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Cranbrook Parish

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Your Online Parish Clerk for Cranbrook is:  VACANT.  

Cranbrook is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Canterbury, in the archdeaconry of Canterbury and in the deanery of West Charing.  The church is named for St. Dunstan with registers commencing 1559.

Cranbrook, a small town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred in Kent.  The town stands in the Weald, on the river Crane, 5 miles south-by-west of Staplehurst rail station, and 14 south-by-east of Maidstone;  consists chiefly of one long street;  is a seat of petty sessions and a polling place;  and has a post office under Staplehurst with a savings banks and a money order office;  another banking office, two chief inns, a market house, a parish church, five dissenting chapels, a free grammar school, and a workhouse.

The church is chiefly decorated and perpendicular English;  has a western square embattled tower;  was partly rebuilt in 1722;  and contains monuments of the Robertses of Glastonbury and the Bakers of Sissinghurst.

The grammar school was founded, in 1574, by Sir Simon Lynch;  and has £135 from endowment.  Other charities have £91.

Markets are held on Wednesdays;  and fairs on 30 May and 29 September.  A broadcloth manufactory was introduced in the time of Edward III;  flourished for ages so greatly as to give its masters and patrons high influence in county affairs;  ceased about the beginning of the present century;  and has left traces of itself in picturesque remains of old factories.  The parish includes also the hamlet of Milkhouse Street.  Acres, 9,862.  Real property in 1860, £17,025.  Population in 1861, 4,128.  Houses, 800.  The surface presents all the characteristics of the Weald.

Sissinghurst House was a stately mansion, of the time of Edward IV, belonging to the Bakers;  became, toward the end of last century, a place of confinement for French prisoners;  and now survives only in some picturesque fragments.  There are mineral springs.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, £163 with a habitable glebe house.  Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The vicarage of Sissinghurst is a separate benefice.

Sir R. Baker, the author of the "English Chronicle", and Huntingdon the S.S. were natives.

The sub-district comprises the parishes of Cranbrook, Frittenden, and Benenden, Acres, 19,688.  Population in 1861, 6,724.  Houses, 1,321.

The district comprehends also the sub-district of Hawkhurst, containing the parishes of Hawkhurst, Goudhurst, and Sandhurst.  Acres, 40,249.  Poor rates, in 1862, £8,068.  Population in 1841, 13,163;  in 1861, 13,412.  Houses, 2,606.  Marriages, in 1860, 81;  births, 425 of which 32 were illegitimate;  deaths, 207 of which 76 were at ages under 5 years and 6 at ages above 85.  Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 892;  births, 4,388;  deaths, 2,242.

The places of worship in 1851 were 8 of the Church of England, with 4,752 sittings;  4 of Independents, with 1,056 sittings;  3 of Baptists, with 608 sittings;  5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 654 sittings;  1 of Primitive Methodists, with 40 sittings;  1 of Bible Christians, with 40 sittings;  and 3 undefined, with 287 sittings.

The schools were 14 public day schools, with 999 scholars;  26 private day schools, with 656 scholars;  and 18 Sunday schools, with 1,642 scholars.

The hundred is in the lathe of Scray;  and contains Cranbrook and Frittenden parishes, and parts of Goudhurst and Staplehurst.  Acres, 13,180.  Population in 1861, 4,928.  Houses, 909.

Milkhouse Street a hamlet in Cranbrook parish, Kent;  2 miles northeast of Cranbrook.  It contains the church of Sissinghurst chapelry, a Wesleyan chapel, and ruins of an ancient Church of England chapel.

Sissinghurst a chapelry, with Milkhouse Street hamlet, in Cranbrook parish, Kent;  2 miles northeast of Cranbrook, and 4-3/4 miles south-by-east of Staplehurst rail station.  Post town, Staplehurst.  Population in 1861, 1,133.  Houses, 232.

The manor belonged to the Saxenhursts, and passed to the Barhams and the Bakers.  Sissinghurst Castle was built, in the time of Edward VI, by Sir John Baker;  was converted, toward the end of the last century, into a place of confinement for French prisoners;  and is now represented by only the great entrance and some other fragments.  Sissinghurst Place is the seat of Admiral Wallace Houstown;  Hayselden House, of Lady Mary Hoare;  Camden Lodge of J. E. Wilson, Esq.;  and Castle House, of G. Neve, Esq..

The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, £120 with a habitable glebe house.  Patrons, Trustees.  The church was built in 1838, and has 3 schools connected with it, for infants, boys, and girls, respectively.1
1John Marius Wilson, comp. The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales.  (London, England:  A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).


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This page was written & produced by Susan D. Young.

Date last modified:  1/31/2007 10:54:25 PM