"THORNHAM, a parish in the hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, county Kent, 3 miles N.E. of Maidstone, its post town. The village is mentioned in Domesday Book as Turneham, and came from the Turnhams and Northwoods to the Derings of Surrenden. A vein of white sand; commercially known as Maidstone sand, and much used in the manufacture of glass, was first worked in this parish. The pits are remarkable for their subterranean caverns, which are curiously arched. On the summit of a chalk hill a short distance from the church are the ruins of Godard's Castle, where urns and other antiquities have been discovered. It is said to have been of Roman origin, and the walls, which enclose an area of a quarter of an acre, are still 13 feet high by 3 thick. In the upper part of the parish the soil is chalky and light, but in the lower part it is of a richer nature. The living is a vicarage with the rectory of Allingham annexed, in the diocese of Canterbury, value £392. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, has been restored. The parochial charities produce about £15 per annum, realised from church estate. The Wesleyans have a chapel.
"ALLINGHAM, a hamlet in the hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, in the county of Kent, 3 miles to the N.E. of Maidstone. The living is a vicarage united with the rectory of Thornham, in the diocese of Canterbury."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]
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