"HARBLEDOWN, a parish in the hundred of Westgate, lathe of St. Augustine, county Kent, 1 mile W. of Canterbury. The village is situated on the high road from London to Canterbury. The parish contains the hamlets of Rough Common, Whitehall, Big Berry, and Swinford. founded here by Archbishop Lanfranc, and afterwards refounded by Edward VI. Erasmus relates that the poor brethren kept a piece of Thomas-a-Becket's shoe, for travellers to kiss and reward them with money; and there is still preserved an antique maple bowl, figured with Guy Earl of Warwick, killing the dragon. The hospital now consists of a range of cottages, with a common hall in the centre, and is governed by a prior, chaplain, and steward. The lands of the hospital form a separate district apart from the rest of the parish, having its own church, a fine old structure dedicated to St. Nicholas, and covered with ivy. The living of St. Michael is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury, value £383, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, with small square tower containing three bells. It has lately been enlarged and restored. A new school-house has been recently built. Here is a spring called the Black Prince's Well."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]