Eastwell (St. Mary)

EASTWELL (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of East Ashford, hundred of Wye, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 3¼ miles (N.) from Ashford; containing 106 inhabitants. The parish comprises 894 acres, of which about 70 are arable, 370 meadow and pasture, 95 wood, and the remainder park land; the surface is elevated, and the soil clay, alternated with chalk, which latter prevails in the northern part. Eastwell Park, the seat of the Earl of Winchilsea, is a handsome residence, in the grounds of which is a spring, the source of a stream that flows into the river Stour. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 16. 8., and in the gift of the Earl: the tithes have been commuted for £189. 13., and the glebe comprises 23 acres. The church is an ancient structure, completely restored and beautified by the Earl of Winchilsea, in 1844; it contains a tomb in memory of Richard Plantagenet, natural son to King Richard III., and who, having fled hither after the battle of Bosworth, was protected by Sir Thomas Moyle, lord of the manor, at a small house erected by his permission, and died in 1550, at the age of eighty-one. The rectory-house was lately considerably improved by the incumbent.

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

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