Bishopsbourne is a small village in Kent, England. It lies in the Nailbourne valley some from Canterbury and about from Dover. It has a public house, The Mermaid, built in 1861, and a church, St Mary's, with 14th-century wall paintings. Author Joseph Conrad lived here and his house, "Oswalds", still stands. The author Jocelyn Brooke lived in a house called "Forge House", just opposite the village hall, which is called "Conrad Hall" in Conrad's honour. Bishopsbourne was on the Elham Valley Railway until traffic stopped in 1947, the original railway station is now a private residence.
Richard Hooker was the Rector from 1595 to 1600. Hooker played a significant part in the development of Anglicanism, championing a 'middle way' between Puritanism and Catholicism. His 8-volume work 'The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity' was partly written in the Rectory at Bishopsbourne. After his death, he was buried in the Chancel of the church, and a memorial to him was provided by William Cowper.
Bishopsbourne’s Bourne Paddock was a pioneering venue for “Great” cricket. The third earliest match of all time that is now recognised by Cricinfo statisticians as First-Class was played there between England and Hampshire on 19th and 20th August 1772.
The first time ever that centuries were scored by two batsmen in the same innings in First-Class Cricket was by Tom Walker and Thomas Taylor for White Conduit Club against Kent on Bourne Paddock. The match was played from 8th to 12th August 1786, and is one of the earliest five-day matches on record. The last First-Class match on the Paddock was played in 1790.