- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia
East Farleigh is a village and civil parish in the local government district of Maidstone District, Kent, England. The village is located on the south side of the River Medway about two miles (3.2 km) upstream of the town of Maidstone. The Grade I listed East Farleigh Bridge crossing the river here was built in the 14th century and is considered to be one of the oldest in Kent. It is not particularly suitable for modern traffic conditions, owing to its narrowness. It provided the crossing point for the Parliamentary forces in the Battle of Maidstone during the Civil War.
East Farleigh appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Ferlaga from the Saxon words referring to a "passage" (in this case, "over the river"). The nearby village of West Farleigh has the same roots. The 12th-century church is dedicated to St Mary and is a listed building. East Farleigh House was the home of the noted artist Donald Maxwell from 1930 to 1936, and he is buried in the churchyard.
East Farleigh was originally an ancient parish in the Maidstone Hundred of Kent. It was a civil parish in Maidstone Rural District from 1894 until 1974, and since 1974 has been part of the Maidstone non-metropolitan district.
A nineteenth century description
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of East Farleigh from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
- "FARLEIGH (East), a village and a parish in Maidstone district, Kent. The village stands on the river Medway, adjacent to the Maidstone branch of the Mid Kent railway, 2 miles SW of Maidstone; and has a station on the railway, and a post office under Maidstone. The parish comprises 2,023 acres. Real property: £7,138. Population: 1,559. Houses: 311.
- "The manor belonged at Domesday to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and belongs now to the Crown. Hops, of prime quality, are extensively grown. A quondam hop-grower here, called James Ellis, began life in a humble way, and left such a wealth of hop-farms at his death, that the poles alone were said to be worth £70,000. A picturesque ancient bridge, with ribbed arches, here spans the Medway.
- "The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value: £1,000. Patron: the Lord Chancellor. The church has some traces of Norman, but is chiefly late decorated English; and has a handsome spire. There stand within the parish Union Workhouse schools."
- 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.
- Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
- 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.
- England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
- Kent had five family history societies (now only four):