Place:Badlesmere, Kent, England

Alt namesBadelesmoresource: Domesday Book (1985) p 146
Bedenesmeresource: Domesday Book (1985) p 146
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.259°N 0.885°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoFaversham Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Faversham Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was situated 1894-1935
Swale Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was situated 1935-1974
Swale District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

Badlesmere is now a village and civil parish in the Swale District of Kent, England, about five miles south of Faversham. It shares boundaries on the north and west with the parishes of Sheldwich and Leaveland. These parishes are now a single parish ecclesiastically and civilly.

Badlesmere was originally an ancient parish in the Faversham Hundred. Between 1894 and 1935 it was part of the Faversham Rural District. In 1935 Faversham Rural District was abolished and parishes were transferred to Swale Rural District.

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

"BADLESMERE, a parish in Faversham [registration] district, Kent; 4½ miles S of Faversham [railway] station. It has a post office under Faversham. Acres: 778. Real property: £1,060. Population: 133. Houses: 23. The property is not much divided. The manor belonged, in the times of Edward I. and Edward II., to the potent family of De Badlesmere; was forfeited by the attainder and execution of John Earl of Oxford and Baron Badlesmere; and passed into the possession of the family of Sondes, now represented by Lord Sondes. A house of regular canons was founded in the 13th year of Edward II. by Bartholomew de Badlesmere. The living is a rectory, united to the rectory of Leaveland, in the diocese of Canterbury. Value: £323. Patron, Lord Sondes: The church is a small, plain, Saxon structure in very good condition. A fair is held on 17 Nov."

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.