Parishes: Elmstone

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

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'Parishes: Elmstone', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800) pp. 131-135. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

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THE next parish south-eastward from Stourmouth is Elmstone, called in Domesday, Ælvetone, and in other antient records, Elmerstone. There is only one borough in this parish, viz. Elmstone borough, the borsholder of which is chosen at the court leet of the manor of Preston yearly.

THE PARISH of Elmstone is very small, it is a retired unfrequented place, having no village, and only six houses and an half in the parish, which happens from one of the houses standing over the stream, one half of which is in this parish, and the other half in Preston, the Stream, which rises in a pond there, separating the two parishes, and running thence near most of those houses, of which the parsonage is one, towards the river Stour north-eastward. The courtlodge stands near the south side of the parish, having round it a moat, which is supplied by a spring rising just above it, the water from which runs from hence towards the river. At a small distance from hence is the church, on the rise of a hill, round which the land is very heathy and common-like. The parish of Wingham comes up within one field of the church. The whole is uneven ground, the inclosures small, and most of the land very poor. There is no fair held here.

THE MANOR OF ELMSTONE was part of the antient possessions of the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, of whom it was held by one Ansfrid. Accordingly it is thus entered in the book of Domesday, under the general title of their lands:

Anssrid holds of the abbot, AElig;veltone. It was taxed at half a suling and half a yoke. The arable land is . . . . . . In demesne there is one carucate, and three villeins, with three oxen in one team. In this manor Ansfrid holds half a suling, of the demesne of the monks, and pays from thence to St. Augustine one hundred pence per annum. Godessa held it in see simple, and gave from thence to St. Augustine twenty-five pence in alms every year. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth forty shillings, and afterwards ten shillings, now sixty shillings.

After which, it appears to have been held by the eminent family of Leyborne, one of whom Roger de Leyborne held it of the abbot, in the 53d year of king Henry III. And in his descendants it continued till Juliana, daughter of Thomas de Leyborne, stiled from the greatness of her possessions, the Infanta of Kent, died possessed of it anno 41 Edward III. when it escheated to the crown for want of heirs, there being found none who could make claim, to her estates, either by direct or even collateral alliance. (fn. 1) After which king Richard II. in his 11th and 22d years, settled it on the priory of Canons, alias Chiltern Langley, in Hertfordshire, where it remained till the dissolution of that house, anno 30 Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands, who the next year granted it, with the scite of the priory, and other lands and estates belonging to it, to Richard, suffragan bishop of Dover, to hold for his life, or until he should be promoted to some ecclesiastical benefice of the yearly value of one hundred pounds, which happened before the 36th year of that reign; for the year before that, the king granted to Walter Hendley, esq. his attorney general, his manor and advowson of Elmerstone, alias Elmstone, with the woods and underwoods, late parcel of the above priory, or of the monastery of Dartford, or of one of them, to hold in capite by knight's service, being then of the value of fifteen pounds per annum. He was afterwards knighted, and died in the 6th year of king Edward VI. leaving his three daughters his coheirs, who next year joined in the sale of it to Simon Lynch, gent. of Grove, in Staple, who sold this manor, with the advowson of the church appendant to it, in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, to Mr. William Gibbs, descended from a family who were of the rank of gentility in Devonshire, and settled at Folkestone about Henry VII.'s reign, and bore for their arms, Argent, three pole-axes, sable; the patent of which was confirmed by Robert Cooke, clarencieux. (fn. 2) His descendant of the same name, alienated it at the latter end of king Charles I.'s reign, to Robert Jaques, alderman of London, who kept his shrievalty here in 1669, and was afterwards of Luton, in Bedfordshire, and died possessed of it in 1671, leaving two daughters his coheirs, the eldest of whom, Joane, married Henry Partridge, esq. of Berkshire, and Rebecca, the youngest, John Whitfield, gent. of Canterbury, who shared his estate here between them, and on the division of it, the latter had part of the demesne lands of the manor in this parish, and other farms and lands in the adjoining parishes; but the manor of Elmstone itself, with the appendant advowson, was allotted to the former, in whose descendants it continued down to Henry Partridge, esq. recorder of Lyn Regis, in Norsolk, who died in 1793, on which it came to his son, who is the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

There are no parocbial charities. The poor constantly relieved are about seven, casually four.

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

The church is a small building, consisting of a body, a very small north isle, and a chancel, having a square tower, embattled at the north-west corner, in which there are three bells. In the chancel is a handsome monument, with a marble bust at top, for Robert Jaques, esq. formerly an alderman and sheriff of London, and afterwards of Luton, in Bedfordshire, who died in 1671; his arms were, argent on a sess sable, three escallops, or. A monument for Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Hutchesson, rector, obt. 1768. In the south isle is a monument for Henry Whitfield, second surviving son of John Whitfield, esq. of Canterbury, who lived at Preston, obt. 1774. In the church-yard are several tombs for the Gibs's, of this parish and Preston.

There is given towards the repair of the church, a house near it, of the yearly value of three pounds, and a house lately burnt down, and two acres of Land, rented at fifty shilling.

This church is a rectory, the advowson of which has always been appendant to the manor of Elmstone, and as such is now of the patronage of Mr. Partridge, as has been already mentioned before. It is valued in the king's books at 6l. 7s. 8½d. and the yearly tenths at 12s. 9¼d. In 1588 it was valued at 401. communicants thirty eight. In 1640 it was valued at 80l. communicants forty. It is now of the clear yearly certified value of 69l. 2s. 2d.

There are five acres of glebe land; at the valuation in king Henry the VIIIth.'s reign there were eight.

Church Of Elmstone.

Or by whom presented.
Gervas Lynch, in 1554.
William Gybbes, gent. George Joye, Dec. 14, 1580, obt. 1601. (fn. 3)
Petlye Wyborne, A. M. April 11, 1601.
Alexander Bradlye, obt. 1691.
Henry Partridge, esq. Owen Evens, A. M. March 23, 1691, obt. 13, 1743. (fn. 4)
The King, by lapse. David Turner, A. M. April 20, 1745, obt. 1765.
Henry Partridge, esq. Thomas Hutchesson, A. M. Nov. 7, 1605, obt. 1789. (fn. 5)
Robert Stedman, LL. B. 1789, obt. 1792. (fn. 6)
John Gregory, A. M. 1791, the present rector.


  • 1. Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 13. Rot. Esch. eor. ann.
  • 2. There are pedigrees of them in the Visitation of the county of Kent, anno 1574 and 1619.
  • 3. Likewise rector of St.Clement's, in Sandwich.
  • 4. Likewise rector of St. Martin's, with St. Paul's, in Canterbury.
  • 5. Afterwards vicar of Norborne by dispensation.
  • 6. Also vicar of Preston, as is his successor.