Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for SEVENOAKS

SEVENOAKS, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Kent. The town stands on high ground, on the Sevenoaks, Maidstone, and Tunbridge railway, amid fine and varied scenery, 6 miles N W by N of Tunbridge; took its name from seven oaks, now represented by other trees; dates from considerably ancient times; belonged, for ages, to the archbishops of Canterbury; was exchanged by Cranmer to Henry VIII., for other property; passed afterwards to the Sackvilles of Knole; is near the place where Jack Cade, in 1450, defeated and slew Sir H. Stafford; was a seat of the Kent assizes in the time of Elizabeth; is now a seat of petty-sessions and county courts, and a polling-place; serves also as a tourists'centre for very interesting excursions; enjoys much amenity from the adjacency of the noble mansion of Knole, which we have separately noticed, and from the neighbourhood of Riverhill House, Kippington, Beechmount, Bellevue, Ashgrove, Montreal House, the Wilderness, and other fine residences; includes an open space, called the Vine, where famous cricket matches are played; underwent much increase in several years prior to 1868, in somuch that a new town was then springing up; and has a head post-office, ‡ two r. stations with telegraph, a banking office, several good inns, a county court-house, a police station, two churches, three dissenting chapels, a literary and scientific institution, a free grammar-school, an endowed national school, a village hospital erected in 1867, two suites of alms-houses, and considerable other charities. The parish church figures conspicuously on an eminence; is mainly later English, with a tower; and contains the grave of Farnaby, a native and eminent scholar of the time of Charles I., a monument of Lambarde the antiquary, whose family was seated at S. House, and monuments of the Amhersts, the Bosvilles, the Dorsets, the Fermoys, and others. St. John's church was built in 1858, and is a neat edifice. The Independent chapel was built in 1866, at a cost of £3, 200; and is in the early decorated English style, with tower and spire. The Wesleyan chapel was built in 1853. The grammar-school was founded in 1432, by Sir W. Sevenoake or Sennocke, originally a poor orphan of the parish; adjoins an hospital, by the same founder, for decayed elderly trades people; was rebuilt in 1727; has, jointly with the hospital, an endowed income of £772 a year; and has also five scholarships, of £30 and £35 a year, at Cambridge and Oxford. The endowed national school was founded by Lady Boswell, in the time of Charles I.; and has about £430 a year from endowment. A weeklymarket is held on Saturday; a stock-market, on the last Tuesday of every month; and a fair, on 12 and 13 Oct. Pop. of the town, in 1861, 3, 171. Houses, 436.

The parish contains also the liberties of Riverhead and Weald. Acres, 6,000. Real property, £22, 867; of which £194 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 4, 878; in 1861, 4, 695. Houses, 978. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £1, 117.* Patrons, the Trustees of the late Rev. T. Curteis. The chapelries of Riverhead and Weald are separate benefices.—The sub-district contains also the parishes of Sundridge, Brasted, and Westerham. Acres, 20, 173. Pop., 9, 568. Houses, 1,872. The district comprehends also the sub-districts of Shoreham and Penshurst, and comprises 67, 488 acres. Poor-rates in 1863, £11, 993. Pop. in 1851, 22,095; in 1861, 22,039. Houses, 4, 300. Marriages in 1863, 107; births, 741, of which 44 wereillegitimate; deaths, 436, of which 142 were at ages under 5 years, and 20 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,046; births, 6, 773; deaths, 3, 931. The places of worship, in 1851, were 21 of the Church of England, with 6, 987 sittings; 5 of Independents, with 910 s.; 7 of Baptists, with 1, 433 s.; 13 of Wesleyans, with 1, 311 s.; and 3 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 190 s. The schools were 30 public day-schools, with 2, 534 scholars; 44 private day-schools, with 791 s.; 30 Sunday schools, with 2, 237 s.; and 5 evening schools for adults, with 79 s. The workhouse is in Sundridge.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Sevenoaks CP/AP       Sevenoaks SubD       Sevenoaks PLU/RegD       Kent AncC
Place: Sevenoaks

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