Place:Aldington, Kent, England

Watchers
NameAldington
Alt namesAldintonesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 146
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.083°N 0.95°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoBircholt Barony and Franchise, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Romney Marsh Liberty, Kent, Englandfurther ancient county division in which it was located
East Ashford Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was situated 1894-1974
Ashford District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-1998
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Aldington is a village and civil parish in the Ashford District of Kent, England. The village centre is eight miles (12 km) southeast of the town of Ashford. Aldington is set on a steep escarpment above agricultural Romney Marsh and the upper Stour valley. Aldington Knoll was used as a Roman burial barrow and later as a beacon. It has a panorama towards the English Channel and the low land such as Dungeness. At the 2011 Census the population included Bonnington, but Bonnington was a civil parish until at least 1974.

Aldington was originally an ancient parish in Bircholt Barony and Franchise and in the Romney Marsh Liberty. Between 1894 and 1974 it was part of the East Ashford Rural District.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The village of Aldington is steeped in history: more than 50 buildings of historical or architectural interest are in the civil parish. Beside the church was one of the Archbishop of Canterbury's palaces, of which only ruins remain. Court Lodge Farmhouse was its manor house and hunting lodge, particularly favoured and improved by Archbishops Morton (1486-1500) and Wareham (1508-1532), both of whom also embellished the adjacent parish Church of St. Martin. The house, park and chase (1000 acres) were bought and extended by Henry VII of England in 1540, the whole complex said to have 5 kitchens, 6 stables and 8 dovecotes.

After the Napoleonic Wars, Aldington was the stronghold of The Aldington Gang, an infamous band of smugglers who roamed the marshes and shores of Kent plying their trade. The gang's leaders, Cephas Quested and George Ransley, natives of Aldington, made the Walnut Tree inn (see below) their headquarters and drop for their contraband. High up on the southern side of the inn is a small window through which the gang would shine a signal light to their confederates on Aldington Knoll.

Aldington Knoll itself is the subject of local and wider legend. Traditionally, it is said to be the burial site of a giant and his sword and is protected by murderous ghouls who will kill anyone attempting to flatten the area. Ford Maddox Hueffer's poem "Aldington Knoll" is inspired by this legend. Others, including HG Wells, with is lush wooded slopes have suggested that it is the entrance to a fairyland.

In 1511 Erasmus of Rotterdam, the theologian and scholar, was appointed rector of Aldington by Archbishop Warham. He lived at the rectory next to the church in what is now called Parsonmage Farm. Erasmus spoke Latin and Dutch but no English. He could therefore not preach to the English congregation and resigned one year later after a kidney complaint, which he blamed on the local beer.

Elizabeth Barton born in the village in 1506, became a maid to one of the local families, but claimed she had visions. She was provided a place in the convent at Canterbury, and through some manipulation by Bishop John Fisher and Sir Thomas More she prophesied that King Henry VIII would die a villain's death if he divorced Catherine of Aragon.

In August 1926, a Blériot 155 of Air Union crashed at College Farm, Hurst (in Aldington parish) killing three of the 15 passengers and crew.

Research Tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Steve Archer has produced a very useful round-up of the available census records for Kent - and where/from whom they are available.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • Bishop's Transcripts for Kent parishes, 1558-1887, can be found on FamilySearch since February 2016
  • The Kent Family History Society and the North West Kent Family History Society are the most dominant, but there are also
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