Place:Harbledown, Kent, England

Alt namesSt. Nicholas Hospitalsource: almshouse in the parish, once an independent parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.283°N 1.054°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoWestgate Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Bridge Rural, Kent, Englandrural district of which it was a part 1894-1934
Bridge Blean Rural, Kent, Englandrural district of which it was a part 1934-1974
Canterbury District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality to which the parish was transferred in 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Harbledown is the village and clustered settlement immediately west of Canterbury, Kent, in England, contiguous with the city, but, at least at the lowest level of local government, a separate village. It has the mainstay of homes in the post-1974 civil parish of "Harbledown and Rough Common". The High Street is a conservation area with many colloquial buildings either side of a sharp climb towards the city.It has a tall, intact Georgian terrace on the south side. The area includes several orchards for fruit on its outskirts within its bounds.

The parish church of St. Michael and All Angels is compact and attractive, but more significant is the Hospital of St. Nicholas (redirected here): this is now an almshouse with a range of cottages for elderly people. Formerly, it was a leper hospital whose inmates supported themselves by displaying a slipper that had been worn by St. Thomas Becket; passing pilgrims would leave a donation for the privilege of seeing it. As you enter the Hospital of St. Nicholas a plaque reads:

"This ancient Hospital of St. Nicholas Harbledown was founded by Archbishop Lanfranc c. 1084 for the relief of Lepers. On the disappearance of Leprosy from England Lanfranc's foundation gradually developed into the Almshouses of today. The main door of the church is kept locked for security reasons but the interior of the building can be seen by appointment with the Sub Prior. Visitors are invited to walk in the grounds of the Hospital."

The dramatist Aphra Behn was baptized here on 14 December 1640.

end of Wikipedia contribution

Harbledown was originally an ancient parish in the Westgate Hundred. Between 1894 and 1974 it was part of the Bridge Rural District. In 1934 the Bridge Rural District was abolished and its parishes became part of the larger Bridge Blean Rural District. Since 1974 the area is covered by the non-metropolitan Canterbury District. Another small place which may have been eventually transferred into the parish of Harbledown is Mint.

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.
  • For more information on Harbledown and the St. Nicholas Hospital, see A Vision of Britain through Time which provides a description from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Harbledown. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.