Ewell (St. Mary and St. Peter)

EWELL (St. Mary and St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Dovor, hundred of Bewsborough, lathe of St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, 3 miles (N. W.) from Dovor; containing 392 inhabitants. This place was anciently styled Temple-Ewell, from its being the property of the Knights Templars, who had a preceptory here prior to the year 1185, the remains of which were destroyed about the middle of the last century: some land near the site is still called Temple Farm. King John, after the resignation of his kingdom to the Pope's legate, on his retiring from Dovor, spent some time at this monastery, and one of the documents relating to that transaction is dated from the Temple, at Ewell. The parish is beautifully situated in a valley between Barham Downs and the coast, and comprises 1590 acres: the surface is varied with hills, and the soil is fertile; on the hills the soil is clayey. About 240 acres are woodland. The river Idle, one of the chief tributaries of the Stour, has its rise within the parish. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 13. 4.; patrons and impropriators, the Heirs of the late John Angel, Esq.; net income, £70. The church is a small ancient edifice; the chancel is parted from the nave, and appropriated as a school for girls. On some of the hills are supposed to have been Roman intrenchments, from the discovery of arms, spurs, and helmets there.

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

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