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Allington is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Canterbury, in the archdeaconry of Canterbury and in the deanery of North Malling. The church is named for St. Laurence with original parish registers commencing 1630.1
Allington, a parish in Malling district, Kent; on the river Medway and the Maidstone railway, 1-1/2 miles north-north-west of Maidstone. Post town, Maidstone. Acres, 612. Real property in 1860, £1,495. Population in 1861, 66. Houses, 10.1
The manor was granted, at the Conquest, to William de Warrene; passed to the family of Allington, to Sir Stephen de Penchester, to the Cobhams, the Brents, and the Wyatts; was the birthplace of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the poet, and of his son Sir Thomas, who headed the insurrection against Queen Mary; was given, at the confiscation of manors, to Sir John Astley; and passed, in 1720, to the Earl of Romney. A castle was built on it by Warrene, rebuilt by Penchester, extended by the Wyatts and abandoned to ruin by Astley. Considerable part of the structure still stands, and presents interesting features. The exterior is a long parallelogram, with projecting circular towers; and the interior is divided by a range of low building, with archway, into two distinct courts. A wide moat, fed from the Medway, nearly encircles the pile; and a farm house, of picturesque character, built out of fallen parts of the castle, stands adjacent. Gentle hills, mostly covered with wood, rise in the vicinity; and irregular mounds, which probably were ornamental features in the once-noble park, lie between the castle and the river. Wyatt, the poet, describing his life here, says, -1
"This maketh me at home to hunt and hawk;
The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £145 with a habitable glebe house. Patron, the Earl of Romney. The church is decorated English, in very good condition.1
St. Laurence's church was largely rebuilt during the nineteenth century on the site of the original venerable edifice. It is situated along the main approach road to Allington Castle but, as a place of worship, was closed in 1969 and subsequently converted into a desirable residence. For much of its history, St. Laurence operated as a chapelry rather than as a parish church and owing to this and its then remote location, St, Laurence's church must have witnessed many notable visitors and had its fair share of scandals. Notably, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the church was used as a venue for many clandestine marriages, which were conducted without the reading of banns or the requirement of residency or licence.
During 1938 a new church was built at the centre of the burgeoning suburbs surrounding Allington and dedicated to St. Nicholas. Some of the furnishings of the church of St. Laurence were moved to St. Nicholas and are in use, today. To learn more about Allington, today, and the new church, visit the St. Nicholas church web site.
1 John Marius Wilson, comp. The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales. (London, England: A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).
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