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The following is the description of Sandhurst in Edward Hasted's 'History and Topography of the County of Kent, 2nd ed., vol 7, p 158-161,  C1800.




Is the next parish easstward from Hawkhurst. The manor of Aldington claims over some part of this parish, as does the manor of Acrise over another part of it.

THIS PARISH lies on the southern edge of this county, adjoining to Sussex, from which it is separated by the stream called the Kennet, or more usually Kent Dyke, which rises near Tysehurst, in that county, and just below that place falls into the river Rother. It is near four miles from east to west, and near three from north to south. The soil of it in the north east and southern parts of this parish is a stiff and heavy tillage land, which has underneath plenty of marle, in which parts there is much iron ore: the western part being more hilly, is a light and gravelly soil. The church stands nearly in the centre of the parish, on the knoll of a hill, and the parsonage-house at no great distance northward from it. Between the parsonage and the church is a large forstal, containing the principal part of the estate mentioned below, called Twisden borough. It was formerly a playstool or common play-ground for the parishioners, and a fair was kept on it; but the Turners, lords of the manor, laid claim to it, and it has been for some time accounted their property, and now accordingly belongs to Mr. Blackburn. The great high road from the western parts of this county, through Newenden, to Hastings, and the county of Sussex, leads through this parish south eastward, on it are situated three greens, Field-green, Cowbeach-green, and Ringlecrouch-green: on the former is a house and estate, which has been for many years the residence of the Wardes, who bore for their arms, In chief, a lion, rampant; in base, a cross flory, a crescent for difference; the last of them, Mr. John Warde, died in 1778, leaving three sons and a daughter Elizabeth, married to Mr. John Collins, by whom she had a son Mr. Edward Collins, who has since taken the name of Warde, to whom his grandfather by will, disinheriting his three sons, gave the whole of his estates, among which were this at Field-green, and the manor of Riseden, in this parish, which formerly belonged to John, earl of Ewe, (who died in 1171); for it appears by the register of Horton priory, that he by his charter, without date, gave all his land of Rysdenne, in Sandhurst, which Goldwin held of him, to that priory; and by another charter, Adelize his wife confirmed the same; and by another, Canon, then prior of that house, and the convent of it, quit-claimed to Alexander de Spondenne, the property of a certain drofdenne, in the denne of of Risedenne, in this parish; Mr. Edward Collins Warde is the present owner of them. The farm of Ringlecrouch, near the green of that name, was the property of Thomas Blackmore, esq, of Hertfordshire, who died in 1789, and his heirs now possess it. On this green there is a meeting-house for baptists, the congregation of which is very large; and a little further eastwards is a capital messuage called Frenchurst, and formerly Frinchinhrst, to which formerly belonged the mill called Hope mill here, and it appears from the escheat-roll anno 4 Henry VII. that Thomas Poulter then died possessed of a capital messuage called Frechinghurst, and one water-mill, called Hope-mill, in Sandhurst, held of the prior of Christ-church in Canterbury; the former of them belongs now to Mr. John Collins, and the latter to the earl of Thanet. And farther on the same road is Hernden manor, belonging to John Peckham of Salehurst.

In this parish is an estate, called Silverden, belonging to the Rev. Mr. Hudson; and in the south-east part of it two farms, called Upper and Lower Boxhurst, the former belonging to Mr. Joseph Fowle, the latter to Mr. Thomas Burt, both of Sandhurst, and in the western part of it, next to Hawkhurst, is a seat called Downgate, which belonged to the Turner estate, and afterwards to Mr. Blackburn.

A fair is annually held here on May 25, for cattle and pedlary wares. It was till within these few years held on Dec. 6, St Nicholas's day, the patron saint of the church.

The Manor of Sandhurst was given by Offa, king of Mercia, in the year 791, to Christ Church in Canterbury, and was, soon after the time of the conqueror, held of the archbishop by knight’s service, by the family of Criol, of them it was, in the reign of king Edward II [1307-27], held again by Hugo de Combe, whose successor in it was John de Betherinden [in 1323], whence it came to be called the manor of Sandhurst, alias Betherinden, and in the east window of the north chancel here were formerly the effigies and arms of one of this family, and in Downe church, was once a memorial for John Bederenden, once citizen, woollen-draper, and chamberlain of London, who died in 1445. By a female heir of this name it came into the family of Fitzherbert, alias Finch, in which it continued till the beginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth, when Herbert, son of Vincent Finch, who lies buried in this church, (a) sold it, with the antient mansion of Sandhurst-place, now usually called Old-Place, (at present only a farm-house) to Pelham, from which name it was alienated to Fowle, who bore for his arms, Argent, a chevron gules, on a chief of the second, three mullets pierced of the first. In which one of them, Sir John Fowle, of Sandhurst, in his will, proved 1637, mentions certain lands which he had here, called the Coomes, which were his grandfather's, whereon was a house, since his death built, which were held of the king by knight's service, (b) and in his family it remained till it was passed away to Turner, whose descendant Robert Turner, esq. in 1784 passed it away by sale to John Blackburn, of London esq. the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

Aldrinden, which lies at the north west part of this parish, was once accounted a manor of some note here, being held of the manor of Acrise, and had owners of the same sirname, in which it continued till Roger de Aldrinden, as appears by the private deeds of it, leaving an only daughter and heir Christian Aldrinden, she passed it away by sale, in the 22d year of king Edward III. to John Selbrittenden, who not long after alienated it to Thomas Atte Bourne, and he held it, as appears by an old court-roll of the 1st year of Richard II. and from him it descended down to John Bourne, who dying in the 4th year of king Edward IV, settled it by will on Joane his female heir, married to Thomas Allard. They had one son, Henry, whose son John Allard, alienated his right in it by sale , in the 30th year of Henry VIII. to John Twysenden, or Twisden, gent. as the name soon afterwards was spelt, whose ancestors resided at Twisden borough, upon the denne of Twisden, in this parish, a place noted for having been, in very early times, the inheritance of this family, who resided here at the time they were stiled in Latin deeds, according to the quaint language of those times, de Denna Fracta, and from them this place obtained their name, by which it is called to this day.

His descendant Mr. William Twisden, about the beginning of king James I.'s reign, sold it to Thomas Downton, esq. who died possessed of it in 1623, and was buried in this church, and his descendant Richard Downton, esq. owned it at the restoration of king Charles II, and bore for his arms, Argent, on a chief indented, sable, three goats heads, erased. After which it passed into the family of Dunk, and from thence to Richards, whence by Anne, only daughter of William Richards, esq. it went in marriage to George Dunk, earl of Halifax, who soon after sold it to Collier, and his daughter marrying Mr. Henry Jackson, of Hastings, in Sussex, he is, in her right, the present possessor of it.

(a) His will, proved 1524, is in the Prerog. off. Cant.

(b) In Heraldic Visitation of Kent in 1619, is the pedigree of Fowle, of Sandhurst.



Sir John Fowle, of this parish, in 1632, gave by deed to the poor of it a piece of ground, with a malt-house on it, since burnt down, and now called the Malt-house Platt, containing three quartes of an acre upon Ringlecrouch-green, on which it has a right of common. It is now let at 34s. per annum, and is vested in trustees, the produce of which is distributed by the directions of the donor, once in two or three years in cloaths, chiefly in gowns, to poor widows of this parish.

Thomas Downton, esq. of Sandhurst, devised by will to the poor of this parish 10l. to be lent to them by the direction of four of the sufficient men of it, giving security for the paying of it again, at such time as they should appoint, so to continue to the parish for ever.

There is an Alms-house, consisting of three or four dwellings, by whom given is not known, but supposed to be one of the family of Fowle.

The poor constantly relieved are about one hundred and fifty, casually fifty.

Sandhurst is within the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Charing.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, is built of sand stone. It consists of two isles and two chancels, with a square tower, in which are five bells. It was part of the antient possessions of the see of Canterbury, and continues so at this time, his grace the archbishop being the present patron of it.

It is a rectory, and valued in the king's books at twenty pounds, and the yearly tenths at two pounds.

In 1578 here were communicants two hundred and eighteen, in 1640, two hundred and eighty. When it was valued at 110.

There are about ten acres of glebe land. The parsonage-house has been handsomely repaired, and fixed up by the present rector Mr. Hussey.



        PATRONS. Or by whom presented.

Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, sede vac. .........

The Archbishop. ............



John Whetcombe, A.M. July 16, 1583, obt. 1609.

John Simpson, A.M. Jan. 22, 1609.

William Master, S.T.P. refig. 1626.

John Simpson, S.T.P. May 15, 1626. (c)

Thomas Buckner, S.T.B. refig. 1632.

Walter Drurie, A.M. April 3, 1632, obt. 1680.

Samuel Atwood, A.B. Dec 9, 1680, obt 1696.

Charles Maude, A.M. Jan. 17, 1696, obt 1722.

Henry Hodson, A.M. Jan. 1722, resigned 1753.

Henry Hodson, A.M. Nov. 16, 1753. (d)

William Hussey, A.M. Oct. 3, 1781, the present rector. (e)


(c) In 1626 a dispensation passed for his holding Aldington with this rectory. Rym. Foed. vol XVIII. p. 874.

(d) Son of the former rector, and rector also of Thurnham by dispensation.

(e) Brother to Edward Hussey, esq. of Scotney.


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Copyright © John Dines 2004.