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"LENHAM, a parish and post town in the hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, county Kent, 9 miles N.W. of Ashford, 10 S.E. of Maidstone, and 7 N.E. of Headcorn. It is situated near the source of the river Stour, and at the foot of the scarp of the chalk hills. The parish derives its name from the small river Len, which rises here, and flows into the Medway at Maidstone. The land is chiefly arable, with a considerable extent of pasture and woodland, and 180 acres of hop-grounds. The soil consists of chalk and loam. There are quarries of Kentish ragstone. The village, which is still considerable, was once a market town. The road from London to Folkestone passes through the parish. The appropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £1,205, and the vicarial for £670. The living is a vicarage'' in the diocese of Canterbury, value £381. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient edifice with a square tower at the W. end, containing eight bells. It is situated at the S. end of the town. The interior of the church contains sixteen ancient stalls, formerly used by the monks of St. Augustine's Abbey, at Canterbury, when they visited their estate in this parish. There is also a stone confessional, several ancient monuments, and a recumbent figure in long robes in a recess. The register dates from the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The Independents have a place of worship. There are six almshouses for widows, founded and endowed by Anthony Honeywood, Esq., in 1622. There are newly constructed National schools for children of both sexes, which have a small endowment bequeathed by John Ford in 1766. Chilston Park, about 1½ mile S. of the village, is the principal residence, and the seat of J. S. Douglas, Esq., who is lord of the manor. Fairs are held on 6th June and 23rd October for cattle and horses."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]

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Historical Geography

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