Place:St. Cosmus and St. Damian in the Blean, Kent, England

NameSt. Cosmus and St. Damian in the Blean
Alt namesBleansource: shortened, more modern name
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.317°N 1.033°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoWhitstable Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Blean Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1934
Bridge Blean Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was located 1934-1974
Canterbury District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality in which it has been located since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

St. Cosmus and St. Damian in the Blean is a Church of England parish with one church serving two villages, Blean and Tyler Hill, which lie in ancient Kent woodland between the cathedral city of Canterbury and the seaside town of Whitstable. (Source: The history page of the parish church website which provides information from the formation of the church onward.)

St. Cosmus and St. Damian in the Blean was the original and formal name of the parish Over time the name of the parish was shortened to Blean. Tyler Hill, mentioned above, is in the parish of Hackington.

Between 1894 and 1934 St. Cosmus and St. Damian in the Blean, or simply Blean, was part of the Blean Rural District. In 1934 the Blean Rural District was abolished and its parishes became part of the larger Bridge Blean Rural District. Since 1974 the area has been part of the non-metropolitan City of Canterbury District. The parish was originally in the Whitstable Hundred.

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

"BLEAN, a parish, an ancient forest, and a [registration] district, in Kent. The parish is called also Blean-Church, St. Cosmus, and St. Damian-in-the-Blean: lies on the Whitstable railway, 2 miles NW by N of Canterbury; and has a post office, of the name of Blean, under Canterbury. Acres: 2,260. Real property: £4,414. Population: 626. Houses: 130. The property is subdivided. Much of the land in the north is under coppice. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value: £523. Patron: Eastbridge Hospital. The church is small.
"The forest belonged anciently to the Crown; extended from the vicinity of Herne to the vicinity of Chatham; was given away piecemeal, both before and after the Conquest, till nearly all was alienated; and lost gradually the character of a forest, till it became known simply as the Blean. Wild boars abounded in portions of it so late as the Reformation; and the yellow pine marten is still occasionally found."

The Gazetteer information on the registration district has been omitted.

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Blean is in the Canterbury district of Kent, England. It is the name of the large civil parish and the suburban developed village within it: the latter is scattered along the road between Canterbury and Whitstable, in the middle of the Forest of Blean. The parish is mostly woodland, and much is ancient woodland.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Blean.

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.