Place:Frant, Sussex, England

Watchers
NameFrant
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.1°N 0.27°E
Located inSussex, England
Also located inKent, England     ( - 1894)
See alsoWashlingstone Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Wealden District, East Sussex, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Frant is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, on the Kentish border about three miles (5 km) south of Tunbridge Wells.

When the iron industry was at its height, much of the village was owned by ironmasters. Smuggling occurred here in the 17th and 18th centuries; and one of the turnpike roads (now the A267) came through here at that time.

Frant church is dedicated to St Alban; and there is a church school. St Alban's Frant was a major surveying point for the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) calculating the precise distance and relationship between the Paris Observatory and the Royal Greenwich Observatory, undertaken by General William Roy (1726-1790).

Col. John By, Royal Engineer heading the Rideau Canal project, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1826–1832, is buried here. He was also the builder of "Bytown", which became Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Frant from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"FRANT, a village in Ticehurst [registration] district, Sussex, and a parish and a [registration] sub-district in the same district, but partly also in Kent. The village stands 1¼ mile WSW of the nearest part of the Tunbridge and Hastings railway, and 3 miles S of Tunbridge Wells; and has a station on the railway, and a post office under Tunbridge Wells. The parish includes also Hawkenbury and part of Tunbridge Wells town. Acres: 8,872; of which about 310 are in Kent. Real property: £13,394. Population: 2,469. Houses: 488. Population of the Kent portion: 307. Houses: 58. The property is subdivided. Bayham Abbey and Eridge Castle are here. See Bayham and Eridge. About 130 acres are under hops. There are quarries and mineral springs, a reservoir for supplying Tunbridge Wells with water, and a public fountain to the memory of the late Prince Consort. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Chichester. Value: £800.* Patron: the Earl of Abergavenny. The church is good. The vicarage of Eridge-Green and the [perpetual] curacy of Broadwater are separate charges. There are national schools, and charities £23.

A Vision of Britain through Time also states that Frant was considered part of Tunbrdge Wells Municipal Borough until 1894. Since that time it has been wholly part of Sussex.

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.
  • 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):
  • Volume 2 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1926) is available online through the auspices of British History Online. It includes accounts of the early history of Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals, and of several sites now within the conurbation of London.
  • Volume 3 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1932) This includes the text of, and the index to, the Kent Domesday survey. It has been provided by the Kent Archaeological Society.
  • In place of the other volumes of the Victoria County History, British History Online has transcriptions of the numerous volumes of The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted (originally published 1797)
  • English Jurisdictions 1851, a parish finding aid provided by FamilySearch, is particularly helpful in locating parishes in large ancient towns and cities like Canterbury.
  • Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson
  • GENUKI lists other possible sources, however, it does not serve Kent so well as it does some other counties.

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