Place:Staple, Kent, England

Alt namesBarnsolesource: village in parish
Crixhallsource: manor in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.264°N 1.255°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoDownhamford Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Eastry Rural, Kent, Englandrural district of which it was a part 1894-1974
Dover District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality which has covered the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Staple is a small village and civil parish in east Kent. It lies southwest of the nearby village of Ash and the town of Sandwich and east of Canterbury.

The village church, dedicated to St James the Great, dates to the Saxon period. Staple is one of the few places in Kent that does not appear in the 1086 Domesday Book, because it was appendant to Adisham, which lies to its southwest but is separated from it by the hundred and parish of Wingham. Together Adisham and Staple formed the Hundred of Downhamford. Staple is situated near the end of an arm of the Wantsum Channel, all that survives of which is the Durlock stream (possibly derived from the Celtic *duro- "settlement" and *loccu- "lake, pool", attesting the presence of the former channel). Until the late Middle Ages this channel provided access to the sea; one reason that Staple was chosen as an export location.

Staple is a Middle English word, signifying an official market for purchase of goods for export; it derives from Anglo-Norman estaple, "market-place". The "staple" of Staple was wool, exported to the Low Countries. The 'Statute of Acton Burnell' (1283) removed the Staple from Calais to fifteen appointed places in England, Ireland and Wales. The royal appointment decreed that 'All wool for export should be gathered at the Staple, if not the selling there.' In the reign of Edward III, the Staple was removed to Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey; its return nine years later was occasioned by the greater ease with which export to Calais was effected by Staple's proximity to Sandwich. The Staple system suffered a long slow decline, and was abolished in 1617. Other export products from Staple included leather and vellum.

From 1916 to 1948 the village was served by Staple railway station on the East Kent Light Railway, north of the village at Durlock Bridge. In the Second World War, the station was used as a munitions dump, and a large-calibre rail-mounted gun was stabled there.

There are two gentlemen's seats at Staple, Crixhall and The Groves. The oldest established vineyard in East Kent was established at Staple, but is no longer in use. Since 1993 Barnsole Vineyard has been operating in the village.

Staple was originally an ancient parish in the Downhamford Hundred. Between 1894 and 1934 it was part of the Eastry Rural District. Since 1974 the area is covered by the non-metropolitan Dover District.

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.