Place:East Malling, Kent, England

NameEast Malling
Alt namesEast Malling and Larkfieldsource: parish renamed in 1962
Larkfieldsource: ancient parish, part of civil parish
New Hythesource: hamlet in parish
East Malling Heathsource: later name for New Hythe?
Well Streetsource: hamlet in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.29°N 0.471°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoLarkfield Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Malling Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Tonbridge and Malling District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

East Malling was an ancient parish in the Larkfield Hundred of Kent. To the north was another ancient parish named Larkfield. The two were made into one civil parish of East Malling in the 19th century. From 1894 East Malling became a parish in the Malling Rural District. In 1962 the parish was renamed to East Malling and Larkfield because the settlement at Larkfield had expanded more than that at East Malling.

In 1974 the parish of East Malling and Larkfield became part of the District of Tonbridge and Malling. Covering 4.16 square miles (10.77 km2), the parish is in the heart of the hop fields and fruit-growing region, and has an expanding residential area. The distinct hamlet of East Malling Heath (also known as New Hythe) is in the parish. There are two parish churches: the church at East Malling is dedicated to St James the Great; that at Larkfield to Holy Trinity. There is also a Methodist church in Larkfield.

Of the two parts of the parish, Larkfield is much more built-up. It lies on the main A20 road, and is part of greater Maidstone. The M20 motorway also passes through, with junction 4 located at the centre of the adjacent parish of Leybourne on the A228. East Malling has a much more village feel about it and is served by a railway station. In the UK census of 2011 the population of the civil parish was 14,185.

East Malling and Larkfield parish is about 2.4 miles (3.9 km) southeast of West Malling, 5.5 miles (8.9 km) northwest of Maidstone, and 11.4 miles (18.3 km) SSW of Rochester.

East Malling

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

"MALLING (EAST), a village and a parish in Malling [registration] district, Kent. The Village stands adjacent to the Otford and Maidstone branch of the Southeastern railway, 4 miles WNW of Maidstone; and has a post office under Maidstone, and a fair on 1 5th July. The parish contains also the hamlets of Larkfield and New Hythe. Acres: 2,765. Real property: £10,135; of which £40 are in quarries, and #159 in railways. Population in 1851: 1,741; in 1861: 1,974. Houses: 374. The increase of population arose from the establishment of brick-fields and cement-works, and from the erection of cottages for the occupancy of labourers in Aylesford and Burham parishes. The property is much subdivided. Clare House is the seat of J. A. Wigan, Esq.; and Bradbourne House is the seat of the Misses Twisden. About 300 acres are under hops; and there are two paper-mills. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of New Hythe, in the diocese of Canterbury. Valne: £757. Patron: J. A. Wigan, Esq. The church has portions from early English to late perpendicular; comprises nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower; includes a decorated English chapel at the E end of the N aisle; contains brasses of 1479 and 1522; and was given by Archbishop Anselm to the nunnery of West Malling. The chapel of New Hythe stands between New Hythe and Larkfield; and is a small building, with attached schoolhouse. There are two national schools, built at a cost of £2,200; a free school, with £108 a year from endowment; alms houses, with £78; and other charities £10.


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

"LARKFIELD, a hamlet and a hundred in Kent. The hamlet is in West Malling parish; lies 4 miles NW of Maidstone; and has a post-office under Maidstone.

Wilson states that Larkfield was in West Malling parish. However, according to the Ordnance Survey Map of 1900 and to the quote from Wilson above, it is in East Malling.

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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