Barming (St. Margaret)
BARMING (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union and hundred of Maidstone, lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 2½ miles (W. by S.) from Maidstone; containing 540 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises 745a. 3r. 4p., is intersected by the road from Maidstone to Tonbridge, and by the river Medway, which is crossed by a stone bridge leading to East Farleigh, and by another of wood, called St. Helen's bridge, on the road to West Farleigh. The soil is rich, and peculiarly adapted to the cultivation of hops and fruit, of which latter a large quantity is sent to the London market. There are 66 acres of common, The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 17. 1., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £400, subject to increase or decrease according to the increase or decrease of hops and fruit; and there are 70 acres of glebe. Here was a Roman villa, the foundations of which were taken up a few years ago, when coins of the Lower Empire, and of Edward I. and later English monarchs, were found. The abbess of St. Helen's, London, had a summer retreat here; but there are no remains of the house. The poet Smart resided upon his paternal estate in the parish; and the Rev. John Harris, D.D., author of a History of Kent, a Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, &c., formerly held the living.