The present parish of Nonington: where and why.
The present parish of Nonington, often spelt Nonnington, is to be found in East Kent some two miles or so to the north-east of the A2 approximately mid-way between Dover and Canterbury. Sandwich is some seven miles to the north-east and Deal is about ten miles or so to the east. The original parish of Nonington measured roughly three miles by three miles, some 4,000 acres in all, but was divided into the parishes of Nonington and Aylesham in 1951.
In 1907 work on sinking Snowdown Colliery commenced and the first coal was produced in 1912. Snowdown’s miners came from the surrounding areas and many travelled from Dover. The railway had come through Nonington in the early 1860’s but there was no station in the parish and the Dover miners had to walk from Shepherdswell station across country to the colliery until Snowdown & Nonington Halt was opened adjacent to the new colliery in 1914.
In 1924 Pearson, Dorman & Long purchased Snowdown Colliery, which had been closed for two years, and completely modernised the colliery, replacing the old steam winding equipment with a powerful electric system. They then purchased 600 acres of land and in 1926 began to build the mining village of Aylesham to house Snowdown miners and their families, some 650 families in total. Aylesham was originally designed as a new town with schools, a cottage hospital, its own railway station, and shops, some of which were built. Plans were drawn up as late a s the 1960’s to develope Aylesham into a Kent “new” town of 30,000 or more inhabitants, but this “new” town developement eventually took place at Ashford in Kent, some thirty miles away.
Snowdown’s miners came from all over the United Kingdom and Ireland, especially the traditional mining areas such as Wales and the North-East where work was hard to find, especially for those miners who had been involved in disputes with mine owners. Some miners walked to Snowdown seeking employment.
Aylesham grew rapidly and soon had a population numbering about five times that of pre-Aylesham Nonington. Over the years the “cultural differences” between the old and new inhabitants of Nonington became more obvious and in 1950 it was decided to divide the old parish of Nonington and the present parishes of Aylesham and Nonington came into being in mid-1951. The first meeting of the newly formed Nonington Parish Council was held on 1st June of that year.
The history of Snowdown Colliery and the mining village of Aylesham, originally both in the old parish of Nonington, has been very well recorded on several excellent websites and will therefore will not be covered in any great detail.
You can find Nonington on the Google Earth link below and travel to the various places mentioned on this website and see how they look in the present day.
Nonington in East Kent
What was going on in centuries past?
For information from the parish register on births, deaths and marriages as well as census records go to:
Transcriptions of documents dating from the 16th century onwards relating to Nonington can be found at
What’s going on in the present parish of Nonington?
Go to www.nonington.com to find out!
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