The parish of Lynsted rises gently from south of the A2 at Teynham (Greenstreet) over the M2 motorway to Kingsdown, which is partly within the North Downs, an area designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Here is a reproduction of the Teynham Hundred Map. We have also extracted a section of a 1742 map that shows “Sittinborn” between “Tenham” and “Feversham” - maps were often more decorative than accurate!
More modern maps of 1959 and 1964 show how changes have happened even over such a short time
There are over 60 listed buildings in the parish.
There have arguably been ten inns within the parish. Four in Greenstreet (one disappeared when the brewery on Greenstreet was closed), three within the village, The Red Lion, Anchor House, and The Warrior, of which only the former remains open (as the Black Lion), and three isolated inns further south. Anchor house, a large Tudor coaching inn, together with the still existent forge alongside forge cottage illustrate the maritime connection and the importance of the village as an important resting place and through route for travellers.
The name 'Lynsted' is believed to derive from the Old English, meaning a place marked by a lime tree. Now celebrated by the planting of a small-leafed lime in a pasture opposite the village pond. Historically, the farms in Lynsted parish enjoyed considerable prosperity and the evidence of this lies in the large number of fine houses, dating from before 1650, which are present in the parish. Parts of the parish church, especially the tower, have also been dated to the early 14th century.
Lynsted parish is located on the southern edge of the North Kent fruit belt, and orchards used to be a major feature of the landscape, many of the orchards are being replaced with agriculture, which is somewhat more mixed with arable and grazing. Trees make important contributions to the aesthetic character of the Parish, either as field boundaries or to mark the edge of the lanes.
1909 Map of Lynsted village and its setting (you can find also 1909 maps here for Erriotwood, Kingsdown and Greenstreet)
The south side of Greenstreet is in Lynsted Parish. From Greenstreet to the boundaries of the subsidiary Manors of Bedmangore and Sewards the land seems to have in early days consisted of farms and smallholdings, held by their occupants as freeholds by quit rents to Teynham Manor and subject, according to old wills, to the customs of gavelkind. Elizabeth Selby says more about the hamlet of Greenstreet and its relationship with the road.
In Greenstreet, going from east to west, were Sherebanks (later Walnut Tree), New House Farm, Wastells (Wanstells) and Claxfield (owned by the Greenstreet family which lends its name to the hamlet). Greenstreet family and hamlet dominated this stretch of Watling Street during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, long before the small hamlet of Teynham spread south from its church under the influence of brickfield development and the arrival of the railway. Today, you might be forgiven for thinking that Teynham (Ten Hams, or Ten Hamlets), while old enough to be mentioned in the Domesday Book was more dominant throughout history – this is not necessarily the case.
The Dover Castle belonged to the Lord of the Manor and was the old coaching inn. It was built on waste land, and was sold to Samuel Shepherd (of Faversham) in 1752.
The George Inn certainly existed in 1679, as quit rent was paid for it. In 1740 William Terry owned it.
The Swan is mentioned as "The White Swan", formerly a brew house and comes into the Roll of 1671.
Mussons, previously the butcher's shop and house, is mentioned in Manor Roll of 1649.
Other properties are in the main dwellings with a few shops.
Between Greenstreet and Lynsted Village were Westons (probably Malt House) and Cambray (Cambridge), the small hamlet of Bogle or Beaugill, with Bompette (Bumpit) and Tickham or Tykeham lying to the east. As one might expect, the owners seem to have intermarried, acted as executors, etc., for one another. In the 14th and 15th centuries there were Cambrays, Cotyngs, Bogylls, Byxes, Green-streets, Wastells, and in the 16th century Peter Motte at Beaugill and Bumpette, Weyman in Cellar Hill, the Downes at Som'tye and Bogle, a branch of the yeoman Ropers in Cellar Hill, and still Greenstreets at Claxfield.
Erriott Wood, another portion of Lynsted held direct from the Lord of the Manors, seems at first to have been demesne land, as the " faggotts " at Eryette are included in the Reeve's account. It was later divided into smallholdings.
After the Archbishop gave up the Manor these smallholdings by degrees became absorbed in larger estates. The Dru Drurys and Hugessens bought Bogle. Part of Cambridge and much of that portion of the parish were bought in Commonwealth times by Henry Eve, " the farming parson ".
The Lords Teynham bought up many outlying portions. Absentee landlords bought good land as a speculation, till by the 1740 Roll the smallholdings were very few.
The Greenstreet family moved further east, and their house became a farm dwelling. The Cotings, Bixes and Beaugills disappeared, and the Weston property was divided up.
Lynsted Parish Development
Lynsted Parish seems to have been well populated as early as the 14th century therefore must have been well cultivated, though it was possibly cleared and settled at a later date than Teynham. In the Subsidy Roll for 1327 there are thirty-two names in the Boroughs of Bompette (Bumpit) and Bedmangore, residence of Sir John Roper created Lord of the Manor of Teynham by James I in 1616. The old Manor House stood in the wood still called Bedmangore, at the east end of the old avenue to the present house. It is understood that two horse chestnut trees in the centre of the wood marked the site of the house. The old Bedmangore Manor House was not large enough, so Christopher Roper in 1599 built a fine new Manor House in the Park, which he enclosed. He called it "Logge " (Lodge), and the part that still remains is the residence of the Lady of the Manor. In 1781 two or three tons of white wine were made at Lodge.
A long underground passage is said to have led to an opening in the north-east corner of the Park which, according to tradition, continued to Teynham Church.
In the higher portion of the Park there are traces of terraces, which may possibly date from prehistoric times. Lynsted Park is also interesting as being at the south end of the valley which runs down below Teynham Church to the marshes. It is said there was once a river in this valley, and there is still, after wet seasons, a "' nail-bourne " which breaks out in Nouds orchard and runs down to the stream by Oziers Farm in Teynham.
The workhouse for Lynsted, as part of providing for the poor (1723 act), was at Bumpits, although records of regulations do not now exist.
The old village nucleus of Lynsted is focused on the church, on rising ground at the Junction of The Street (the main road running north-south through the village) with Ludgate Lane. From here the village has spread north along the main road, with a small post-war housing scheme now filling the gap between the village core and another small group of historic properties that includes a public house and the vicarage. Further to the north again are the village school and mill buildings, all built in the mid 1800s, and which are now physically linked to the rest of the village by a small number of modern infill houses.
To the south east of the church a cluster of old buildings front onto The Street as it drops down the hill. Newman (in “Buildings of England”) describes 'how the best part of the village is a row of cottages tumbling incoherently down a gentle slope south east of the churchyard', and these buildings are undoubtedly a defining group in Lynsted. Dating mainly from the 1600s and 1700s the cottages are constructed from a mix of timber framing and brick, and all the roofs are covered with Kent peg tiles with which continuity of material helps to tie them together, visually, into an attractive group set on the back edge of the footway.
On the opposite side of the road are the old Post Office and Anchor House. The substantial, close studded Anchor House dates from the 16th century, but was partially rebuilt following war damage. The old Post Office is a timber framed building, strongly Kentish in appearance; it lies in the hollow below the church and occupies a key position in the street scene where it defines the southern edge of the village core. A red, cast iron telephone kiosk stands on the adjoining footway.
Ludgate Lane, which joins The Street from the west, is lined on both sides by picturesque old houses for a distance of some 100 metres or so. These buildings are grouped informally along the edge of the road and are, in many instances, timber framed. They present an attractive mix of elevations and although there is much white painted infill plaster a variety of other materials are present including brick and weatherboarding, again all linked together by clay tiled roofs. The result is a very attractive village street scene, distinctive for its small scale and Kentish character, and with an informality which is reinforced by domestic planting spilling out over the footway and carriageway. The view along the road is closed in both directions, and a real sense of traditional village environment is achieved here.
To the north east of the village core lies St Peters Place, a post-war housing development comprised of four matching pairs of semi-detached houses spaced regularly along the road and around a small public green. The simple uniformity of both the house designs and the layout is a key feature. This development fills the gap between the village core and another smaller group of old buildings to the north.
The Black Lion public house is the largest building in this second group and stands prominently on the edge of the carriageway. This traditional commercial/social use is of special importance in the village environment. Parts of the building are timber framed and date from the 17th century, although this age is not especially apparent from the outside. The steeply pitched roofs are covered in clay tiles. Beyond again, on the opposite side of the road, is Vicarage Farmhouse, distinctly Kentish in appearance with close studded timber framing, chequered red and blue brick at one end, and peg tiles on the roof. The adjoining Vicarage Cottage is a pleasant looking single-storey rendered house with paired, round-headed windows. To the north of this group the character changes markedly, with the street scene suddenly being dominated by dark, overhanging trees growing within the burial ground and the grounds of The Vicarage. Orchards are also present here along the western side of The Street with a single line of windbreak trees fronting the road. In consequence, a strong sense of enclosure is maintained within The Street. The Vicarage itself is set well back within its plot and is substantially hidden from the road; the original part of the building dates from the 16th century, but it is the white painted 19th century wings on either side which are more prominent.
To the north again the road forks with the main arm striking off to the north east. On the north side of the road is Berkeley House, a 17th century building subsequently re-fronted in the 19th century. A white painted, weather boarded mill building stands alongside which once housed steam operated milling machinery; adjoining is an attractive coach house. A black painted windmill base stands to the rear. A short distance to the east is the village school which stands on the opposite side of the road; this is an attractive complex of buildings dating from the mid 1800s and built from local yellow stock bricks with polychromatic detailing. The steeply pitched tiled roofs, with a series of gables presented to the road, are notable features that reinforce the traditional character of the school building. Recent development along this part of the road has infilled the remaining gaps with a small number of houses, and whilst The Hollies has been carefully integrated into this local environment other houses are less successful.
The southern limits of the village are marked by two substantial houses: Aymers and Lynsted Court. Aymers is a country house built in the 1860s of red brick with stone detailing which includes stone mullioned windows. This Victorian house is approached through gates, past a lodge house, and along a curving drive. Whilst still rather screened from view with planting, its clustered red brick chimneys can be seen above the enclosing trees.
The setting of this house has, however, been much altered by modern development, as the south western half of the surrounding park has been developed with a series of detached houses set along a winding cul-de-sac. This development bears little relationship with the rest of the village form but fortunately has limited impact on the village environment. The park, always quite modest in size, has therefore been reduced in extent but a section still survives sloping northwards down to a public footpath. An arm of the park also extends out to The Street, where there is an attractive duck pond with trees around and which is bounded along the road frontage by an estate railing. The pond is truly picturesque, and a key feature of the village environment.
In 1801 the population of Lynsted is recorded as 796, in 1829 as 890, in 1841 as 1,050, far larger than Teynham at that date, in 1881 as 1284, in 1901 as 1213, in 1922 as 1169 and in 1981 as 951. The present population is 1036 persons. The inhabitants at those earlier dates were almost entirely engaged in agriculture.
There does not appear to have been a Church in Lynsted before the Conquest, as it is not included in the list of Churches under Teynham in Domesday Monachorum. Lynsted Church is mentioned as a “Chapel of Teynham " in the Archbishop's Black Book, and was given, to archdeacon Simon Langton, in 1229 by Archbishop Stephen Langton. It is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul.
The current church at Kingsdown, designed by E W Pugin, was started in 1864, although it is stated in Harris's history of Kent a church was established in Kingsdown in 1252. The first vicar or rector of Kingsdown on record is Peter de Luddenham in 1313. This church was funded by Lord Kingsdown. In 1922 Kingsdown church showed signs of collapse. You can read more about Kingsdown Church here.
The Methodist church at the bottom of Lynsted lane is 20th century.