Place:Lenham, Kent, England

Watchers
NameLenham
Alt namesLerhamsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 148
Lerthamsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 148
Lenham Heathsource: settlement in parish
Sandwaysource: settlement in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.25°N 0.717°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoEyhorne Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Hollingbourne Rural, Kent, Englandrural district of which it was a part 1894-1974
Maidstone District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality which has covered the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Lenham is a market village in Kent situated on the southern edge of the North Downs, halfway between Maidstone and Ashford. Lenham had a population of 3,370 according to the 2011 UK census.

The village is at the main source of the Great Stour and the Stour Valley Walk starts here, heading to Ashford and on to Canterbury and the English Channel near Sandwich. It is also the source of the River Len, which flows in a westerly direction to join the River Medway at Maidstone.

end of Wikipedia contribution

Lenham was a civil parish in Hollingbourne Rural District from 1894 until 1974, and since 1974 has been part of the non-metropolitan Maidstone District. Originally it was an ancient parish in the Eyhorne Hundred.

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

"LENHAM, a village, a parish, and a [registration] sub-district, in Hollingbourne [registration] district, Kent. The village stands near the source of the rivulet Len, 6 miles N by W of Pluckley [railway] station, and 9½ E by S of Maidstone; was once a market-town; and has a post office, under Maidstone, and fairs on 6 June and 23 Oct. The parish contains also the hamlets of Lenham-Heath and Sandway. Acres: 6,963. Real property: £10,096. Population: 2,016. Houses: 411. The property is subdivided. The manor was given, by Kenulf, King of Mercia, and Cudred, King of Kent, to Canterbury abbey; continued in possession of the abbey till the dissolution; and belongs now to James S. Douglas, Esq. Chilston Park is the seat of Mr. Douglas; Torre-Hill is the seat of Lord Kingsdown; and Swadelands is the seat of J. Fermor, Esq. The surface extends across a valley between chalk hills and sand hills; contains the sources of the rivulet Len and a head-stream of the Stour; and is salubrious and of average fertility. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value: £670. Patron: A. Akers, Esq. The church is partly early English with alterations, partly decorated; consists of nave, aisles, and two chancels, with a tower; and contains sixteen ancient oaken stalls, which were used by the monks of Canterbury when visiting the manor,-a stone chair, or sedile, with solid arms and a cinquefoil-headed canopy, a pis cina, under a very wide arch,-a richly-carved pulpit, of the 17th century,-the effigies of a priest, probably of the time of Edward III.,-monuments of the Colepepers,- and a brass of a grandson of Mary Honywood, who lived to see 367 of her descendants. There are an Independent chapel, national schools, an endowed school, with £12 a year, and alms houses with £70."

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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