Parishes: Stourmouth

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.

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'Parishes: Stourmouth', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800) pp. 126-130. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

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ADJOINING to Chistlet, on the opposite or southern side of the river Stour, lies the parish of Stourmouth, being usually pronounced Stour-mouth, taking its name from its situation at the mouth of the river Stour, which formerly emptied itself just below this place into the Wantsume, a river at that time of no inconsiderable width, which dividing itself encircled the Isle of Thanet, and separated it from the main land of Kent. There are two boroughs in it, East and West Stourmouth.

THIS PARISH is a lonely unfrequented place, having no road through it elsewhere, and lying so close to the marshes is not a very healthy situation. The southern part of it is upland, which stretches itself out northward, like a promontory, towards the marshes, which are within the bounds of it, as far as the river Stour. There are two villages, called East and West Stourmouth. In the latter, which is the principal one, is Dene farm, the property of Mr. W. Baldock, brewer, of Canterbury, and Husseys farm, called so no doubt from the antient possessors of it, belonging to Mr. Carr Culmer, gent. and further on, the parsonage and court-lodge, opposite the church. Of it self it is not unpleasant, and the houses are mostly of the better sort, and well conditioned; which probably induced Leland to call it a faire village. His words are, (fn. 1) " from Fordwic—to Sturemuthe a faire village iiii myles be water." Hence to the former village is somewhat less than a mile, in which is a house, which by the flint walls and arched door-way, seems of some antiquity. It is called Stone hall, and belongs to Lee Warley, gent. of Canterbury. The fields here are very large, being common and uninclosed, and throughout the whole are flat and level, and of a very rich and fertile soil for corn. In the north-east part of the parish there is a ferry from it, for foot passengers only, into the Isle of Thanet. There is no fair.

THE MANOR OF STOURMOUTH, alias NORTHCOURT, was held of the archbishop in the reign of king John, by Walter de Valoigns; (fn. 2) but it did not continue a great while afterwards in his name, for in the 5th year of king Henry III. the family of Hoese, or Hussee, as they came soon afterwards to be spelt, were in the possession of it, in which year Henry de Hussee obtained a charter of free-warren for this manor. His grandchild, of the same name, died anno 18 Edward I. possessed of this manor, with those of Dene, Childerston, and Chekeshille, whose son Henry Hussee received summons to parliament, among the barons of this realm, in the 15th year of the next reign of king Edward II. but this family was become extinct here before the latter end of Henry IV.'s reign, when this manor was in the possession of the eminent family of Apulderfield, but Sir William de Apulderfield, a man of much note in the reigns of king Henry VI. and king Edward IV. leaving an only daughter and heir Elizabeth, she carried it in marriage to Sir John Fineux, chief justice of the king's bench, by whose eldest daughter and coheir Jane, it went in marriage to J.Roper, esq. of Wellhall, Eltham, prothonotary of the king's bench, and attorney-general to king Henry VIII. He died in 1524, having by his will given this manor to his youngest son Christopher, who was seated at Linsted. His great-grandson Christopher, lord Teynham, died possessed of it in 1622, leaving two sons, John, who succeeded him as lord Teynham, and William Rooper, esq. (for so he spelt his name) who inherited this manor, at which he resided in 1649. His son John Rooper, esq. seems to have died S. p for in 1718, Anne Dognate, widow, Margaret Rooper, and Mary Magdalen Tichborne, his aunts and coheirs, joined in the conveyance of it to Jenkin Gillow, gent. whose nephew Jenkin Gillow, afterwards, by his will, became possessed of it, and married his first-cousin Margaret Tappenden, but died S. p having devised it to his sister Anne, married to her first-cousin John Tappenden, merchant, of London, and her issue in tail. She died in 1779, leaving four sons and three daughters, of whom Margaret and John having conveyed their two sevenths to their father John Tappenden; the other five sevenths still continue the property of the other five children. A court baron is held for this manor.


STEPHEN JOADE, of this parish, by his will anno 29 Elizabeth, gave to the poor of it 40s. per annum, payable out of a house and land in it, now in the occupation of Mrs. Elizabeth Gillow, widow.

The poor constantly relieved are about ten, casually as many.

STOURMOUTH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Bridge.

The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is a small building, consisting of a body, two very small side isles, and a chancel, having a slim spire steeple at the west end, in which are three bells. The church seems antient. There are numbers of small coloured tiles on the pavement of the chancel, in which, among others, is a memorial for John Powell, rector, obt. Nov. 1, 1680. A stone having the figure of a man, his hands joined and uplisted, and inscription in brass for Master Thomas Mareys, rector, obt. 1475; arms, three bars nebulee. Near it is a stone, coffinfashioned, no inscription. In the south window are some small remains of painted glass. In the middle isle is a memorial for Henry Jenkin, of this parish, obt. 1679. The font is very antient, of stone, supported by four pillars, with plain bases and capitals.

There are several parcels of land, given by persons unknown, for the support of this church, containing in all about six acres, of the value of six pounds per annum. All which the churchwardens let, with a very laudable intention, to poor people of the parish, at the above rent, and apply the produce to the repair of the church.

The church of Stourmouth was given by Hamo, son of Vitalis, to Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, and the monks of that priory, together with the whole tithe of his demesne, and all customs, and four acres of land belonging to it, and in the same manor pasture for one hundred sheep, and this he did in the presence, and with the consent of archbishop Anselm. After which the bishop assigned this church, and the free disposition of it, among others, to the monks of his priory. But bishop Gilbert de Glanvill, who came to the see in 1185, disputed their right to it; and among other regulations he decreed, that in those churches which belonged to the church of Rochester, situated out of the bishopric, whenever any of them should be vacant, the bishop and monks jointly should present to them. In which state of alternate presentation between them, this church continued till king Richard II.'s reign, in the 14th year of which the bishop exchanged with the monks his alternate presentation of the church of Boxley, of which they had the other, for their alternate presentation of this church, held in capite; from which time the entire patronage of it has remained parcel of the possessions of the see of Rochester, the bishop being the present patron of it. There was an antient pension of ten shillings paid to the prior and convent of Rochester from this church, which the dean and chapter there now receive. There are twelve acres of glebe land.

This rectory is valued in the king's books at nineteen pounds, and the yearly tenths at 1l. 18s. In 1588 it was valued at 100l. communicants one hundred. In 1640 it was valued at 120l. communicants sixty.

Church Of Stourmouth

Or by whom presented.
Bishop of Rochester. Henry Parkhurst, S. T. P. 1661, obt. 1669. (fn. 3)
John Powell, A. M. Feb. 16, 1669, obt. 1680.
Samuel Gressecombe, A. M. Dec. 10, 1680, deprived.
Christopher Harris, A. M. July 23, 1690, obt. Nov. 24, 1719. (fn. 4)
Francis Stannard, March 13, 1719, obt. 1726.
Thomas Harris, A. M. May 7, 1726, resigned the same year.
William Ayerst, S. T. B. Nov. 2, 1726, resigned 1729.
Hopton Williams, A. M. Jan. 1, 1730, resigned May 1743. (fn. 5)
Philip Bearcrost, S. T. P. July 21, 1743, obt. 1761. (fn. 6)
John Nairn, A. M. Dec. 4, 1761, the present rector. (fn. 7)


  • 1. Itin. vol. vii. p. 145. See Lamb. Peramb. p. 280. Lel. Coll. vol. iii. p. 182.
  • 2. Book of knights fees held of the archbishop, and Madox's Formulare, p. 433.
  • 3. He was at the same time presented to the rectories of St. George and St. Mary Magdalenc, in Canterbury, before which he had been rector of Gravesend and vicar of Northfleet, and was likewise prebondary of Canterbury. He resinged this church in 1729, and was presented to the rectory of North Cray, and of St. Swithin's, London-Stone.
  • 4. He lies buried in Wingham church, of which parish he was curate forty-seven years.
  • 5. He resigned the rectory of North Cray for this rectory, which he held with the vicarage of Preston near Wingham, by dispensation, both which he resigned in 1743, for the rectory of Penshurst.
  • 6. And vicar of Eleham by dispensation.
  • 7. And in 1769 rector of Kingston by dispensation.