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Charing Church Copyright 2003 Stephen Nunney (profile and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence CC BY-SA 2.0
Sts. Peter and Paul
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Charing Parish

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Charing is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Canterbury, in the archdeaconry of Maidstone and in the deanery of East Charing.  The church is named for St. Peter and St. Paul with original parish registers commencing 1590.

Charing, a village and a parish in West Ashford district, Kent.  The village stands on the ancient road called the Pilgrims' way, near the source of the Len, 5 miles north by east of Pluckley rail station, and 5-1/2 northwest of Ashford.  It is an ancient place, known at Domesday as Cheringues;  and it has a post office with a savings banks and a money order office under Ashford, an inn, and fairs on 29 April and 29 Oct.  The parish comprises 4,551 acres.  Real property in 1860, £7,610.  Population in 1861, 1,285.  Houses, 265.  The property is divided among a few.

The manor belonged early to the see of Canterbury;  was held some time by the Saxon kings;  reverted to the Archbishops;  was given up by Cranmer to Henry VIII.;  and passed to the Whelers of Otterden.  A palace of the Archbishops stood here;  was rebuilt in the 14th century;  and gave entertainment to Henry VII. And Henry VIII.  The edifice was in the early decorated style, and badly executed;  and considerable ruins of it still exist.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, £475, witha habitable glebe house.  Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.  The church, the earliest parts of which are 13th-century, was chiefly rebuilt after a destruction of it by fire in 1590, but retains portions in early English and perpendicular;  and it contains monuments of the Brents, the Sayers, the Honeywoods, and Mrs. Ludwell. Some marks made by the fire can still be seen inside the church.

The church has a west tower; nave with north and south transepts, chancel with south Chapel, believed to have all been built after the fire; and, south porch, contemporary with the tower, has a parvise reached from the turret staircase. Taking approximately 65 years to complete, a three stage tower was started in the 1470s. The tower embraces a turret staircase, which leads to the battlemented parapet on the roof. There is a peal of six bells from the 19th century. The south transepts original flat roof was rebuilt during the 19th-century. The porch has a ripped vaulted ceiling and there are the remains of a Holy water stoop by the door.

The Lady Chapel on the south side of chancel probably replaced an earlier Chapel. Hugh and Amy Brent funded the rebuilding of the Lady Chapel in the late 15th-century, it, thereafter, becoming known as the Brent Chantry. This chantry later passed to the Deering family.

The chancel has a 13th-century piscina and a sedilia, which appears to have undergone some restoration at some point during the 18th-century. A carved oak Rood screen was erected in 1921, replacing a once mediaeval Rood screen destroyed most likely during the Reformation. The font dates from about 1630. The church also possesses a 16th-century vamping horn 2, one of only eight which survive in the country. The church is also said to contain the stone on which John the Baptist was beheaded. Outside the church are the remains of the Archbishop's Palace.

A school, founded by Mrs. Ludwell, who died in 1765, has £88 a year from endowment, and two exhibitions at Oriel college. 1

1 John Marius Wilson, comp.  The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales. (London, England: A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).

2 A megaphone or 'Tuba Stentorophonica', measuring six feet long with a mouthpiece, and a trumpet 18 inches in diameter. It was used to call parishioners to prayer - reputedly able to be heard over a mile away.

Charing Bibliography

-- various. 'Archaeologia Cantiana'. Publisher: Kent, England: Kent Archaeological Society, various dates.  [Note:  The following volumes can be found on  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (1876), 11, 12, 13 (1880), 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32, 34, 35, vol. 1907 supplement.]

  • General references to Charing: vol. , pp.
  • Currently in revision

Great Britain, Public Record Office. 'Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office--Edward II, Vol. 1. 1307-1313'Each volume has own index. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Great Britain, Public Record Office. 'Inquisitions and assessments relating to feudal aids : with other analogous documents preserved in the Public Record Office, A. D. 1284-1431', Vol. 3. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Great Britain, Exchequer. 'The book of fees commonly called testa de nevill, pt. 3'. The Book of fees contains information about the holdings of feudal tenants. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Hall, Hubert, 1857-1944. 'The Red book of the Exchequer - Liber rubeus de Scaccario, Vol. 3'. The Red book of the Exchequer was a register intended to preserve important documents comprising charters, statutes of the realm, public acts (Placita), private deeds and ordinances, correspondence. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Glencross, Reginald Morshead. 'Administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Vol. 1. 1559-1571'. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Hasted, Edward. 'The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent; Containing the antient and present state of it, civil and ecclesiastical; collected from public records, and other authorities: illustrated with maps, views, antiquities, etc. The second edition, improved, corrected, and continued to the present time'. 12 volumes. Publisher: Canterbury: Printed by W. Bristow, 1797-1801. URL: British History Online

Hussey, Arthur. 'Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, mentioned in Domesday book, and those of more recent date'. Publisher: London J.R. Smith,(1852).

Letters, Dr. Samantha. 'Kent', Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 (2005).  URL: British History Online.

Page, William, 1861-1934, ed.. 'The Victoria history of the county of Kent'. Publisher: London: Constable (1908).  URL: British History Online

Sharp, J. E. E. S., ed.. 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I, File 39', Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Volume 2: Edward I. Published:(1906), pp. 315-323.  URL: British History Online.

Sharp, J. E. E. S., ed.. 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, File 45', Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Volume 1: Henry III. Published:(1904), pp. 296-302.  URL: British History Online.

Location of Records

The following list of records is not intended to be exhaustive.  There are many records that are awaiting discovery in archive offices throughout Kent and England.  This list is intended only to set out those records that are available via at least two relatively easy-to-access avenues.  If you have used or discover a record that would be of benefit to other researchers, that is not on this list, please send me an email with the details of the archive - name, address and archival call number.

Census | Church of England | Non-Conformist | Parish chest | Workhouse and Poor Law | Land | Assizes and Sessions | School



Date The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue,
Kew, Richmond,
LDS Family History Centre
(Find a centre near you)
and indexed online at:
6 June 1841 Currently under revision  
30 Mar 1851 Currently under revision  
30 Mar 1851 census name index & images Currently under revision  
7 Apr 1861 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1871 Currently under revision  
3 Apr 1881 Currently under revision  
5 Apr 1891 Currently under revision  
31 Mar 1901 RG 13/785 - also online at  
2 Apr 1911 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1911 RG 78/139 - Census Enumerator's Summary Books online only and other subscription sites none

Church Records, Church of England

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Parish Register   Currently under revision  
Bishop's transcripts   Currently under revision  
CMB transcripts   Currently under revision  
Parish Registers, transcribed by Thomas Colyer-Fergusson   Currently under revision  

Church Records, Non-Conformist

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Particular Baptist Chapel, Nonconformist Return   Currently under revision  
Methodist Church Registers   Currently under revision  

Parish chest records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Parish Council Minutes   Currently under revision  
Removal orders out of Charing   Currently under revision  
Settlement Examinations, Minute book   Currently under revision  
Overseers' Accounts   Currently under revision  
Return of Churchwardens, constables and defaulters     
Tithe Apportionment Files      
Poor Rate books   Currently under revision  

Workhouse and Poor Law Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Admission & Discharge books   This section currently under revision  
Guardians' Minutes      
Births   Currently under revision  
Deaths   Currently under revision  
Religious creed registers   Currently under revision  
Apprentice Register      
Registers of lunatics      
Letters books      
Vaccination registers 1899-1930 Currently under revision  

Land Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Land tax assessments 1780-1831 Currently under revision  
Land tax assessments 1875-1876 Currently under revision  
Land tax assessments 1889-1890 Currently under revision  
Rates and Duties - Houses, Windows, Lights   Currently under revision  
Manorial Court rolls   Currently under revision  
War Damage Files 1939-1962 Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone, Kent, no.: Finding Aid at CKS-DRb/RW 123 None

Assizes and Sessions Records
(poor laws, jail terms, oaths, and other municipal and public records)

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Hearth tax   Currently under revision  
Victuallers Recognizances   Currently under revision  
Churchwarden's Presentments   Currently under revision  
Parish rate books   Currently under revision  

School Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
    Currently under revision  


Coming Soon

Church Registers


Parish Chest

  • Settlement Certificates
  • Removal Orders
  • Bastardy Examinations
  • Parish-assisted Immigrants
  • Churchwarden's Accounts
  • Overseer's Accounts
  • Surveyor's Accounts
  • Workhouse Records
  • Pew Rents
  • Donors' Rolls
  • Vestry Minutes
  • Bishops' Visitations
  • Parish Magazines
  • Parish Histories


Total Population

1801   -   851
1811   -   912
1821   -   1,103
1831   -   1,237
1841   -   1,241
1851   -   1,321
1861   -   1,285
1871   -   1,298
1881   -   1,349
1891   -   1,314
1901   -   1,170
1911   -   1,223
1921   -   1,207

Charing Distance to

London 43.6 mi.
Canterbury 12.8 mi.
Ashford 5.3 mi.
Bromley 36.3 mi.
Chatham 15.4 mi.
Cranbrook 13.8 mi.
Dartford 30.6 mi.
Deptford 40.6 mi.
Dover 22.9 mi.
Faversham 8.3 mi.
Folkestone 18.1 mi.
Gravesend 24.3 mi.
Greenwich 38.9 mi.
Hythe 16.0 mi.
Maidstone 12.4 mi.
Margate 28.1 mi.
Milton Regis 9.8 mi.
Queenborough 14.5 mi.
Ramsgate 28.3 mi.
Rochester 18.5 mi.
Sandwich 24.3 mi.
Sheerness 16.3 mi.
Tenterden 10.8 mi.
Tunbridge 23.8 mi.
Woolwich 37.3 mi.


Municipal & Public Records

  • Mayors
  • Town Clerks
  • Recorders
  • Chamberlains
  • M.P.s
  • Jurats, Aldermen and Common Councilmen
  • Electoral Register
  • Freeholders
  • Freemen Index
  • Freeman's Roll
  • Masters Index
  • Pubs, Taverns, Inns, Alehouses
  • Victuallers

Wills & Estate Records

Court Records

  • Gaol Returns
  • Quarter Sessions
  • Transportations
  • Summons for Pavement Repairs
  • Protestation Rolls c1641-1643
  • Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy 1662
  • Oaths of Allegiance c1720s

Military Records

Land Records
& Maps

  • Parish Map
  • Victoria County History
  • Deeds, Mortgages, etc.
  • Rated Property Returns
  • Returns of owners of land, 1873
  • Manor Court Baron
  • Manor Tenancy Rolls
  • Manors, Castles & Holdings of Significance

Tax Lists

  • Poll Tax
  • Hearth Tax
  • Window Tax
  • Hair Powder Tax
  • Land Tax Assessments 1780-1831
  • Land Tax Assessments 1799-1805

Other Records

Village Resources