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Newington - Gillingham

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"NEWINGTON-NEXT-SITTINGBOURNE, a parish in the hundred of Milton, lathe of Scray, county Kent, 6½ miles E. by S. of Chatham, and 3 W. of Milton and Sittingbourne. It is a station on the London, Chatham, and Dover railway. The town, which was formerly a market town, in 1861 contained a population of 854. It is built on the site of the Roman station Durolevum, near the line of the ancient Watling Street, and is called in Domesday Survey Neweton, at which time it belonged to Queen Editha and the Lucys. It had subsequently a nunnery, which was converted by Henry II. into a college for secular canons, and finally became a cell to St. Augustine's Abbey, at Canterbury. At the Dissolution it was given to Lord Somers, and in the reign of Charles II. was alienated by the crown to Roger Jackson, of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, from whom it came to the Pembertons, Mills, and Edward Legh, of "the Limes," Lewisham, the present possessor. The manor is subject to the borough of Lucies, in this parish, the steward of which is chosen annually at the court paramount of Milton. The old manor house has recently been taken down to make room for a new street called Legh-street, leading direct to the railway station. About a mile to the W. of the town is the hamlet of Breach. The land is very fertile, and a considerable extent is laid out in hop-grounds and orchards. The rectorial tithes were commuted in 1840 for £605 15s. 2d., and the vicarial for £338. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury, value £250, in the patronage of Eton College. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a partly modern structure, with a lofty embattled tower at the W. end. It has two chancels, and contains many interesting objects of antiquity, including a curious octagonal font, specimens of ancient stained glass, three brasses (the earliest bearing date 1498), and monuments of the Hasteds. The parochial charities produce £13 per annum, which is distributed in bread to the poor every Sunday, besides three quarters of wheat from the parsonage estate annually. The road leading to Key Hill, or Caii Collis, is still called Key-street, after Caius Julius Cæsar; and at a place called Crockfield, in this parish, are entrenchments, where much Roman pottery and urns have been found, showing it to have been a cemetery."

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

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