and vested in trustees.

WILLIAM PANTRY, by will, gave to the poor an annuity of 10s, to be paid yearly out of lands in Limne, at Lady-day.

VALENTINE NOTT, by will about the year 1614, gave an annuity of 8s. per annum out of lands in Limne and Saltwood, to be always paid at Shrove tide.

JOHN WHITE, in 1616, devised to the poor the yearly sum of 10s.

MR. WILLIAM HEYMAN, by deed anno 22 James I. 1624, gave the sixth part of the rent of 27 acres of marsh land in Warehorne to three poor housholders of Limne and Sellinge, to be nominated by his next heir male at the common law, or if such could not be found, then by the seoffees of this charity, to be paid to them half yearly, or rather if it might be quarterly, for ever. Two of them to be always of that parish which should be most burthened with poor. It produces 3l. and Il. 10s. per annum alternately.

MR. THOMAS GOMELDON, by will about the year 1703, gave 8l. to be put out for the benefit of the poor.

MR. RICHARD SPAIN, of Postling, by will in 1704, gave to the poor of Lympne 30l. the interest to be distributed for ever on his birth-day, being the 1st of January.

The interest of the money given by the two last-mentioned wills was regularly paid till 1746, since which there is no account in the parish-books of its having been paid, nor is it known in whom the money is vested.

JOHN FINCH, gent. of Limpne, by will in 1707, gave all his 6th part of 160 acres of marsh-land in Eastbridge, to the minister, churchwardens, and overseers of the parishes of Limne and Eastbridge, in trust, that they of Limne should dispose of two third parts of the rents thereof, now of the annual produce of 14l. 8s 4d. to six of the poorest and eldest people of this parish, who have never received alms or relief, one half upon the Sunday after Christmas-day, and the other upon the yearly day of his burial (which was Feb. 7th), and he gave his three fifth parts of 43 acres of land, in Eastbridge and Newchurch; and all his three five-and-twentieth parts, the whole in 25 parts to be divided, of two parcels of fresh marsh, called Cowlands, in Newchurch, to the minister, &c. of Limne and Newchurch, upon trust, that the minister, &c. of Limne should dispose of two parts out of three of the rents and profits of the said land, now of the annual produce of 13l. 16s. 11d. to eight persons, of the like description as those above-mentioned, on the said days for ever. And he further devised to the minister, &c. of Limne, all that his fourth part of one sixth part of 160 acres of marshland in Eastbridge, upon trust, that the said minister should preach a sermon yearly, in Limne church, on the day of his burial, for which he should be allowed out of the rents yearly 20s. And that the remaining part of the profits of the rents, now of the annual produce of 5l. 8s. 1½d. should be disposed of then by the said minister, &c. to five-poor people of this parish, as before-described, upon the said days for ever.

The poor constantly relieved are about thirty-five, casually twenty-five.

LIMNE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of its own name.

The church, dedicated to St. Stephen, stands on the edge of the rock at the south-east corner of the village. It is a fine antient building, of two isles and a high chancel, having a square tower, which stands in the middle of the south isle, and separates it from the chancel. There are five bells in it. In the chancel is a monument and several memorials for the Bridgers, tenants of the court lodge; arms, Argent, a chevron, sable, between three crabs, gules. In the north isle is a memorial for Henry Bagnal, vicar of Limne, who left one son Henry, rector of Frittenden, obt. 1748. On a stone, coffin fashion, a cross, having at the top a quaterfoil, and at bottom a cross formee. The north isle only is ceiled. In the north wall of it is an antient tomb, with a low pointed arch, and a memorial for Capt. Isaac Batchelour, obt. 1681; arms, On a bend, three fleurs de lis, between three wings. There are two stones, cossin-shaped, with crosses on them, very an tient, which are placed as two steps from the porch into the church. The church-yard, which is wholly on the north and east sides, is remarkably large. There are several very antient tombs in it, but the inscriptions are illegible.

South view of Limne church and castle

The church of Limne was part of the antient possessions of the archbishopric, and continued so till archbishop Lansranc gave it to the archdeaconry, at which time, or very soon afterwards, it seems to have been appropriated to it, being the first possessions it ever had. The parsonage-house, since called the court-lodge, or Limne castle, is situated on the edge of the hill, close to the west end of the church. It is a large antient castellated mansion, with gothic arched windows and doors, and embattled at the top, having a semicircular tower at the west end. It seems to have been formerly much larger. The offices belonging to it in the outer court, or farm-yard, are likewise built of stone, with arched doors and windows, and the whole inclosed with walls of the like sort, all seemingly very antient. The lower part, near the foundation southward, appears to be much more antient than its superstructure, which is believed to have been great part of it built out of the ruins brought from those of Stutsall castle, for several Roman or British bricks appear dispersed in different parts of it. Leland says, there was once an abbey in it, and by the description of the archbishop's manor of Aldington, in Domesday, to which Limne seems to have been an appendage, it appears to have had an ecclesiastical community in it, for it is there said to have had at that time seven priests, who paid a rent to the archbishop. But of what establishment these priests were, is uncertain, for I find no mention made of them elsewhere, and it is most likely their community was dissolved, and they were dispossessed of it, at the time of this gift of it to the archdeaconry. Since which this parsonage, with the court-lodge, tithes, and glebe lands appropriate, together with the advowson of the vicarage of the church of Limne, has continued to this time part of the possessions of the archdeaconry of Canterbury.

The parsonage, with its appurtenances before-mentioned, consisting of the house, yards, &c. the great tithes of this parish and West Hythe, with 112 acres of arable and pasture, and forty acres of woodland in Limne, with other land in West Hythe and Stanford, is demised in a lease for three lives, to William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. but the presentation to the vicarage the archdeacon retains in his own hands.

In the 8th year of king Richard II. anno 1384, this vicarage, on account of its poverty, was not taxed to the tenth.

It is valued in the king's books at 7l. 16s. 8d. but it is now a discharged living, of the clear yearly certified value of thirty-four pounds. In 1588 here were communicants one hundred and eighty-one, and it was valued at thirty pounds per annum.

Church of Limne.

Or by whom presented.
The Archdeacon. William Mericke, A. B. March 16, 1584, obt. 1610. (fn. 15)
John Francis, A. M. June 20, 1610, resigned 1616. (fn. 16)
Thomas Martyn, A. B. Dec. 7, 1616.
Thomas Cheste, obt. 1620.
Thomas Kingsmill, A. M. Sept. 23, 1620.
Richard Faggar, A. M. in 1637. (fn. 17)
Peter Bonny, obt. 1676. (fn. 18)
The Archdeacon. George Gipps, resigned 1679. (fn. 19)
Abdia Morris, obt. 1680.
Joshua Barton, obt. 1702. (fn. 20)
The King, hac vice. Henry Bagnal, A. M. 1702, and was afterwards inducted as vicar, on July 25, 1723, ob. Nov. 23, 1748.
The Archdeacon. Claudius Clare, LL. B. Dec. 14, 1748, obt. Dec. 1764. (fn. 21)
George Lynch, A. M. Jan. 28, 1765, obt. Nov. 19, 1789. (fn. 22)
Stephen Tucker, A. M. 1789, resigned 1794. (fn. 23)
Anthony Hammond, M. A. 1794, the present vicar. (fn. 24)


  • 1. Book ii. See Camd. Brit. p. 256. Burt. Anton. p. 193, and Pancirolli Notitia.
  • 2. See Somner's reasons for placing this port at Romney, in his Roman Ports, p. 37, 100.
  • 3. See Apledore, vol. vii. of this history, p. 251.
  • 4. Itinerary, vol. vii. p. 141.
  • 5. See Phil. Trans. vol. xxxv. No. 405, p. 551.
  • 6. See Augmentation-office, box Kent A. 14.
  • 7. See a full account of the family of Champneis and the former owners of this manor, under Westenhanger, p. 75.
  • 8. Lib. Rubr. Scacc. p. 132. See Mag. Rot. ejus an. rot. 12 a Chent. Madox's Exch. p. 392.
  • 9. There is a pedigree of them in the Heraldic Visitation of Kent, anno 1574.
  • 10. See Camden's Remains, p. 212.
  • 11. See the escheat-rolls, an. 22, 35 and 36 Edward III. 10 Richard II. and 2 Henry V.
  • 12. See an account of him under St. Peter's, in Thanet.
  • 13. See an account of Elizabeth Barton and her transactions, in Somn, Cant. p. 37. Lamb. Peramb. p. 197.
  • 14. Rolls temp. interregni, Augtn. off. rot. 54, N. 173.
  • 15. He lies buried in this church. Before his time, this vicarage had been held for a long time by sequestrations.
  • 16. And rector of Bishopsborne with Barham.
  • 17. He continued till 1644, when he was obliged to leave it through the confusion of the times.
  • 18. He was buried in this church.
  • 19. Afterwards perpetual curate of Wye, vicar of Brenset, and curate of Fairfield.
  • 20. He and his predecessor were vicars of Sellindge.
  • 21. Likewise rector of Dimchurch.
  • 22. In 1770 a dispensation passed for his holding the consolidated rectory of Cheriton and vicarage of Newington, with this vicarage.
  • 23. He resigned this vicarage for that of Linsted.
  • 24. And rector of Ivechurch.