Parishes: Thanington

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Thanington', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800) pp. 21-27. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Thanington", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800) 21-27. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "Parishes: Thanington", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800). 21-27. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

In this section


IS the next parish south-eastward from Harbledowne.

THANINGTON lies about a mile from Canterbury, near the suburbs of Wincheap, part of the street of which, as well as St. Jacob's hospital at the entrance of it, are within the bounds of it; the river Stour runs through it, on the southern side is the church and courtlodge, beyond which and the Ashford road the hill rises on a poor flinty soil, among the coppice woods, as far as Iffens wood, a small part of which is within it. On the Ashford road stands the manor-house of Cockering, formerly possessed by a family of the same name, it has for some length of time belonged to the Honywoods, of Markshall, in Essex, and does now to Filmer Honywood, esq. of Marks-hall. A small distance higher on the hills, is New-house, formerly belonging to the Roberts's, of Harbledown, and thence by marriage to Robert Mead Wilmot, esq. who sold it to Sir Thomas Pym Hales, bart. as he did to Geo. Gipps, esq. the present owner of it. Between the above road and the church there are some very rich hop grounds. On the opposite, or northern side of the river, over which there is here a long wooden bridge for foot passengers only, and a ford, there is a large tract of meadows, and at the edge of them the manor and borough of Toniford. The ruins of the west front of the antient castellated mansion of it still remain, having four circular towers at equal distances, built of flint and ashlar stone. The gateway leading to it is still left, and the moat round it, very broad and deep, is still visible. Adjoining to the ruins is the modern house, built on the scite of the old one. The Kingsfords were for some generations resident here, as tenants of this estate. Above this the hill rises among much poor rough land. towards the woods.

THIS PLACE was antiently held of the archbishop, as part of his hundred and manor of Westgate, and in the reign of the Conqueror, as appears by domesday, it was held by Gosfridus Dapifer. (fn. 1) Some time after which THE MANOR OF THANINGTON appears to have been held by the eminent families of Valoyns and Septvans, of the archbishop; but in the next reign of king Richard II. it was held by Sir William Waleys, whose only daughter and heir Elizabeth carried it in marriage to Peter Halle, esq. of Herne, whose grandson Thomas died anno 1 Henry VII. unmarried, and was buried in Thanington church; upon which this manor came to his sister Joane, whose husband Thomas Atkins, in her right, became entitled to it. His son William Atkins, about the 17th year of king Henry VIII. alienated it, by fine and recovery, to John Hales, esq. of the Dungeon, in Canterbury, a baron of the exchequer, whose second son Thomas Hales, esq. by his fa ther's will, became possessed of this manor, where he afterwards resided. During which time his eldest brother Sir James Hales, late a justice of the common pleas, having been dismissed from his office on queen Mary's accession, retired to his nephew's seat here, where, in a fit of despondency, he drowned himself in the river near it, in 1555. (fn. 2) Thomas Hales died in 1583. His son Sir Charles Hales likewise resided here till he removed to Howlets, in Bekesborne, where his posterity remained till within these few years. At length his descendant Sir Philip Hales, bart. in 1775, passed it away by sale to George Gipps, esq. of Harbledowne, who is the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

TONIFORD, usually called Tunford, is a manor, situated within the borough of its own name, near the western bounds of this parish, and on that side of the river Stour next to Harbledowne. It was in early times both the property and residence of a family, who took their name from it, and bore for their arms, Gules, on a cross, argent, three fleurs de lis, sable. John de Toniford was possessed of it in the latter end of king Henry III.'s reign, and was a good benefactor to the hospital of Harbledowne. And his descendant, John de Toniford, resided here in king Edward III.'s reign, at the latter end of which he alienated it to Sir Thomas Fogge, whose son, of the same name, resided here, and died possessed of it anno 9 Henry IV. and was buried in the cathedral of Canterbury. From this family it afterwards passed into that of Browne, of Beechworth-castle, and in the 27th year of Henry VI. Sir Thomas Browne, of that place, comptroller and treasurer of the king's houshold, obtained a grant of liberty to embattle and impark, and to have free warren, &c. within this manor, among others. One of his descendants sold it to Colepeper, who again passed it away to Vane, from which name it was sold, in king Charles I.'s reign, to Capt. Thomas Collins, of Sittingborne, afterwards of Brightling, in Sussex, whose arms were Gules, on a bend, or, three martlets azure, within a bordure, ermine. In whose descendants it continued down to Mr. Henry Collins, of Chichester, who died possessed of it in king George II.'s reign, after whose death, it came to Thomas Lucksford, esq. of Chichester, whose widow Mrs. Hannah Lucksford dying in 1794, it came by devise at her decease, to William Wills, esq. of Ulcombe, who is the present possessor of it.

ST. JACOB'S, alias ST. JAMES'S HOSPITAL, which was situated at the further end of Wincheap-street, just without the bounds of the city of Canterbury, which extends close to the walls of it, was founded for leprous women, before the reign of king John. For in archbishop Hubert's time, who died in the 7th year of that reign, the prior and convent of Christ-church, in Canterbury, took this hospital into their custody and protection, and engaged themselves, that they would maintain three priests and one clerk for the service of religion, and twenty-five leprous women in this house, and supply them both, with all necessary provisions out of the profits of the church of Bredgar, and the other possessions of it, which church or parsonage king Henry III. afterwards confirmed to this hospital, in pure and perpetual alms. The revenues of it were valued anno 26 Henry VIII. at 53l. 16s. IId. in the whole, or 32l. 2s. 1¼d. clear annual income.

The members of it were exempted from the payment of tithes for their gardens and cattle; but there was a consideration in money, of eighteen pence per annum, in lieu of tithe, for the scite of the hospital, paid to the parson of Thanington.

This hospital escaped the dissolution of such foundations in king Henry VIII.'s reign, and continued till the 5th year of king Edward VI. when it was surren dered into the king's hands. The scite of it is now the property of Mr. Daniel Sankey, of Wincheap street, Canterbury. There are only the stone walls, which inclose an orchard, and the lower part of the front of the house, remaining of the antient buildings of it; the rest of the house, now called the hospital, being of a much more modern date.

There are no parochial charities. The poor constantly maintained are about fifteen, casually twenty-five.

THANINGTON is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of of the same.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, is but small, consisting of one isle, a high chancel, and another on the south side, having a small pointed turret on the middle of the north side, in which hang three bells. It is an antient building. In the isle is a memorial for Thomas Hale, obt. 15—, rest obliterated, and arms gone. Two memorials for the Kingsfords, of Tonford. In the high chancel is a gravestone, coffinshaped. A stone with the figure of a man in armour, and inscription in brass, for Thomas Halle, esq. obt. 1485; arms, Halle, barry, three escutcheons. Within the altar-rails, a memorial for Anne, wife of Sir Charles Hales, of Canterbury, daughter of Robert Honywood, esq. of Charing, obt. 1617. Another for Sir Charles Hales, obt. 1623, arms, Hales, a crescent for difference. Memorial for Millicent, wife of Henry See, gent. married first to Henry Blechenden, esq. of Aldington; secondly to Jerom Brett, esq. of Leedes; lastly to Thomas Rownyng, gent. obt. 1612. In the south wall is an arch, hollowed in the building, and a tomb underneath. At the end of the south chancel there was formerly an altar; the niche for holy water still remains. In the church-yard, near the south side of the chancel, are the remains of an antient tomb, singularly shaped, having a stone in the shape of a lozenge lying on the base of it. By two grooves in the side and other marks, it seems to have had much more belonging to it.

This church was part of the antient possessions of the priory of St. Gregory, founded by archbishop Lanfranc, and was by archbishop Hubert confirmed to it in king Richard I.'s reign. (fn. 3) In the 8th year of king Richard II. this church was become appropriated to that priory, when, on the taxation, it was valued at 11l. 6s. 8d. at which time there was a vicarage here, valued at four pounds, being one of those small benefices in this deanry not taxed to the tenth. After which, both church and advowson, remained part of the possessions of the priory till the dissolution of it in king Henry VIII.'s reign, when it came into the king's hands, and was soon afterwards granted, with the scite and other estates of the priory, in exchange, to the archbishop, part of whose revenues the appropriation of this church continues at this time. George Gipps, esq. of Harbledowne, is the present lessee under the archbishop, of this parsonage, among the other possessions of St. Gregory's priory.

In 1774 this parsonage consisted of a part of a messuage, called the vicarage-house, or Cockering-farm, with a stable, and two pieces of land, containing thirteen acres, with the tithes of corn, hay, seeds and pasture, of hops and wood, the church-yard, and a piece of hop-ground. Total value 128l. 10s. procurations to the archdeacon 5s. and to the archbishop at his visitations 6s. The vicarage-house consists of a lower and upper room, being the north-east end of Cockering-house, Mr. Honywood's, and easily distinguished from the rest of it. A like instance of such contiguity, I never have as yet met with.

Before the dissolution of the priory this church was served by a vicar; but from that time it has been esteemed only as a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of his grace the archbishop.

The antient stipend of the curate was eight pounds, but archbishop Juxon increased this stipend, among others, to forty pounds, to be paid by the lessee of the appropriation, at which sum the value of it is now certified. And it has been since further augmented by two hundred pounds from the governors of queen Anne's bounty, and the addition of two hundred pounds more from the same fund, on a distribution from the legacy of Mrs. Ursula Taylor, paid to it by Sir Philip Boteler, bart.

In 1588 here were eighty-eight communicants. In 1640 only forty.

Church of Thanington.

Or by whom presented.
The Archbishop. John Rogers, from 1637 to 1663.
Paul Boston, A. M. in 1666.
Simon Baylie, in 1676.
Richard Slater, in 1681.
Thomas Skinner, in 1684.
Alexander Middleton, A. M. in 1687, obt. 1715. (fn. 4)
Robert Nunn, A. B. April 15, 1715, resigned 1737. (fn. 5)
William Broderip, A. M. July 1737, obt. April 1764. (fn. 6)
John Tucker, A. M. May 1764, obt. Dec. 12, 1776. (fn. 7)
Francis Gregory, A. M. May, 1777, the present curate. (fn. 8)


  • 1. See Battely's Somner, appendix, p. 44.
  • 2. See Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 16, 79, 152.
  • 3. See Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. ii. p. 374.
  • 4. Also rector of the adjoining parish of Milton.
  • 5. Likewise rector of Milton, and resigned that as well as this curacy, for the vicarage of Deopham.
  • 6. Also rector of Milton and vicar of Brookland.
  • 7. Before vicar of Sheldwich and rector of Milton, which latter he resigned in 1770 for Ringwold.
  • 8. Likewise vicar of Stone, in Oxney, and a minor canon of Canterbury cathedral.