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Otham

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"OTHAM, a parish in the hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, county Kent, 3 miles S.E. of Maidstone, its post town. The village, which is of small extent and chiefly agricultural, is situated about 1 mile from the road between London and Ashford, and on the rivulet Lenham, a branch of the river Medway. This stream, which forms the northern boundary of the parish, works several mills in its course to the Medway. Otham manor formerly belonged to the Hendleys and Horns of Gore Court. A Premonstratensian abbey was founded here in the reign of Henry II., but was removed to Beaulieu in 1200, and thence to Bayham. The soil is of various qualities, but admirably adapted for fruit and hops, which are grown extensively. Kentish ragstone is abundant, and several quarries belonging to the Earl of Romney are worked for building purposes. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £400, and the glebe comprises 38 acres. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury, value £412. The church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is an ancient stone structure, with a spired tower containing three bells. The church contains several monuments of great antiquity. The register dates from 1538. The parochial charities produce about £4 per annum, besides houses for the poor. There is a parochial school. Dr. Horne, Bishop of Norwich, and author of the well-known Commentary on the Psalms, was born here in 1730. The Earl of Romney is lord of the manor and principal landowner."

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

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