Goudhurst (St. Mary)

GOUDHURST (St. Mary), a parish, in the union, and partly in the hundred, of Cranbrooke, but chiefly in the hundred of Marden, Lower division of the lathe of Scray, W. division of Kent, 4 miles (E. N. E.) from Lamberhurst; containing 2711 inhabitants. This parish is intersected by the road from Lamberhurst to Cranbrooke, and comprises 9722a. 2r. 18p. The surface is principally hilly, and the soil of a sandy quality; the scenery is diversified by woods, chiefly of oak, and covering 2008 acres, and there are some hop plantations. The village had formerly a market on Wednesday, and a considerable business in the manufacture of cloth, both of which have now entirely ceased, but there is a fair for horses and for toys on August 26th and 27th, and for Welsh cattle on November 5th. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £26. 19. 2.; net income, £400; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Rochester. The church is a handsome structure, situated on the declivity of a lofty hill, commanding a fine view over the counties of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex; its tower was formerly surmounted by a spire, which was destroyed by lightning in 1637. Christchurch, on Kilndown, now a district church, was erected in 1839, at a cost of £2500; it is in the later English style, with a tower and spire, and contains 413 sittings, of which 313 are free. The altar-piece, of stone, richly carved, was the gift of A. B. Hope, Esq.; a fine-toned organ was presented by Lady Beresford, and the communion-plate, which is a splendid service, by Viscount Beresford, of Bedgebury Park. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £213 per annum, and in the gift of his Lordship. There are two places of worship for Wesleyans. John Horsmonden, in 1670, bequeathed a rent-charge of £35, for the instruction of children; and Thomas Bathurst, in 1718, gave another of £6.

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

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