Pigots 1840 - Kent

Shoreham, Otford, Kemsing, Ightham, Wrotham, Seal & neighbourhoods


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Shoreham, four miles & a half north from Seven Oaks, is a handsome village, through which runs the river Darenth, crossed by a stone bridge, and upon the stream is an extensive paper manufactory; the village within these ten years, has received a considerable addition of good houses and it is progressively improving. The church dedicated to St Peter, is built of brick and very ancient, with a low square tower and a clock; the living is a discharged vicarage, in the patronage of the dean and chapter of Westminster. (For the population of this and the following parishes see after Seal)


About two miles south from Shoreham and three north from Seven Oaks; s the village of Otford, presenting the wide spread ruins of a castle, once the proud residence of the celebrated Thomas á Becket; a square tower belonging to this edifice is still standing, and in a good state of preservation; and a small portion of the castle has been rendered habitable; some idea may be formed of its grandeur from the fact that during the prelates time, the repairs cost upwards of £30,000. The mouths of many subterraneous passages are at this day visible, but the direction they take, and their length are not ascertained. Near the castle is a well termed Thomas á Beckets well, said to have been used by him as a bath. The parish is well watered by several excellent springs, the village is clean and the country around exceedingly pleasant and fertile. The church dedicated to St Bartholomew, is a neat erection and has fine monuments several descendants of Oliver Cromwell are entombed here. The living a perpetual curacy is in the same patronage as that of Shoreham.


About two miles E by S from Otford and three and a half from Seven Oaks, is the small village of Kemsing. The church, an old fabric, built of stone, with a wooden tower, is dedicated to St Mary; the benefice is a vicarage, in the patronage of the heirs of the Dorset family.


Ightham five miles SE from Seven Oaks, is a pleasant little village, in an extensive parish, well clothed with orchards and hop grounds. The church dedicated to St Peter stands at a little distance from the village; it is said to have been erected  about the year 1526, has a square tower and contains several elegant monuments to the Selby family; the living is a rectory in the presentation of the Rev S W Cobb. There is a national school in the village. A small fair of no importance as to business, is held in Whitsun week.


Two miles from Ightham is the village of Wrotham, in an extensive parish; principally situated on the side of a hill, on the road to Maidstone, from which it is distant eleven miles. It was formerly a market town and appears to have had some importance attached to it, as from it the hundred in which it is situated is named. The parish contains the townships of Hale, Nepicar, Plaxtol and Winfield and Roughway. The church dedicated to St George, is a spacious stone edifice, with a square tower, containing eight bells and chimes; the benefice comprises a sinecure rectory and a vicarage, both in the gift of the see of Canterbury. From Wrotham Hill which is partly clothed with fine beech trees, there is a delightful prospect, southward, over the vale beneath, embracing a great extent of agreeably diversified country. There is a chapel of ease at Plaxtol. A fair is held at Wrotham on the 4th of May; but the market which was held on Tuesday, has been long extinct.


The pleasant village of Seal stands on the main road from Maidstone to Seven Oaks, fifteen miles west from former and two from the latter place. The church dedicated to St Peter, is an elegant structure of stone, with a square tower containing five bells; the benefice is annexed to the vicarage of Kemsing.  There is a national school here. The Marquess of Camden has a beautiful seat near this place. A fair is annually held on Thursday in Whitsun week.


The foregoing parishes (excepting Wrotham and Ightham, which are in the hundred of Wrotham and lathe of Aylesford), are in Codsheath hundred and lathe of Sutton at Hone; the population in 1831 was as follows: Shoreham 1015; Otford 746; Kemsing 399; Ightham 1017; Wrotham (& its dependent townships), 2469; and Seal 1454 inhabitants.


POST – Receiving Houses at the George, Shoreham; the White Horse, Seal; and at John Ashdown’s, Wrotham. These places are within the Seven Oaks delivery and letters arrive from and are despatched to that town daily.


POST – Otford. Letters from and are despatched to Dartford (by foot post), daily.




AUBER Rev Robert, Shoreham

BRADLEY Joseph esq, Otford

BURGESS Thomas esq, Crowdelham

BURTENSHAW Mr Henry, Wrotham

BURTON Captain Rider, Duntshill Priory

CAMDEN The Marquess of, Wilderness Park, Seal

CHARLTON Mr Thomas, Ightham

CLARK Stephen esq, Seal

COBB Rev Samuel Wyatt, Ightham

CRICHTON Sir Alexander, Seal grove

DURNTFORD Colonel, Wrotham

DYKE Rev Thomas, Lullingstone Park

ELLIS William esq, Wrotham

FRIDAY Mr Henry, Otford

GREGORY Captain Arthur, Wrotham

GREGORY George Sandback esq, Shoreham

HARWOOD Rev George, Seal

HODSOLL Mrs Sarah, Wrotham

JAMES Demetrius Gravis esq, Ightham

KNOWLES Mr John, Wrotham

MANSELL Lady, Wrotham heath

MARTIN James, Otford

MATTHEWS Mrs Ann, Wrotham

MAYO Rev Richard, Wrotham

MILDMAY Humphrey St John esq, Shoreham

MOORE Rev George, Wrotham

PARKINSON Mr Thomas, Kemsing

POLHILL Rev Frederick, Otford

PRICE Rev Robert, Shoreham

ROUND Richard esq, Seal

SELBY Mrs, Ightham

SELBY Thomas esq, Obery place

SPENCER Mr John, Wrotham

SPENCER Mr Joshua, Wrotham

STAMER Rev William, Seal

STEPHENS William esq, Seal

SWAISLAND Amos esq, Kemsing

TAYLOR William esq, Ightham

WILSON Lergent esq, Seal

WREFORD Mr John, Otford

WYNN Rev John, Plaxtol

YATES Miss, Fair Lawn


ACADEMIES & SCHOOLS – not otherwise described are Day Schools




National School, Ightham, George CRITTLE, master; Jane WRIGHT, mistress

National School, Seal, James HARDING, master; Mary SUMMERS, mistress

SAXBY Ann, (boarding), Wrotham

SMITH Ann, Shoreham

WILBRAHAM Charles Mitchell, (boarding), Wrotham




ASHDOWN John, Wrotham

JESSUP Stephen, Seal

MARTIN Francis, Wrotham

MARTIN John, Shoreham

SKINNER William, Seal




Surrey, Kent & Sussex Banking Company, (Branch), Wrotham, (draw upon the London Establishment) – John EVENDEN, agent




ASHDOWN Henry, Wrotham

BRIGDEN Joseph, (& brazier & tin man), Wrotham

GASSON Thomas, Ightham

HIDER Mary & Son, Neal

HOLDEN James, Kemsing

ROSE Richard, Otford

SEAKER David, Shoreham

STREETON John, Ightham




ALLINGHAM Thomas, Seal

NOSMAN William, Otford

SEAKER Robert, Shoreham




BROWN George, Seal

BROWN Josiah, Seal

COLLIER Edward, Otford

COLLIER William, Otford

CRASS Thomas, Wrotham

HEAD William, Shoreham

JOHNSON John, Ightham

MARTIN Daniel, Wrotham

NIGHTINGALE William, Shoreham

WALTER John, Seal




JOHNSON John, Ightham

MILLS Mary, Shoreham

MILLS Richard, Otford

MOYCE Henry, Seal

MOYCE Sarah, Seal

POLTICK James, Wrotham

REEVES William, Otford

WAGHORN John, Wrotham

YAYES Samuel, Shoreham




CARLEY John, Wrotham

CORKE Benjamin, Seal

JESSOP William, Otford

WAKEMAN Richard, Shoreham

WILLIAMS Charles William, Wrotham

WRIGHT George, Ightham




MARCHANT Robert, Seal

SHOEBRIDGE Richard, Seal




Kent, John EVENDEN, Wrotham

Norwich Union, Frederick LENEY, Wrotham


GROCERS & DEALERS IN SUNDRIES – marked thus * are also Drapers


ALFORD William, Seal

* BARHAM James, Seal

BATT & MARTIN, Ightham

* BRISTOW Ann, Wrotham

BROOMFIELD Charles, Shoreham


* DEANE Elizabeth, Ightham

ELFORD William, Seal

* EVENDEN John, Wrotham


* HARRISON Ann, Ightham

LARKIN William, Plaxtol

* MARTIN Martha, Plaxtol

* ROGERS William, Shoreham

* SEAMARK James, Wrotham

* SHARWELL William, Otford

SIMMONS Mary, Shoreham

TOWNSEND George, Kemsing

TROUGHTON Charles, Otford

WIGZELL Robert, Kemsing




CRUNDELL William, Seal

JESSOP George, Otford




CROWHURST William, Ightham

LENEY Charles, Seal

SQUIB Joseph & Sarah, Seal




BOWLES Richard, Shoreham

NASH Edward, Otford





BOOTH Hannah, Ightham

BOOTH Sarah, Seal

GRIFFITHS John, Shoreham

MAIR William, Wrotham




BOYCE Benjamin, Wrotham

CATT David, Seal

CHILMAN Thomas, Ightham

VERRELLS Thomas, Shoreham




CROW John, Wrotham

PARKER Charles, Wrotham

RICHARDS George, Seal

RICHARDS Robert, Otford




CRANK William, Seal


SELBY James, Otford




BREWER John, Shoreham

CHATFIELD William, Plaxtol

DUTNALL John, Wrotham

GRAY Joseph, Seal

SCARF John, Wrotham





Bell, Thomas WHALE, Kemsing

Black Horse, John DOWLEY, Borough Green

Bull, Daniel, DAY, Otford

Bull, Frederick LENEY, Wrotham

Cat & Tiger, Thomas NASH, Plaxtol

Chequers, John BATEY, Wrotham

Chequers, Thomas BENNETT, Kemsing

Chequers, James TURNER, Ightham

Crown, William HUNTLEY, Seal

Crown, James SQUIB, Shoreham

Crown Point, Isaac TILLMAN, Ightham

Dukes Head, William STRATTON, Otford

George, John DAY, Shoreham

George & Dragon, Richard ALLCHIN, Wrotham

George & Dragon, William SMITH, Ightham

Kentish Yeoman, John RICHARDSON, Seal

Plough, William, EVENDEN, Wrotham

Red Lion, William THOMPSON, Plaxtol

Rose & Crown, John CARLEY, Wrotham

Rose & Crown, John STROUD, Otford

Royal Oak, Thomas KERN, Wrotham

Spring Tavern, William STREETER, Wrotham

White Horse, Richard JONES, Seal




BENNETT James, Plaxtol

COOMBER George, Seal

JESSOP William, Otford

USHERWOOD James, Ightham

WAKEMAN Richard, Wrotham

YATES William, Shoreham




FARRANT William, watchmaker, Wrotham

JESSUP Robert, hairdresser, Wrotham

MILLER Henry, cooper, Wrotham

REYNOLDS Richard, brick maker, Seal

SAKER John, millwright, Ightham

WILMOTT George, paper manufacturer, Shoreham




To London, Coaches (from Maidstone), call at the Bull Inn, Wrotham every morning at six, seven, half past nine and a quarter past ten and afternoon at two and half past four.


To Maidstone &c. Coaches, (from London), call at the Bull Inn, Wrotham every afternoon at two, half past four and five and night at seven and eight & a Coach Van (from Westerham), passes through Seal & Ightham every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning.


To Westerham, a Coach Van (from Maidstone), passes through Seal & Ightham every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon.




To London, Edward CROWHURST and Robert FORDHAM from Shoreham and Otford every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and James MARTIN’s Van from the Bull, Wrotham every morning (Sunday excepted) at nine.


This page was last updated on 06-Mar-2021.

Copyright © 2008 Janet & Richard Mason.