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Extract From The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent,

second edition, volume 8

















By EDWARD HASTED, Esq  F. R. S. and S. A.





LIES the next parish westward from Newington, being called antiently in Latin,De Bosco Salso, or the Saltwood, from its near neighbourhood to the sea. In the time of the Saxons it was written Sealtwde; in the Book of Domesday, Salteode; and in other writings soon afterwards, bothSalwode, and Saltwood, as at present.

IT IS situated very healthy, having a fine opening between the hills southward towards the sea. There are about forty houses dispersed throughout it. The village stands in the middle of it, on Saltwood-green, and the church and parsonage at a small distance from it, and the castle about a quarter of a mile from them, the ruins of which are very spacious and magnificent. The outward walls are partly remaining, being of an oval from, within which is a very broad and deep moat, now dry. The inner gatehouse, which has but lately been made use of as a farm-house, is very stately, having two fine circular towers one on each side, and the inside finely valuted, and arched in every part with ashlar stone. Over the moat to it was formerly a drawbridge, and over the arch of the gateway is a hollow, where the portcullis used to be let down. It was, the greatest part of it, rebuilt by archbishop Courtenay, in the reign of King Richard II. whose arms being, Three besants, with a lable of three points, are on one side, as they are, impaled with those of the see of Canterbury, on the other. On the inner side of the moat is a very high and strong inner wall, with towers and bastions at distances throughout it. Within the space of it are very stately ruins, particularly of the chapel, finely valuted underneath; the great hall, the great dining-room, and other apartments of distinction, and many inferior offices about them; and at a small distance a large square well, steined with quarry-stone. Gale, in his Comment on Antoninus's Itinerary, supposes that here stood a castle, built by the Romans, to defend the port of Hythe, which had come into use in lieu of the Portus Lemanis, and that it was one of those forts necessary for the defence of Britain in the time of the early Saxons. To this castle, he says, there was a pratorian way, which led fromDurolevum, and another from Durovernum, or Canterbury, which went on to Stutfall castle, and cut the former one at the village of Leming. This paved way is still to be seen, up the hill from Hythe towards the castle; and about a mile further on toward the Stone-street, near the road to which, on the hill behind Beechborough, are the remains of a Roman camp, and several tumuli. In 1580 an earthquake happened, which threw down much of this castle. The western part of this parish is very sandy, much covered with coppice wood, and the grounds exceedingly parkish, having formerly been part both of Westenhanger and Saltwood parks, the park-house of the former being still remaining there, near which is an estate called Great Sandling, which has for some time past belonged to the family of Deedes, and now to William Deedes, esq. of Hythe, who is building for his residence a mansion on a part of this estate, under the direction of Bonomi, the architect. The parish is well watered by two streams; one of which, the Slabrook, rises from different springs near Postling vents, and under the hills near Brockhull bushes, and after having at a small distance united, it flows across this parish, and thence into the sea west of Hythe, at the north east end of the extremity of the great bank of sea beach, which there lines the shore, two miles long and a quarter of a mile broad; the other, called the Saltwood brook, comes from under Beechborough hill down under Saltwood castle, the extensive moat of which, though now dry, it formerly supplied, and runs thence southeastward, on the other side of Hythe, into the sea with the former. (fn. 1) The surface of this parish is very hilly and uneven, especially the southern part of it, at the boundary of which the quarry or sand hills cross it from east to west, a very small part of the town of Hythe, situated on them, being within the bounds of it. About one hundred years ago, an anchor was ploughed up in the valley between Saltwood castle and Hythe, which makes it probable that the sea flowed up nearer to it than it does at present.

A family named Estday, resided at Saltwood in the reigns of queen Elizabeth and king James I. who bore Azure, a griffin segreant, argent, a chief of the second; as appears by their pedigree in the Visitation of Kent, anno 1619. In this parish was formerly a manor, called Kellows, the situation of which has been long unknown.

SALTWOOD was given in the year 1036, together with Hethe, to Christ-church, in Canterbury, in the presence of king Cnute, by one of the princes of England, named Haldene. In Dugdale's Monasticon he is stiled Princeps Anglorum; in Decem. Script. Searpa, and in Leland he is called Halfden, which seems his more proper name. (fn. 2) At the time of taking the survey of Domesday, anno 1080, this place was held of the archbishop by knight's service, by Hugo de Montfort; accordingly it is entered in that record, under the general title of Terra Militum Archiepii. e. lands held of the archbishop by knight's service, as follows:

In Hen hundred, Hugo de Montfort holds of the archbishop, Saltode. It was taxed at seven sulings. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and now for three sulings. The arable land is fifteen carucates. In demesne there are two carucates, and thirty-three villeins, with twelve borderers having nine carucates and an half. There is a church and two servants, and nine mills of twenty shillings, and thirty-three acres of meadow. Wood sufficient for the pannage of twenty bogs. To this manor belong two hundred and twenty-five burgesses in the borough of Hede. Between the borough and the manor, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth sixteen pounds, when he received it eight pounds, now in the whole twenty nine pounds and six shillings and fourpence.

Hugo de Montford repaired the castle of Saltwood, which is said to have been first built by Escus, or Oisc, king of Kent, who succeeded his father Hengist in the year 488; but Robert de Montfort, grandson of Hugh before-mentioned, favouring the title of Robert Curthose, in opposition to king Henry I. to avoid the consequences of it, submitted to a voluntary exile, and all his estates came into the king's hands. After which it appears to have come into the possession of Henry de Essex, baron of Ralegh, in Essex, his chief seat, constable of England, as well as the king's standard bearer, by inheritance, who rebuilt this castle, and at times resided at it, he being appointed lord warden, pro tempore; but by his cowardly misbehaviour in a skirmish in Wales, he forfeited all his possessions, which the king seized into his own hands, as escheats to the crown. (fn. 3) This, so far as related to the manor and castle, was among those complaints, which archbishop Becket accused the king of, as having in so doing violated the privileges of his see, by seizing on a fief belonging to it; and although in the year 1170, anno 17 Henry II. a compromise was entered into between them, and the king issued his writ for the restitution of all such lands and fees as had been taken from the archbishop; yet this manor and castle remained in the hands of the crown, till king John, in his first year, restored the possession of it to the see of Canterbury, to be held of him in capite. From which time it became one of the palaces for the archbishops residence, and they appointed a constable for the chief government of it under them. And I find by the patent-rolls, that king Edward II. in his 19th year, was lodged in this castle. Archbishop Courtenay, who came to the see in the 5th year of king Richard II. beautified and enlarged it at a very considerable expence, and inclosed a park round it, making it his usual residence; and archbishop Chicheley resided here anno 4 Henry V. as did at times several of his successors, till archbishop Warham, in the 22d year of king Henry VIII. demised it for a term to Sir Edward Nevil. But the magnificence and grandeur of it was afterwards the occasion of its loss to the church; for archbishop Cranmer, in that reigh, observing the murmurs and envy that his possession of this and other sumptuous houses brought on him, found himself obliged to part with most of them; and accordingly, in the 31st year of that reign, he conveyed this manor and castle, with the park, lands, and appurtenances belonging to them,inter alia, in exchange to the king; whence they were that year granted to Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex, on whose attainder, the year afterwards, they reverted again to the crown, where they remained till the 1st year of Edward VI. when they were granted to John Dudley, earl of Warwick, to hold in capite, (fn. 4) who, in the 3d year of that reign, joined with Joane his wife in the re-conveyance of them to the king, in exchange for others in other counties, who the next year granted them to Edward Fynes, lord Clinton, to hold by the like service; and he, the year afterwards, conveyed this manor, castle, and park back again to the crown, and in the 1st year of queen Mary, had a grant of them again; but he not long afterwards passed them away to Mr. Thomas Broadnax, of Hythe, in whose time the park here seems to have been disparked, and he alienated them to Richard Monins, who resided here, being the eldest son of Edward Monins, of Waldershare. He died anno 3 Elizabeth, and then they were alienated to Mr. Reginald Knatchbull, third son of John Knatchbull, of Mersham, and he, in the 18th year of queen Elizabeth's reign, sold them to Crispe, who again invested them by sale in Knatchbull; for in the 31st year of that reign Mr.Reginald Knatchbull conveyed them to William Gibbon, gent. of Westcliff, and he in the 37th year of it parted with them to Norton Knatchbull, esq. of Mersham, afterwards knighted, who four years afterwards disposed of his interest in them by sale to Robert Cranmer, esq. of Chevening, and he died possessed of them in 1619, leaving Anne his sole daughter and heir, who carried them in marriage to Sir Arthur Herrys, of Crixey, in Essex, (fn. 5) whose eldest son Cranmer Herrys, alienated them, in king Charles I.'s reign, to Sir William Boteler, who resided at Saltwood castle during the life of his eldest brother Sir John Boteler, of Teston, on whose death s.p. in 1634, becoming his heir, he removed thither, and being a man of exemplary loyalty, was by king Charles I. in 1641, created a baronet, whose grandson Sir Philip Boteler, bart. of Teston, in 1712 sold this manor and castle, with the Grange farm, and other lands belonging to them, to Brook Bridges, esq. of Goodneston, auditor of the imprest, whose son of the same name was created a baronet, and his great-grandson Sir Brook Bridges, bart. now of Goodneston, is the present owner of them. A court leet and court baron is held for the manor of Saltwood.

BROCKHULL, alias THORNE, is a manor and mansion here, the venerable ruins of which, built of stone, are still visible on the knoll of a hill, close to the road, at a small distance south-westward from the church; and though there is but little remaining of them now, yet what is left sufficiently shews both the antiquity and great extent of this mansion, which was once the residence of an antient and knightly family, who took their surname from it; their arms being, Gules, a cross engrailed, between twelve cross-croslets, fitchee, argent, are on the roof of the cloisters of Canterbury cathedral; and they were in the church of Ash, impaled with those of St. Nicholas; one of whom, Sir Warren de Brockhull, was seated here in the reign of king Edward I. His grandson Sir Thomas was an eminent man in king Edward III.'s reign, being sheriff, and knight of the shire in several different years of it, and a conservator of the peace, an office of no small consequence and reputation in those times, when only three or four of the principal nobility and gentry were entrusted with it. He left two sons, John, of Brockhull, and Thomas, of Calehill, under which a further account of him and his descendants may be seen. Sir John de Brockhull, the eldest, kept his shrievalty here in the 42d year of king Edward III. His son William had two sons, Nicholas, who was of Aldington, in Thurnham, where his posterity remained for several descents; and Thomas, the younger son, who inherited Brockhull, and dying in 1437, was buried in the north isle of this church, which had been built by his mother, leaving an only daughter and heir Elizabeth, who carried it in marriage to Richard Sellyng, who afterwards resided here; but his son John Sellyng, leaving a sole daughter and heir Joane, she carried it in marriage, in 1498, to John Tournay, son of John Torney, merchant of the staple at Calais, descended from a younger brother of this name in Lincolnshire, who was afterwards of Brockhull. In consequence of which marriage, the Tournays have since quartered the arms of Selling, being Vert, a chevron, between three griffins heads, erased, or, with their own. His descendant Thomas Tournay, of Brockhull, died in 1592, and was buried in this church, leaving a numerous issue. By his will he devised this manor to Thomas Tournay, his second son, and to Thomas his nephew, son of his eldest son John; after which, in 1608, Thomas Tournay the nephew, and Thomas, son of Thomas his uncle, made a division of this manor and other lands, devised as above-mentioned; on which the manor and mansion of Brockhull, then written Brockwell, with part of the lands, was allotted to the former; and other parts of the lands southward from the mansion, on which was erected a seat called New Buildings, as will be further mentioned hereafter, were allotted to the latter. Thomas Tournay before mentioned, son of John, afterwards resided at Brockhull, which he died possessed of in 1637, and was buried in the north isle of this church, belonging to this manor, which his grandson John afterwards alienated to James Brockman, esq. of Beechborough, whose grandson James Brockman, esq. gave it by will, with his other estates, to the Rev. Ralph Drake, who afterwards took the name of Brockman. He pulled down much of the remains of this antient mansion, and removed the materials, which were made use of to build the bailiff's house, near Beechborough, which is built of stone, in the gothic taste; and afterwards, in 1768, exchanged the scite of it with Mr. Robert Tournay, of Hythe, for other lands upon the hills, near to his seat of Beechborough, parcel of Brockhull bushes, and formerly part of this manor before the division of it; but he reserved the manor itself, which he died possessed of in 1781, and his son James Drake Brockman, esq. is the present owner of it. Mr. Robert Tournay, of Hythe, above-mentioned, died in 1789, possessed of the scite and remains of the antient mansion of Brockhull, with the demesnes adjoining to it, and his heirs are now entitled to them.

MENTION has been made above, that Thomas Tournay, second son of Thomas, possessed by his father's will, anno 1592, a moiety of the manor of Brockhull, and that Thomas, his eldest son, made a division of the manor and lands belonging to it afterwards; in which a portion of the demesne lands southward of the antient mansion of Brockhull, was allotted to him, as his share of it. On these in 1611 he built himself a seat, called NEW BUILDINGS, alias NEW BROCKHULL, where the afterwards resided, and died in 1661, leaving one son Thomas Tournay, who was of New Buildings and of Hythe, where he died in 1712; and from him the seat and estate of New Buildings de scended down to Mr. Robert Tournay, gent. of Hythe, who died in 1789, leaving five sons and two daughters, viz Thomas, gent. of Hythe, who married Amey, daughter of John Forster, D.D. rector of Elton, in Huntingdonshire; Robert, gent. of Saltwood, who married Christian, daughter of Claudius Clare, clerk, of Hythe; William, a clergyman; Edward, and Isaac, attornies at law, of Hythe; Martha, and Sarah. He bore for his arms, the antient coat armour of Tournay, being Argent, a chevron, between three bulls, sable, quartered with those of Sellyng, Brockhull, and Keriel.

RADBROOKS and PEDLING are two small manors at the western boundary of this parish; the latter of which is situated close to the high road leading from Hythe to Ashford, which were formerly part of the possessions. of the family of Browne, of Beechworth castle, and continued so till by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Browne, of that place, in king James I.'s reign, they went in marriage to Robert Honywood, esq. of Charing, and Markshall, in Essex, whose second wife she was. Their eldest son Thomas succeeded to these manors, after whose death in 1666, his two sons, Thomas and John Le Mot Honywood, became successively owners of them; but both dying s.p. the latter devised them to his kinsman Robert Honywood, who was afterwards of Markshall, and they have since descended down in like manner as that seat to Filmer Honywood, esq. now of Markshall, and late knight of the shire for this county, who is the present owner of them. Courts baron are held for both these manors.


THE YEARLY SUM of 10s. was given by one White, to the use of the poor, to be paid out of Oxenden farm, belonging to William Evelyn, esq. and occupied by Hampton.

A PIECE OF LAND, called Church land, containing twentytwo acres, was given by a person unknown, now let at 13l. per annum, which is applied, 5s. towards the poor's rate, and the remainder towards the church rate.

A HOUSE AND LARGE GARDEN was given by a person unknown, which is appropriated to the use of the clerk of the parish to live in.

There is A FREE SCHOOL, endowed by the will of the Rev. George Barnsley, who devised 150l. for the purpose of educating poor children in the knowledge and practice of the Christian religion. With which money an annuity of five guineas per annum was purchased, payable out of land in Mersham, now versted in the rector of this parish, and has been constantly received by the rectors and curates of it, and paid to a mistress for teaching such poor children.

LAURENCE WELLER, of Hythe, by will in 1663, left a sum of money, and a piece of land in this parish, for the use of the poor of the parish of Hythe, to put out poor children thereof apprentices; and if the churchwardens and overseers of Hythe should neglect of refuse to perform his will in that behalf, then he devised the same to the poor of this parish, till the parish officers of Hythe should perform the same. (fn. 6)

The antient hospital of St. Bartholomew, founded by Hamo de Hythe, bishop of Rochester, in 1336, is mentioned as having been first situated within this parish, and is said to have been long since removed to the adjoining parish of Hythe, where a further description will be given of it.

SALTWOOD is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Elham.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is handsome and well built, consisting of two isles and a chancel. The southern isle is very wide and spacious, having a very fine span roof of timber over it; the northern one is very low and narrow. At the west end is a square tower, having a tiled ridge roof on it, which disfigures the rest of the building much. There are four bells in it. In the chancel, which is ceiled, are several gravestones for the family of Tournay, the inscriptions of several of them obliterated; and underneath is a vault, in which many of them are deposited. A brass plate for dame Anne Myston, obt. 1496, and three shields of arms; one, A chevron, between three greyhounds heads, erased; the second, a chevron, be tween three swords; the third,three crosses, flory. A memorial for Robert Payne, rector thirty-two years, obt. 1741. A brass plate, having the half-figure of a priest, and under an inscription for John Verien, once rector of Sandherst, but without date. Near it is a large stone, once finely inlaid with brass, having had the effigies of a man on it, but the whole of it is torn off. The north isle was built by Margaret, wife of William Brockhull, says Philipott, for the burial-place of the future possessors of her manor of Brockhull, and that in the east window was her legend, long since destroyed, in antient characters, denoting the same; many of the same name, as well as of the Tournays, lie buried in it; but their memorials are all obliterated, excepting one round a stone in brass, for Thomas Brokhill, esq. who died 1437, the figures of himself and wife are likewise remaining on it, and one shield of arms, being Brokhillimpaling Fineux, three others are gone. There is a very curious case of carved work, of oak, which incloses the font, much like that in some of the neighbouring churches, of which mention has already been made.

The church of Saltwood, with the chapel of Hythe annexed, being exempt from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon, was ever appurtenant to the manor of Saltwood, until the exchange was made, as has been above related, in the reign of king Henry VIII. by which that manor was granted by the archbishop to the king, but all presentations and advowsons being exempted out of it, the patronage of this church continued parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, as it does at this time, his grace the archbishop being the present patron of it.

It seems that there was a vicarage endowed here in king John's reign, and again in the time of archbishop Peckham, anno 1280, being the 9th of king Edward I. (fn. 7) but it never took place; for this church continued a rectory, as it has done ever since, to this time. It is valued in the king's books, with the chapel of Hythe annexed, at thirty-four pounds, and the yearly tenths at 3l. 8s. 0d. There are seventy-one acres of glebe land.

In 1588 here were communicants one hundred and forty, and it was, with Hythe, valued at one hundred and twenty pounds. In 1640 it was valued at one hundred and forty pounds, communicants one hundred; and in 1742 it was valued at one hundred and sixty pounds per annum.

The parsonage stands at a small distance westward from the church. It was a very antient gothic building; but Mr. Randolph, the present rector, has entirely modernized it, and made it, at no small expence, a very commodious and handsome house, in which he resides one half of the year. It is situated on the knoll of a small hill, having a pleasant view of the sea between the hills over the intermediate country.


  • 1. See Packe's Explanation of his Chart, p. 79.

  • 2. Dugd. Mon. vol. i. p. 21. Dec. Script. col. 2223. Leland's Itin. vol. vii. p. 132, and vol. iii. p. 400.

  • 3. See a fuller account of him under Braborne. Morant's Efsex, vol. i. p. 272.

  • 4. He was afterwards created duke of Northumberland. See more of him, vol. iii. of this history, p. 68.

  • 5. See moreof the Cranmers and Herrys's, vol. iii. of this history, p. 118.

  • 6. Wills, Prerogative-office, Canterbury.

  • 7. See Ducarell's Repertory, p. 100.

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