In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Lenham like this:
LENHAM, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Hollingbourne district, Kent. The village stands near the source of the rivulet Len, 6 miles N by W of Pluckley r. station, and 9½ E by S of Maidstone; was once a market-town; and has a post office, ‡ under Maidstone, and fairs on 6 June and 23 Oct. ...
The parish contains also the hamlets of Lenham-Heath and Sandway. Acres, 6,963. Real property, £10,096. Pop., 2,016. Houses, 411. The property is subdivided. The manor was given, by Kenulf, King of Mercia, and Cudred, King of Kent, to Canterbury abbey; continued in possession of the abbey till the dissolution; and belongs now to James S. Douglas, Esq. Chilston Park is the seat of Mr. Douglas; Torre-Hill is the seat of Lord Kingsdown; and Swadelands is the seat of J. Fermor, Esq. The surface extends across a valley between chalk hills and sand hills; contains the sources of the rivulet Len and a head-stream of the Stour; and is salubrious and of average fertility. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £670.* Patron, A. Akers, Esq. The church is partly early English with alterations, partly decorated; consists of nave, aisles, and two chancels, with a tower; and contains sixteen ancient oaken stalls, which were used by the monks of Canterbury when visiting the manor,-a stone chair, or sedile, with solid arms and a cinquefoil-headed canopy, a pis cina, under a very wide arch,-a richly-carved pulpit, of the 17th century,-the effigies of a priest, probably of the time of Edward III.,-monuments of the Colepepers,- and a brass of a grandson of Mary Honywood, who lived to see 367 of her descendants. There are an Independent chapel, national schools, an endowed school, with £12 a year, and alms houses with £70.The sub-district contains also five other parishes. Acres, 16,142. Pop., 3,608. Houses, 748.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Lenham, in Maidstone and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th April 2017
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