Welcome to the Old Parish of Nonington in East Kent


Nonington, often spelt Nonnington, is a rural parish in East Kent. It lies 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 old parish measured roughly three miles by three miles, some 4,000 acres in all, but was divided into the separate parishes of Nonington and Aylesham in 1951. This website is mainly concerned with the original parish before its division, and with events in what became the present parish of Nonington after the division.
The origins and history of Snowdown Colliery and the mining village of Aylesham and its people are well recorded on other websites and is therefore not covered  in any great detail by this website at present.

To visit Nonington’s historical places please use the Google Earth map below and  see how they look to-day.

The origins of the old Parish of Nonington

The old parish of Nonington was some three miles across in each direction with St. Mary’s Church roughly at its centre with the hamlet of Nonington proper surrounding the church. A survey made for Archbishop Lanfranc in the early 1070’s refers to “Nunningitun” church as a subsidiary of “the mother church” at Wingham, this appears to be the earliest reference to Nonington.   The settlement evolved on a cross-roads formed by a direct route to Christ Church in Canterbury via Ratling, Adisham, Bekesbourne and St. Martin’s Hill, and the road from Chillenden and Rolling through Nonington to  Womenswold and beyond.

The parish church probably has its origins in an estate known as Oeswalum.  From the 780’s the estate was owned by the Abbess of Minster and Suthminster Abbeys but by the 820’s  the ownership of Oeswalum was disputed between Abbess Cwoenthryth,  the daughter of Coenwulf, the king of Mercia and Archbishop Wulfred  of Canterbury The dispute was settled in Wulfred’s favour and after Wulfred’s death Oeswalum was inherited by his kinsman, Werhard, who in turn left it to Christ Church Abbey in Canterbury and Oeswalum subsequently absorbed into the Manor of Wingham which was held directly by the Archbishops of Canterbury.

Some three quarters of a mile to the north-east of the church along the old way to Chillenden was the small estate of Monkton, the Monks farm, part of the Manor of Adisham given to Christ Church in Canterbury in 616 and now called Gooseberry Hall farm.

Monkton also stands on a cross-roads, this one formed by the old roughly south to north Nonington to Chillenden way and an ancient roughly west to east track-way or “pilgrim’s road” running from Canterbury through Bekesbourne, Bossingham, near Adisham, through the present Goodnestone Park and then along the present Cherry Garden Lane on the north-eastern boundary of Nonington parish and on towards Eythorne and beyond.

It’s therefore very possible that the appellations of Nunningitun and Monkton evolved to differentiate between the land held by “the Nuns” of Suthminster and “ the Monks” of Christ Church.

The Chapel of Nunningitun was a chapel of ease of its mother church at Wingham and recorded as such in a list of parish churches compiled for Archbishop Lanfranc soon after his appointment in 1070. It stood on land belonging to the Manor of Wingham which in turn was part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s holdings.

Nonington was one of four parishes created from the formation in 1282 of the College of Wingham from the Manor of Wingham by Archbishop Pecham.  ‘The Chronicles of Wingham’ by Arthur Husseygive the following description of the College’s origins. “On August 2nd 1282 Archbishop John Peckham founded the College of Wingham, a college of secular canons consisting of a provost and six canons, divided into four parishes as follows: Wingham; Esse (Ash); Godwyneston (Goodnestone) with the hamlets of Bonnington, Offington (Uffington in Goodnestone parish), Rolling, Newenham, underdone together with parts of Tuicham (Twitham) and Chileden (Chillenden) and, lastly, the church of Nonington with the chapel of Wymelingewelde (Womenswold) and the hamlets of Rittlynge (Ratling), Freydeville (Fredville), Hesol (Easole), Suthnonington (South Nonington),Hakeholt (Ackholt), Catehampton (Kittington), Attedane (possibly Denne Hill, now part of Womenswold and Kingston parishes), Wolshethe (Woollege, now part of Womenswold parish), and Vike (Wick, also now part of Womenswold)‘some of which have been fixed in well proportioned parts, which vicars are so far held without hindrance’”.

On June 7th, 1290, King Edward I gave his consent to the formation of the College. The six canonries were: Bonnington, Chilton, Pedding, Ratling, Twitham, and Wymlingswold (Womenswold), “so named after the places of their endowment”.
Womenswold was originally administered jointly with Nonington and only became separated in the 1850’s.

Until its division into the present parishes of Aylesham and Nonington  in 1951 the old parish of Nonington consisted of the hamlets of Ackholt, Holt Street, Frogham, Easole Street, Nonington proper [the hamlet around the church], and Ratling along with the once manorial farmsteads of  Soles Court, Kittington, Curleswood Park,  and Old Court.

For information from the parish register on births, deaths & marriages, and census records go to:

Transcriptions of  documents relating to Nonington  from the 16th century onwards can be found at:

I hope the content will be both informative and of interest to visitors, and I look forward to reading your comments. Any information on Nonington past will be gratefully received, and in return I am willing to pass on any information I have and also post links with any other relevant sites or blogs.

Email contact: contact@reddlyoncurios.co.uk

This website is self-funded and receives no financial assistance from any other sources. Any donations to help with the running of this website will be gratefully received. Donations can be gifted  by Paypal to:   contact@reddlyoncurios.co.uk



  • Dan

    Thanks so much for such a detailed response! I’m pleased to finally know what the building was used for.

  • admin

    Thanks for the message, Bob. All is well with me. The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon(Latin: Pauperes Commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici), better known as the Knights Templar, were founded around 1129 and became the most prominent and wealthiest of the crusading Christian military orders. The Templars were disbanded by Pope Clement V in 1312 and their vast wealth and land-holdings were re-distributed by the various European rulers. Therefore, the Templars came into possession of the land at Denne Hill and/or the revenues from the land after 1129 and before 1312. The only info I have on the Templars is at http://www.nonington.org.uk/the-old-manors-of-nonington/the-knights-templar-and-knights-of-st-john/, this may be of use to you.
    Good hunting with your family history,
    Clive Webb.

  • Bob Stupple

    Clive Webb, I have come back from Australia for just a few weeks.
    Visited Womenswold, Barham, and Kingston trying to find any
    connection to Stupple families.
    Denne Hill seems to be a connection, but I have no proof.
    The old house there apparently was destroyed by fire, but I
    did visit the area on Saturday, there was a horse event starting.
    Can anyone tell me about the Knights Templar and when they
    owned Denne Hill?
    I am completing a Pictorial on Reynella, then I will concentrate
    on my family history.
    Trust all is good with you
    Best wishes
    Bob Stupple

  • admin

    Dan, thank you for your kind remarks regarding the website. It can take up a lot of time, and I usually do most of the work on it when the weather is bad, mostly during the winter. The building is known as “The Church Room”, and was built in the early 1900’s in memory of one of the Plumptre family who was a missionary and was for the use of St Mary’s church as a church hall. There was a plaque to this effect inside the hall but I forget the exact details as I haven’t been in there since the mid-1980’s. In the 1930’s a boxing club met there, my uncle John Webb was a member and apparently quite a useful boxer. I can remember it being used in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s by the church for meetings of “Discoverers”, a C of E childrens organisation. However, I didn’t go as I attended the Baptist chapel and inter-denominational integration was then a thing of the future. It also served as the K.C.C. village library until at least the late 1970’s. It was open for a couple of hours one afternoon {Monday, I think} a week, and the books being changed at regular intervals from the library van. I used to go every week when I was at primary school and during the holidays when I went to secondary school. It then became little used, mainly because it had no toilets or running water, and gradually fell into disrepair. Since the early 1990’s it has been used by a model railway club.

  • Dan

    Such an excellent website and a great resource for anyone with an interest in the history of the village and surrounding area! Thanks so much for the time and effort it must take to research and curate this website.

    I wondered whether you had any information on the use/purpose of the small detached building on Holt Street (heading west), just after the cricket ground on the left. It has shutters on all of it’s windows, but I occasionally see a number of cars parked there.

  • admin

    Thanks for the message, Freddie. You could try contacting the Clerk to the Parish Council http://www.nonington.com/parish-council/
    I knew Alan virtually from when I was born through Nonington Cricket Club. Alan and my father both played cricket for the club into the 1970’s. My paternal grand-father, Frank Webb, used to go poaching rabbits with George and one or two of his brothers in the early 1900’s when George’s family lived in Easole Cottage in Mill Lane. A couple of the Beer brothers were caught by the game-keeper one night in or near Iron Fence Wood, which was on Fredville land, but my grand-father was on the bridle-way which runs up the side of the wood with the long nets so nothing could really be done about it other than their being warned about poaching in the future.

  • freddie beer

    good morning
    My grandfather was George Henry Beer and was the last full time Blacksmith at Nonington Forge. It seems there is no recognition of this in the village and the site next to Nonington Church has block paving on the ground where the Forge used to be situated and My mother and I wondered who we could contact to place a brass plaque there to commemorate George Henry and his two sons, Alf and Alan. Incidentally, the youngest son, Alan William played for the village cricket team regularly.

    Freddie Beer

  • Bob Stupple

    Clive Webb, in regard to the earlier info on indenture 1552 by Dr Hardman( William Stupple of Nonington)
    would you know where that original/copy of would be.
    They have suggested Kent history Library Maidstone.
    Do you have any thoughts as to where it may be held please.

  • admin

    Bob, Laddy is not an old Kent dialect word for youth. Laddy’s could also mean ladders, which were then far more important in agriculture than they are now, the old Kent dialect word for ladder is lather [said with long a=larther]. It could be an alternative spelling, spelling varies a great deal in documents of this period. Words were written as they sounded to the writer, and Kent dialect then sounded vowels much differently to to-day, ee was pronounced as i [sheep=ship], i was ee [mice=meese], a was said as ah [so laddy would have been said lahddy]. The same with consonants, th was said as d,[those=dose, then=den] The problem with the documents I have is that they are copies and some of the transcription and dating is inaccurate, I have found several inconsistencies in the transcriptions.
    As far as I know there are no paths or lanes that have a name resembling Laddy, and I’ve not seen one on older maps, but names do change from generation to generation.
    I think it means a place where ladders were made, so it would most likely have been close to a wood, possibly Broadsole Wood [now Frogham Wood] at the end of Frogham Street.

  • Bob Stupple

    Clive, not sure if you can help.
    According to my research, and reading into the early material you supplied,
    William Stupple(Stupell) gave land for a walk way called Laddy,s Tome or Lane.(youths walk).
    in your research is their a lane south of Nonington towards Frogham and Fredville ?
    I have become entrenched into this history, thanks to your kind help.
    Regards….Bob Stupple

  • admin

    Nice result, Bob. Unfortunately the Womenswold [also Wimlingswold] parish records have not been put on line so it’s not easy to access Births ect., also you could try researching Kingston and Barham parishes which are next door to Womenswold as I believe Denne Hill is [or was] mainly in Kingston parish.

  • Bob Stupple

    Clive Webb, have purchased document from E bay, received it in mail yesterday in Adelaide.
    Excellent condition, and original.
    Many thanks for the tip off.
    Very interested in Womanswold now, to find where John Stupple farmed, and how long
    the farm was retained by the Stupple family and how early they came to Womanswold.
    Any additional help from over there would be much appreciated
    Bob Stupple

  • Bob Stupple

    Clive Webb, have purchased document from E bay, received it in mail yesterday in Adelaide.
    Excellent condition, and original.
    Many thanks for the tip off.
    Very interested in Womanswold now, to find where John Stupple farmed, and how long
    the farm was retained by the Stupple family and how early they came to Womanswold.
    Any additional help from over there would be much appreciated
    Bob Stupple

  • Bob Stupple

    To Dave Walker
    Just found your info on Adelaide immigrants 1849 very interesting.
    I recently published a book on the Pioneers of Reynella.
    This is stories of pioneers and their families who came to Adelaide from 1838-

    Bob Stupple

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