Cliffe (St. Helen)

CLIFFE (St. Helen), a parish, in the union of North Aylesford, hundred of Shamwell, lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 5 miles (N. by W.) from Rochester; containing 842 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the north by the Thames, and comprises 5660 acres, whereof 180 are woodland, about 2000 arable, and the remainder pasture, including a considerable portion of marshy land. The village, which is supposed to take its name from the cliff or rock on which it stands, was formerly of much greater extent, a great part of it having been destroyed by fire in 1520: it was the scene of several provincial councils. A pleasurefair is held on September 28th. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £50; net income, £1297; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury: the glebe contains 20 acres. The church is considered one of the finest in the county, being a large handsome cruciform structure in the early English style, with an embattled central tower, and containing several curious monuments and remains of antiquity, together with six stalls that belonged to a dean and five prebendaries, it having been formerly collegiate.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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