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Your Online Parish Clerk for Gillingham is:  VACANT.  

Gillingham is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Rochester, in the archdeaconry of Rochester and St. Albans.  The church is named for St. Mary Magdelene with registers commencing 1558.

Gillingham, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Medway district, Kent.  The village stands on the river Medway, 1/2 a mile north-north-east of New Brompton rail station, and 1-1/2 mile northeast of Chatham;  was known to the Saxons as Gillinga, and at Domesday as Gelingeham;  had once a palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury;  was a market town in the time of Edward II, and in later times;  and, prior to the rise of Chatham, was an important station of the royal navy.

Some remains of the palace still exist, measuring 100 feet by 30, showing traces of decorated English, and converted into a barn.  The Danes made frequent descents on the village;  and 600 noblemen who came in the retinue of Edward and Alfred, were slain here by Earl Godwin.  A fort was erected in the north-western vicinity by Charles I, for protecting the dockyard;  and it was afterwards enlarged, and took the name of Gillingham castle;  but it is of no great importance.

The parish includes also part of the town of Brompton;  lies partly within the borough of Chatham;  and contains Brompton barracks, St. Mary’s barracks, Garrison hospital, a new prison, and several other public institutions.  Post town, Old Brompton, under Chatham.  Acres, 6,683, of which 1,430 are water.  Real property in 1860, £27,909;  of which £1,000 are in quarried, £370 in railways, and £300 in gas works.  Population in 1841, 9,321;  in 1861, 14,608.  Houses, 1,995.  The increase of population arose partly from the presence of 1,269 inmates in the new prison, and partly from the increased number of labourers and artificers in the dock-yard and other government works of Chatham.  Population of the part within Chatham borough in 1861, 12,241.  Houses, 1,496.  The property is much subdivided.

The manor belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury from a time prior to the Conquest.  Much of the land is disposed in hop grounds and famous cherry gardens.

The living is a vicarage, united with the perpetual curacy of Lidsing, in the diocese of Rochester.  Value, £643 with a habitable glebe house.  Patron, Brasenose College, Oxford.  The church has characters from early English to perpendicular;  exhibited for many years indications of having been a very fine edifice, treated with neglect;  consists of nave, aisle, chancel, and two side chapels, with a west square tower;  once possessed, in a niche over the porch, an image of "Our Lady of Gillingham", much visited by pilgrims;and was variously restored and rebuilt, so as to be completely altered, in 1869.

The vicarage of Brompton is a separate benefice.  There is a chapel of ease at Lidsing.  There are also chapels for Wesleyans, Free Methodists, and Bible Christians.

There are likewise a national school and charities £21, together with a share in Pitt’s school at Chatham.

William de Gillingham, the author of a history of Britain, and William Adams, the discoverer of Japan, were natives.

A coast guard station is here;  and Grange hamlet, a member of Hastings Cinque port, is adjacent.

The sub-district includes part of Chatham parish, and all Grange and Lidsing.  Acres, 11,445.  Population in 1861, 34,255.  Houses, 4,841.

Brompton – a town and two chapelries in Chatham and Gillingham parishes, Kent.  The town consists of two parts, New and Old;  the former, adjacent to the London and Dover railway, 1-1/2 mile east of Chatham, with a station on the railway;  the latter on the brow of a hill, overlooking the Medway, 1 mile northeast of Chatham, with a post office under Chatham with a savings banks and a money order office.  A grand naval hospital, barracks for the Royal marines light infantry, barracks and hospital for the infantry of the line, and barracks, with stables, for the Royal engineers are here, all within the extensive fortifications which defend the dockyard and gun wharf of Chatham.  The barracks include a museum, containing models and relics.  A large military gymnasium was erected in 1863, at a cost of upwards of £6,000.  The new convict prison is here;  and, at the Census of 1861, had 1,269 inmates.  A fair is held on 22 May.  The chapelries are Old Brompton and New Brompton.  Population in 1861, 8,119 and 4,400.

The livings are vicarages in the diocese of Rochester.  Value, £150 with a habitable glebe house.  Patron and £166.  Old Brompton church is a neat edifice in the pointed style, with a spire.  New Brompton church was built in 1866, at a cost of £5,800;  and is in the early decorated style.  There are chapels for Wesleyans and Roman Catholics.

Lidsing – or Lidgen, a ville in Medway district, Kent;  3-1/4 miles southeast of Chatham.  Acres, 439;  of which 40 are water.  Population in 1861, 30.  Houses, 5.  The ville forms a chapelry, annexed to the vicarage of Gillingham, in the diocese of Rochester.1
1John Marius Wilson, comp. The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales.  (London, England:  A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).

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