Serving God, Serving our Community

Origins of Frittenden

Roman influences are suggested by the remnants of the Roman route from Rochester to Hastings via Maidstone which passes through the Parish of Frittenden at Knoxbridge closely following the track of the A229. It was near this route, at Leggs Wood, off of Granshore Lane, that Roman urns were discovered in 1857, suggesting the possibility of a Roman settlement nearby, possibly even…

Tithes

The Tithing system Theoretically, tithes are a tax of one-tenth part of income, in its many forms, and produce which were payable to the clergy.  Disputes over tithes grew in number following the Reformation.  The majority of complaints about tithes given to the Select Committee on the State of Agriculture in 1833 came from Kent.  As a last resort discontented farmers could…

Parish Registers

A Mandate, formulated by Thomas Cromwell in 1538, instructed each parish to purchase a ‘sure coffer’ the parson to have one key and a churchwarden another.  It is of note that Thomas Cromwell held manors in Frittenden, at Buckhurst, Bewper and Wallinghurst.  Under this Mandate, each marriage, christening and burial was to be registered weekly by the minister with the churchwarden acting…

The Vestry

Until 1894 the Vestry was the main form of civil administration.  The Easter Vestry appointed Parish Officers such as the Poor Law Overseers, Surveyors, Constables etc.  However, Tuesday 4 December 4 1894, Frittenden saw a meeting for the election of Parish Councillors under the Local Government Act.  The Rector presided.  Although not elected The Rector continued to be a member of the…

Idenden Charity

Thomas Idenden, or Iddynden, who was also a benefactor of the parish of Hawkhurst, by Will dated 3rd April 1566, directed that, after the death of his wife, ‘the churchwardens of the Parish of Frittenden for the time being, and four honest men of the same parish, chosen from time to time by the discretion of the parishioners, should have authority to…

The Rectories

Frittenden has had several Rectories.  The first on record was the ‘Old Red House’ recorded for posterity by John Preston Neale c1830.  This watercolour was among several reproduced ‘for the Rector for the time being’ in 1842 at the behest of Edward Moore. Moore found the Rectory in such a dilapidated state that he and his new wife commissioned a new building. …

Sinkhurst Green

The footpath [KM620] between Place Farm, Headorn, and Chickenden, Staplehurst, crosses a bridge, Place Farm Bridge, which contains traces of medieval work and the remains of an earlier bridge lie in the river. In later medieval times, most of the early bridges associated with drove roads, and a number of the remaining fords as well, were replaced by substantial stone structures.  Witney…

The Brook

As a pastoral district, the typical Weald unit of settlement was either the hamlet or the single farmstead, having little working association with its neighbours, except sometimes in the use of common grazing grounds.  Unusually, at Frittenden, a large multi-occupied area appears to have survived from the 16th century through into the 19th century. A popular walk in Frittenden starts at the…

Knoxbridge

Hasted refers to Knoxbridge as “Nook Bridge”.   The oldest recorded area of Frittenden is Tolhurst, Knoxbridge, which was recorded in a charter of 804.  Pre-dating even this is a Moot, also situated in Knoxbridge.  Moots were open-air meeting places set aside for use by courts and other bodies who were responsible for the administration and organisation of the countryside in Anglo-Saxon and…

Poor Law

The earliest Tudor Poor Laws were very much focused on punishing beggars and vagabonds to deter idleness. For example, the Vagabonds and Beggars Act of 1494 passed by Henry VII decreed that idle persons should be placed in the stocks and then returned to the hundred where he last dwelled or was born.  The Tudor Poor Laws ended with the passing of…