The Old Parish of Nonington

A small place in East Kent history

Month: February 2014

Nonington’s Great War and Other Veterans-photos

The British Legion was founded in 1921 as a voice for the ex-Service community as a merger of four organisations: the Comrades of the Great War, the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers, and the Officers’ Association.

The following photos are believed to have been taken when, or soon after,  the Nonington branch of the Legion was founded.

Please let me know if you can identify any of the people in the photos.

Nonington veterans of the Great War of 1914-18

Nonington veterans of the Great War of 1914-18

Nonington members of the British Legion parading past the Knolton War memorial, warly 1920's

Nonington members of the British Legion parading past the Knolton War memorial, early 1920’s

A parade by Nonington members of the British legion held on Nonington Cricket ground,

A parade by Nonington veterans held on the Nonington cricket ground, early 1920’s.

WW2 pictures from Nonington

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East Stoole Farm in Esole.

The thatched cottage at the junction of Mill Lane and Easole Street was once a yeoman’s house probably dating  from the mid-15th century although the farm itself was much older. It was part of the Manor of Essewelle which belonged to the Convent and Abbey of St. Alban’s which had been granted the adjoining Manor of Eswalt in the early 1100’s.

Easole-Thatched cottage bottom of Mill Lane 1990's B&W crop

A modern view of the original, at least in part, East Stoole farm house which is the messuage referred to in the 1501 manorial roll.

 The 1501 Essewelle manorial roll recorded that: Thomas Derbi holds half an acre of land in his messuage between the land of Joan Taylor twds the E & N and the Common Way (Mill Lane) twds the S and the Kings Way [Easole Street-Sandwich Road] twds the W rendering there at the Feast of St Michael the Archangel [Michaelmas, 29th September] 2d”.

Home farm & malt hse-easole c 1910

The King’s Way [now Sandwich Road] frontage to the farm. In 1501 the half acre corner plot enclosed the house and barns just out of view on the right. Adjoining to the north and sharing the King’s Way as a western boundary was a three-quarter acre plot of land, now the site of a car park and College Cottage, belonging to Joan Taylor. The old malt house and industrial buildings behind occupy an acre and a quarter plot with a messuage [house and out-buildings] then owned by Richard Welsche.

 The Derbys had been prosperous yeoman in Nonington for some time. Until the late 1470’s William Derby had leased a messuage and 161 acres of land at Kittington from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Manor of Wingham, as had his father John, but had lost it due to non-payment of rent. In 1403 John Derby had bought William Mot’s land at Frogenham [Frogham] in the Manor of Fredville, and William Derby was recorded in the 1377 Essewelle manorial roll as holding a cottage and land of the manor.

Easole-Thatched cottage bottom of Mill Lane with barn 1920's b&w crop

The Common Way frontage, now Mill Lane. Sometimes referred to as the Common Way to Kittington. An early 20th century view of the farm house

Thomas Derbi owned some 19 acres or so held of the manor for which he paid 7s 3 ½ d [36 ½ pence] per annum in manorial rents as well as suite of court [attending the manorial court every three weeks]. Much of the land was small pieces in Esole Fields [the large open fields on either side of Mill Lane], and he would have owned and rented other land in Nonington.

Nothing is presently known of events concerning East Stoole until 1640, when the farm, increased in size and now in the possession of William Homesby of Brooke, Kent, yeoman, and Constance, his wife, was sold to Thomas Homesby of Brooke, yeoman, who purchased a “Messuage and lands containing in all by estimation 46 acres in Nonington in occupation of Thomas…….”

In May of 1667 the farm was the subject of a mortgage between James Osbourne of Biddenden, clothier, and Sara Reynolds of St. Paul’s, Canterbury, “widdowe”, and consisted of “Messuage,  barne ect. & several pieces of land, earable & pasture in Nonyngton contg.  by est.  46 acres”. The farm appears then to have belonged to Constance Jarman, a Canterbury widow, as it was inherited on her death by James Osbourne who in January of 1670 [1671] sold it to Mary Lindridge, the mother of Thomas Seales of Marden.

Some years later, in May of 1676, the farm was part of a marriage settlement between: Thomas Sceele of London gent., in the first part; and Edward Mayes of Norwich, grocer; Jeremiah Osbourne of Norwich worsted weaver; and Robert ffransham of Norwich, worsted weaver, in the second part. The settlement was as follows:- “Reciting that Mary mother of sd Thomas Sceeles now wife of Alexander Lindridge of Biddenden clothier stands seized of for her life:- Parcels-Messuage called East Stoole 1 barne, 1 stable ect., 1 garden, 1 orchard, 2 closes & 11 pieces of land, arrable & pasture contg. by est.  46 acres in Nonyngton late in the occupation of Robert Payne being late in the possession of James Osbourne of Biddenden, clothier, before of Constance Jarman, late of Canterbury, widdowe deceased, and by her will descended to said James Osbourne. Remainder after death of sd Mary Lindridge to sd Thos Sceeles. Settlement of his remainder by Thos Sceeles on his wife Mary &c”.

Further transactions followed, in 1685 the farm was the subject of a lease between Alexander Lindridge of Biddenden, clothier, and Thomas Scales [Sceeles] of Witham in Essex, woollen draper.  The farm then came into the possession of the Sceeles and in 1699 Thomas Sceeles senior of Witham, now a mercer, and Thomas Sceeles junior of Norwich, worsted weaver, sold “Messuage called East Stoole, 1 barne, 1 stable, outhouses &c. 1 garden, 1 orchard, 2 closes & 11 pieces of arable & pasture land contg by est. 46 acres in Nonington late in the occupation of Robert Payne & now James Austin, formerly the estate of James Osbourne of Biddenden, clothier”  to William Hammond of St. Alban’s Esq., for a consideration of £350.00

William Hammond was in some financial difficulty at this time and in April of 1707 sold eight pieces of land amounting to some 16 acres and situated in Esole Fields to William Turner, the owner of Esole Farm [White House farm] for £160.00. In September of that year he raised a mortgage for £200 with Robert Eason, a Ramsgate mariner, on “Messuage or tenement called Eaststoole together with one maulthouse (lately erected [1704]) 1 millhouse (not a wind mill but a grinding mill to process the malt for brewing and probably built at the same time as the malt house), 1 barn, 1 stable with the outhouses &c. 1 orchard, 1 garden and 7 pieces of land arable & pasture thereto belonging containing by estimation 30 acres in the parish of Nonington in the occupation of said Wm. Hammond & of Thomas Duning and Henry Hopper which said messuage land & pres said W.H. (with other lands) lately purchased of Thomas Sceelles senr. & Thom. Seelles junr”.  Shortly afterwards the Hammond men made some financially beneficial marriages and the family’s financial problems were resolved and East Stoole remained in their possession.

Easole malt house b&w

The malt house, built in 1704

In October of 1808 the ; “Messuage and land contg 24 acres also in Easole Street formerly in occ of Anthony Hammond and Augustine Paine and afterwards of Richard Downing” was leased for one year.  The land continued to be leased by the Paine family who became well-to-do millers and maltsters in Nonington, until the business was taken over by John Harvey, a nephew, in the 1870’s and was renamed John Harvey and Brothers, and then John Harvey & Co. The milling ceased in 1905 when the Easole pug mill was demolished [see Esole Pug Mill] and malting continued into the mid-1900’s.

The old farm house, barn with adjoining land and malt house were bought by John Harvey & Co. when the St. Alban’s estate was sold off in 1938.  Various buildings erected  for use by the seed and grain business which continued in use until Harvey’s was taken over by Paul’s Agricultural [now BOCM Pauls] and then closed in the late 1980’s. The industrial buildings now house various small businesses.

The farmhouse and adjoining barn and the 1704 malt house are now dwellings, and a walled garden built by the Hammond family to supply fresh produce to the old and then new St. Alban’s mansions was built to the east of the malt house, probably in the late 1700 or early 1800’s, and has survived virtually intact. A house was built between the barn and the malt house for a gardener which was sold off in 1938 to the then newly formed Nonington College, which in turn closed in 1986, and was used as accommodation for college staff and subsequently became  known as College Cottage.

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Esole Farm, now White House Farm

White House Farm was previously known as Esole Farm until the early 1900’s. The present farmhouse appears to be a mid to late 15th century hall type house which was later extended, probably in the late 16th century, to give it its present appearance and size. The farm was part of the Manor of Essesole and can be identified in the manorial roll of 1501, unfortunately there is as yet no definite identification of the farm from other older documentary sources.

Another view from the farmyard

A 1930’s view of White House Farm and its out-buildings

The 1501 roll records the farm as follows: “The heirs of John Castell hold half an acre in their messuage (house and outbuildings) between the Common Way twds the E & N (the present Easole Street and Beauchamps Lane respectively) and land of Wm Boys twds the W and land of Simon Quylter twds the S (now two bungalows and Four Limes) rendering thence yearly 2d (to the Lord of the manor, at this time the Abbot of St. Alban’s)”.

The late John Castell had also owned some 15 acres of land on the manor for which he had to pay five shillings and a half-penny annually in manorial rent as well owing suite of court (attending the manorial court) every three weeks. His heirs would have had to pay one years rent to the Abbot on inheriting the house and land.

The farmhouse viewed from the farmyard, 1930

The farmhouse viewed from the farmyard, 1930

The farm was sold to the Boys’ of Fredville at sometime in the early 1500’s and it became part of the large East Kent land-holdings. At some time in the early to mid 1500’s the original timber framed house was extended and became a residence of younger sons of the family. The timber frame was also enclosed in brick most probably in the latter part of the 16th century. Holt Street farmhouse was re-built in brick around 1600 to 1605 and was the residence of Edward Boys, son and heir to Edward Boys of Fredville. The brick work on both houses is very similar, especially the corbelling, so Esole farmhouse may have been brick clad at around the same time as Holt Street farm house was re-built. The aisled  barn that runs along Beauchamps Lane is tarred weatherboard over a timber frame laid upon brick [possibly originally flint] foundation walls and probably originally dates from the early 1600’s.

White House Farm

The farmhouse with the probable 17th century barn, an early 20th century view.

Major John Boys of Fredville was is in constant financial difficulties during the 1650’s and 1660’s and, according to William Boys’ 1802 biography and pedigree of the Boys family, “by his own extravagance he much encumbered and wasted the estate of Fredville”. The Major used various parts of his estates as security for loans and mortgages. In 1658 he mortgaged various holdings, including Esole Farm, for £1,550.00 to Thomas Turner, his brother-in-law. This mortgage was renewed in 1668, but the debt was never re-paid and Esole Farm came into the possession of the Turner family and in 1698 William Turner, Esq., of Gray’s Inn, London, leased the farm to William Payne, a yeoman of Nonington, for seven years for an annual rent of £40.00, rising to £50.00. “Easole ffarme” then consisted of a “messuage or ffarmhouse at Easesole in Nonnington with barns &c. lands arable meadow & pasture containing by estimation 100 acres now in occupation of John Austen. Also one piece of arable land containing by estimation 30 acres in Nonnington between Easesole alias Yessallhole there and a certain ffarm called Kettington alias Kethampton now also in occupation of said John Austen”.

The early 17th century barn has been repaired and altered over the years.

The early 17th century barn has been repaired and altered over the years.

The lease was renewed again in 1705 and in 1707 the lease was amended to include “8 pieces of land contg. about 16 acres lying in a ffield called Yesole ffield (Easole Field, the large open fields on either side of Mill Lane) in Nonington purchased by Wm Turner of Wm. Hammond Esq (part of East Stoole farm)-rent increased £8”.
William Payne, also Paine, continued to lease the farm from the Turner family until October of 1717 when it was let to Judith Payne, his widow, for a further seven years.

Farmyard buildings opposite the farmhouse gate, these are now dwellings

Farmyard buildings opposite the farmhouse gate, these are now dwellings

In 1753 Esole Farm was included in the marriage settlement when Bridget Turner, of White Friars in Canterbury, married David Papillon, sole son and heir to David Papillon, Esq., of Acrise in Kent. The farm remained with the Papillon family until sometime in the early 1800’s when it came into the possession of the Hammonds of St. Alban’s Court.

The 1861 census records it as St. Alban’s Farm, it was then two dwellings with Thomas Fagg, farm bailiff, living in one part and Henry Castle, carter, in the other. By 1871 the house was a single dwelling where Frederick Atwood, farm bailiff, lived with Thomasin Gilham, an elderly widow, as his house-keeper and in 1901 George Garlinge, a brother of my great-grandmother, Lydia Rogers, was the working farm bailiff living there.

Easesole Farm was part of the St. Alban’s estate until the estate was sold off in 1938, when, along with Home Farm, and Church Farm, it was bought by a member of the Vestey family. The Vestey fortune had been founded on South American beef in the early 1900’s. The three farms had been leased from the 1920’s by Mr. Harry Crawford, whose Scottish father, David, had been the St Alban’s estate land steward [first referred to in the 1881 as living at the present Home Farm].

Easole-White Hse Fm Twds Butchers Alley

The view across the old farmyard, now dwellings. The village hall is to the right, the entrance to Butcher’s Alley is in mid-picture. The original road from the Alley to Beacham’s Lane ran across the yard to the left of the picture behind the low buildings [pig styes], which are now a row of houses

The farms were then sold again in the early 1950’s, Esole Farm was bought by Mr. Wilf Barwick; Home Farm was bought by his brother, Ted; and Church Farm by brother, Vic.  Wilf Barwick farmed White House Farm until 1973 when he retired from farming and sold the farm but continued to live in the house for some years until he sold it and moved to a bungalow nearby.


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