LinksLinks - some for rainy days

The Collections

Church Related Sites History and Archaeology
Family Research Traditional Measures
Names and Languages Farming & Wildlife
The Natural World Tree Planting and Wilding
Neighbourhood Sites - Lynsted, Kingsdown, Kent, Faversham Society and Archaeology Government Information and Services including - Local Data Sources (tides, weather, train timetables)

Church Related Sites

Churches on this Website

The Society has developed dedicated pages to:

KingsdownChurch of St Catherine, a rare example of Pugin's Victorian neo-gothic architecture. Built on the site of the mediaeval church (above right).
LynstedChurch of Ss Peter and Paul. Research into its history, memorials and tablets, hatchments and bells.

  • Church of St Andrew has barely left a trace in our community. Started life as a Men's Working Club, elaborated to become a Chapel of Rest (for Teynham, St. Mary), and finally knocked down before it fell down due to subsidence.
  • Greenstreet Methodist Sunday School (latterly, the Methodist Hall), Lynsted Lane. No historical records found to date.
  • Greenstreet Methodist Hall, London Road (Teynham side). No historical records found to date, although mention is made on the Society site to its later commercial uses.

Family Research Sites

One of the first areas of interest for which we had speakers and a topic which continues to be of interest to our Members and visitors.

Family Research on this Website

The Society has developed dedicated pages to: local families - Some ancient, including the Ropers, Hugessons, and many others who form part of our more recent past.

World Wars One and Two: From 2010, the Society led detailed biographical research into the names on the Lynsted Church War Memorial for the First World War for the First World War followed by publication of a book of remembrance. The Society also recorded casualties from other Parishes in the Creekside Cluster. We also researched local casualties in WW2 to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of VE and VJ Day, also 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Both Projects were conducted in partnership with the Imperial War Museum.


Names and Languages

This page appears here in tribute, initially, to a conversation between David Bage and Lis Heriz-Smith in the Lynsted with Kingsdown Newsletter. Both were sorry to see old favourites fall the the wayside - "hair as straight and pump-water", "it's black over Bills mother's", "rasher of wind", "twitten", are just some.

The Kent Archaeological Society website published a freely downloadable e-book of Kentish dialect (7.62Mb) that is as good a place as any to start! You will find such delights as: marm=a jelly; jawsy=talkative; Gilligaskins=trousers; Polrumptious=rude; wood-noggin=half-timbered houses - and so on.

Kent on Sunday of 6th February 2005


In the 19th century the clerics WF Shaw, vicar of Eastry, and WD Parish, chancellor of Chichester Cathedral, got to grips with 'Kentish', writes Neil Clements.

They published their Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms in Use in the County of Kent in 1888, writing: "The Kentish pronunciation is so much more coarse and broad than that of Sussex, that many words which are common to both dialects can scarcely be recognised a few miles from the border; and many words of ordinary use may become completely altered."

Worse still, they found that people in East Kent were prone to making up their own words and deliberately mispronouncing those they didn't approve of, especially words used by "furriners".

They were even less impressed by the influence of London on the local dialect, commenting: "The purity of the dialect diminishes in direct proportion to the proximity to London..."

"It maybe said that the dialectical sewage of the metropolis finds its way down the river and is deposited on the southern bank of the Thames, as far as the limits of Gravesend Reach, whence it seems to overflow and saturate the neighbouring district."

On this Site

The Society has not developed dedicated pages to this topic - although we did have a speaker, Dr Paul Cullen in 2005. Read the Report.


The Natural WorldNatural World

Grouped under these sub-headings:

Living Nature


Native Trees (and Shrubs) in the Kentish Setting

Why is this title so 'specific'? Firstly, "native" means the rest of nature knows how to exploit its presence. Secondly, "Kentish" means suited to the soil, topography, and (evolving) weather systems and temperatures.


Natural phenomena

Energy conservation

Burning Wood in the homeBurning Wood

Compiled from various sources.

Seasoned Wood. When the Society was formed, the case for properly seasoned timber was based on 'energy returned'. Today (December 2020), the threat of particulate matter pollution has re-emphasised the importance of sourcing wood from well-seasoned stocks or buying and stacking them at home for one or two years if you have the space.
Stove efficiency
also matters - DEFRA has listed acceptable models. More about pollution in our Parishes can be found on this dedicated website -

The AIE Firewood Burning Guide - with a few additions

The quality of the following firewood is based upon various characteristics such as its speed of burn, heat given off, tendency to spark (spit), ease of splitting, time required to season, etc

Grade: 1 = Poor. Grade: 2 = Low. Grade: 3 = Good. Grade: 4 = High.


Common Name Botanical Name Comments
Alder Alnus A low quality firewood. Grade: 1
Apple Malus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without sparking/spitting. Grade: 3
Ash Fraxinus Considered to be one of the best woods for firewood. It has a low water content (approx. 50%) and can be split very easily with an axe. It can be burned green but like all wood is best when seasoned. Burns at a steady rate and not too fast. Grade: 4
Beech Fagus Beech has a high water content (approx. 90%) so only burns well when seasoned well. Not as good as Oak. Grade: 3
Birch Betula Birch is an excellent firewood and will burn unseasoned. However, it does burn very fast so is best mixed with slower burning wood such as Elm or Oak. Grade: 3-4
Cedar Cedrus A good firewood which burns well with a pleasant smell. Gives off a good, lasting heat. Doesn't spit too much and small pieces can be burned unseasoned. Grade: 2
Cherry Prunus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: 2-3
Elm Ulmus A good firewood but due to its high water content of approximately 140% (more water than wood!) it must be seasoned very well. It may need assistance from another faster burning wood such as Birch to keep it burning well. However it gives off a good, lasting heat and burns very slowly. Dutch Elm Disease is producing a constant & plentiful supply of small dead hedgerow Elm trees of a small diameter. Larger pieces of wood will prove difficult to split. Grade: 2-3
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Allow to season well since the wood is very wet (sappy) when fresh. Can be difficult to split due to stringy wood fibre. Best method is to slice into rings and allow to season during the summer, the rings will start to split themselves. Burns fast with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: 2-3
Hawthorn Crataegus Good firewood. Burns well. Grade: 3-4
Hazel Corylus Excellent firewood. Allow to season. Burns fast but without spitting. Grade: 4
Holly Ilex Can be burnt green. A good firewood. Grade: 3
Hornbeam Carpinus Good firewood. Burns well. Grade: 3
Horse Chestnut Aesculus A low quality firewood. Grade: 2
Larch Larix Needs to be seasoned well. Spits excessively while it burns and forms an oily soot within chimney's. Grade: 1
Lime Tilia A low quality firewood. Grade: 2
Oak Quercus One of the best firewood's. When seasoned well, it gives off a good, lasting heat. Burns reasonably slowly. Grade: 4
Pear Pyrus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: 3
Pine Pinus Needs to be seasoned well. Spits while it burns and forms an oily soot within chimney's. Grade: 1
Plane Platanus A usable firewood. Grade: 3
Poplar Populus Considered a poorer firewood (see comments below). Grade: 1
Rowan Sorbus aucuparia Good firewood. Burns well. Grade: 3
Spruce Picea A low quality firewood. Grade: 2
Sweet Chestnut Castanea Burns when seasoned but spits continuously and excessively. Not for use on an open fire and make sure wood-burning stoves have a good door catch! Grade: 1-2
Sycamore (Maples) Acer pseudoplatanus Good firewood. Burns well. Grade: 3
Walnut Juglans A low quality firewood. Grade: 2
Wellingtonia Sequoiadendron Poor for use as a firewood. Grade: 1
Willow Salix Willow has a high water content so only burns well when seasoned well. Grade: 2
Yew Taxus A usable firewood. Grade: 2-3

Generally hardwoods are best for open fires because they tend not to spit excessively, however there are exceptions. Conifer wood tends to spit excessively when fresh, so is best used for sealed wood burning stoves, again there are exceptions. Many conifers also cause an oily, sticky 'soot' to form inside the chimney which can increase the risks of chimney fires. Once properly seasoned (see below) conifer wood can be successfully used on the open fire without excessive spitting. Ideally, conifer wood is best mixed with hardwood.

Wood to be seasoned should be cut to length (300mm or 10"-18"), split to size and stacked. The stack should be completely covered on the top to prevent rain wetting the wood but air must be allowed to reach the sides of the stack. Leave to season for at least 1 year (more if possible).


Dark Skies - Light Pollution

It isn't until you reach the truly isolated parts of the UK or wilder and woolier parts of the world that you realise just how hard it is to see our stars at night. Some interesting websites and resources are linked at the end of this page.

The biggest obstacles are:

Bad weather: Enough said!

Pollution: This is worse when there is high pressure weather system sitting over the UK because the pollution is held down like a blanket over the ground. This is why you can often see a layer of yellow-brown air hanging over towns and cities. London sits in a ‘bowl' so, from Primrose Hill, the view over the Thames can look very dirty - the same happens in San Francisco when pollution is trapped against the surrounding hills. The effects get even worse in hot weather because the chemicals interact with the air. Equally, pollution can result from simple temperature inversion (cold air flowing off mountains over warmer city air that becomes trapped).

From time to time Europe can be the landing place for wind-borne dust and sand that has been whipped up by strong winds over the Sahara Desert in north Africa. A similar effect can be generated locally by ploughed fields or arid landscapes spinning dust high into the atmosphere. It is often the dust in our atmosphere that scatters light and gives us those magnificent red skies at night and in the early morning as sunlight has to travel through more atmosphere at shallow angles at sunrise and sunset. Beautiful, but another indication of pollution that astronomers dislike - beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Light Pollution and Dark SkiesLight Pollution

  1. Main roads: We use bright lights along our roads that do four bad things -
    , they often shine out sideways and upwards where there are no cars!
    secondly, brighter lights encourage faster driving because they give a sense of safety - unless you are a pedestrian or cyclist dodging fast cars;
    thirdly, they use very narrow bands of light - these create scenes of deceptively monochromatic light that limit information to the eye (and vegetation); and
    finally, these lights are permanently on whether or not there are any cars (or pedestrians) about. This is not going to change fast - but what a waste!
    (2013 addendum: locally in Kent we are starting to see lower emission lights in some of our streets)
  2. Car lights: You can't have it both ways. If there is an argument for lower level of permanent lighting along roads, car drivers will want to have the best lights they can on their cars to illuminate the road ahead. Of course, they could slow down so that they don't need to light up longer distances! In built-up areas you are encouraged to dip your headlights. LED lights are no real improvement except in terms of energy consumed.
  3. Domestic Security lights: Two things we can do as good neighbours and to improve security:
    1. Firstly, security lights should be shaded and pointed only to the ground - all too often they also point horizontally and upwards. This can be painful for neighbours.
    2. Secondly, very bright lights create very dark shadows to the eye, making it more difficult to spot things that lower levels of light or several lower wattage lights would reveal. Better still, make sure security lights are activated by passive infra red detectors rather than leave them on all night.

There have been several campaigns over the years and some useful web sites that can help you decide what is right for your own circumstances. Try the following:


Farming and Wildlife Sites

Farming as an industry for our benefitFarming is so often romanticised in modern culture, and yet it is first and foremost an industry. The difference that sometimes obscures this fact is that we either live on "the factory floor" or pass through it regularly. Of course, part of the success of agricultural businesses is tied up with the wildlife that happens to live on the factory floor and scavenges or hunts there. We should not under-estimate how critical the linkages are, nor should we suffer illusions about the importance of how agriculture shapes and manages a very large part off what we call "countryside".

Wildlife in harmonyFarmland covers approximately three quarters of the United Kingdom and has historically provided a wide range of habitats for wildlife. Many British species have adapted to living in a farmed landscape. So, efforts to conserve wildlife are often concentrated within managed ecosystems. Much of the wildlife that inhabits farmland has declined over recent decades for a number of reasons, including historic farming methods - use of DDT, 'prairie style' farms without hedgerows, housing and industrial developments with solid fences/barriers, roads, light pollution, atmospheric pollution, climate change, tidy gardens (with solid fence panels - make a hole, you know it makes sense!), removal of ancient woodlands (criminal vandalism by another name), and so on. The reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy has presented an opportunity for farmers to be rewarded for protecting wildlife. With Brexit, the Government is flirting with the idea of tying grants to improvements in environmental measures.

Farms have also diversified to attract tourists to the countryside - hop farms, holiday lets, animal experiences, blossom trails, and so on.



Government web sites with local angles


Archaeology and History Related Sites

Historical Content on this Website
Our "historical" content falls under two main headings "Research" (menu bar top, gives you access to all Society Projects) and "Resources" (top-right panel, gives you access to data (e.g. census), documents (e.g. published books and references), images (e.g. postcards), places (information about places in and near our Parish)

English Weights and Measures (and time)

How many times have you found a reference to an old measure? Here are some for your entertainment. If you know of particular Kentish measures, please let us know. Last updated 2012 - from a book of 1939.

Units of Weight/Mass

16 drachms (dr) = 1 ounce (oz) = 28.35g
7,000 grains = 1 pound (lb)
16 ozs = 1 pound (lb) = 0.453kg
8lbs = a "nail" (Kentish)
14 lbs = 1 stone (st) = 6.35kg
2 st = 1 quarter (qr) = 28 lbs = 12.7kg
4 qrs = 1 hundredweight (cwt) = 112 lbs = 50.8kg
20 cwt = 1 ton (tn) = 2240 lbs = 1,016 kg

Oddities include:

  • 2 gallons of dry weight = 10 to 14 pounds (‘one gallon' was often used for potatoes. Partly explained during wartime as brass weights were hard to come by).
  • "Puttock-candle". The smallest candle in a pound, put in to make up the weight. (Kentish)

Troy Weights

4 grains = 1 carat
24 grains = 1 pennyweight
20 pennyweights = 1 ounce
12 ounces = 1 pound
25 pounds = 1 quarter
100 pounds = 1 quarter
20 hundredweight = 1 ton

Apothecaries' Weight (making up doctors' prescriptions)

20 grains = 1 scruple
3 scruples = 1 drachm
8 drachms = 1 ounce
12 ounces = 1 pound

Units of Distance

12 inches (in) = 1 foot (ft) = 0.3048m
3 ft = 1 yard (yd) = 0.9144m
5½ yds = 1 rod, pole or perch = 5.029m
4 rods = 1 chain = 20.116m
10 chains = 1 furlong = 201.16m
8 furlongs = 1 mile (mi) = 1.609km
1760 yds = 1 mile = 1.609km
Also used was the League = about 3 miles.

Surveyors used to use

7.92 inches = 1 link
100 links = 1 chain
80 chains = 1 mile

Cloth and Ribbon Measures:-

2¼ inches = 1 nail
4 nails = 1 quarter
4 quarters = 1 yard
5 quarters = 1 ell
6 quarters = 1 French ell

Cotton, Yarn and Silk Measures

1½ yards = 1 thread
120 yards = 1 skein
7 skeins = 1 hank
18 hanks = 1 spindle

Other occasional measures of length

12 lines = 1 inch
3 barleycorns = 1 inch
3 inches = 1 palm
4 inches = 1 hand
9 inches = 1 span
2½ feet = 1 pace
5 feet = 1 pace (geometrical)

Some material, such as canvas, was measured in Ells, 1 ell = 45 inches (1.14m).
From this came the saying 'Give him an inch and he'll take an ell' - now changed to 'a mile'. Some materials had their own 'standard' measurements established by the guilds or by custom - Kentish broadcloth was 58 inches (147 cm) wide, 30 to 34 yards (27.4 to 31m) long and weighed 66 lbs (29.9kg).

Nautical Units

6 feet = 1 fathom
100 fathoms = 1 cable length
6080 feet = 1 nautical mile
3 nautical miles = 1 nautical league
1 nautical mile = 1.515 land miles
A knot = measure of speed = 1 nautical mile per hour. A "log-line" is divided by knots spaced at 47.3 feet each - the number of ‘knots' travelled in 28 seconds gives you the speed of a ship in "knots per hour".
The International Nautical Mile is 6076.1 feet.
The name Fathom (6 ft or 1.8m) comes from the Old Norse fathmr meaning 'outstretched arms'.

Time, when on a Ship

Noon to 4pm = Afternoon Watch
4pm to 6pm = First Dog Watch
6pm to 8pm = Second Dog Watch
8pm to midnight = First Watch
Midnight to 4am = Middle Watch
4am to 8am = Morning Watch
8am to noon = Forenoon Watch

Units of Area

144 square inches (sq in, in²) = 1 square foot (sq ft, ft²) = 0.092m²
9 sq ft = 1 square yard (sq yd, yd²) = 2.74m²
30¼ sq yds = 1 sq rod, pole or perch
40 sq rods, poles or perches = 1 rood
16 square rods, poles, perches = 1 square chain
10 square chains = 1 acre
4 roods = 1 acre (a, ac) = 0.4047ha
4840 square yards = 1 acre = 0.4047ha
640 acres = 1 square mile (sq mi, mi², ac) = 2.59km²

Norman measurements of land that were mainly used for tax purposes. The VIRGATE was usually 30 acres of arable land scattered among the common fields of a manor. It varied from as little as 10 acres to as many as 80 in some parts of the country. It was a quarter of a HIDE, and was also known as a 'yardland'. The HIDE was originally land considered sufficient for the maintenance of one family, and therefore roughly what one eight-ox plough team could keep in cultivation. It varied between 120 and 240 acres. The SULUNG appears in the Doomsday Book. 1 sulung = about 160 acres.

Units of Volume

1728 cu inches = 1 cu foot
27 cu ft = 1 cu yard
5.8 cu feet = 1 bulk barrel

Units of Capacity

8 fluid drams = 1 fluid ounce (fl oz) = 0.028 litres
5 fl ozs = 1 gill = 0.142 litres
4 gills = 1 pint = 0.568 litres
2 pints = 1 quart = 1.136 litres
4 quarts = 1 gallon = 4.546 litres
2 gallons = 1 peck
4 pecks = 1 bushel = 8 gallons
2 bushels = 1 strike
4 bushels = 1 coomb
8 bushels = 1 quarter
5 quarters = 1 wey or load
36 bushels = 1 chaldron = 4½ quarters
36 gallons = 1 bulk barrel
The Cran used for fresh herring was 37½ gallons.
Four herrings = 1 warp

1824 Imperial Standard Gallon:

External diameter of the body of the measure, midway between the bottom and the top = 7 29/64 inches.
Overall height of measure = 7 19/64 inches.
Overall dimension from handle to handle = 11 1/32 inches.
Internal diameter = 7 4/64 inches
Internal depth = 7 1/64 inches.

Sizes of barrel

63 gallons = 1 hogshead
2 hogsheads = 1 pipe or butt
4 hogsheads = 1 tun

The Firkin of about 8 or 9 gallons and was normally used for butter and cheese.
The Kilderkin or Pin held about 16 or 18 gallons
The Hogshead held about 54 gallons.
The Puncheon held about 100 gallons.
The Pipe usually used for port and sherry held about 105 gallons.
The Tun used for beer and wine held 252 gallons.


1 bushel of wheat = 60 lbs 27.21 kg
1 bushel of barley = 50 lbs 22.68 kg
1 bushel of oats = 39 lbs 17.69 kg
1 bushel of rye = 56 lbs 25.40 kg
1 bushel of rice = 45 lbs 20.41 kg
1 bushel of maize = 56 lbs 25.40 kg
1 bushel of linseed = 52 lbs 23.58 kg
1 bushel of potatoes = 60 lbs 27.21 kg

Units of Alcohol (in honour of our local pubs and breweries!)

Beernip = ¼ pint = 0.142 litres
small = ½ pint = 0.284 litres
large = 1 pint = 0.568 litres
flagon = 1 quart = 1.136 litres
anker = 10 gallons = 45.46 litres
tun = 216 gallons = 981.93 litres

Wine and Spirits

tot (whisky) = 1/6 or 1/5 or 1/4 or 1/3 of a gill
noggin (rum) = 1 gill
bottle = 1 1/3 pints


2 bottle size 1 magnum
4 bottle size 1 jerboam
20 bottle size 1 nebuchadnezzar

Paper Measure

24 sheets 1 quire
20 quires 1 ream
21½ quires 1 printer's ream
2 reams 1 bundle
10 reams 1 bale
60 skins of parchment 1 roll

Paper sizes - Printing

Demy 22½ x 17½ in
Medium 23 x 18 in
Royal 25 x 20 in
Foolscap 17 x 13½ in
Double Foolscap 27 x 17 in
Super Royal 27½ x 20½ in
Double Crown 30 x 20 in
Imperial 30 x 22 in
Double Demy 35 x 22½ in
Double Royal 40 x 25 in

Paper sizes - Writing and Drawing (Weights noted are in pounds of one ream)

Emperor 72 x 48 in
Antiquarian 53 x 31 in (236 lbs)
Double Elephant 40 x 26¾ in (140 lbs) - Largest size in which writing paper was made.
Grand Eagle 42 x 28¾ in
Atlas 34 x 26 in (100 lbs)
Colombier 34½ x 23½ in (100 lbs)
Imperial 30 x 22 in (72 lbs) - Largest size in which writing paper was ordinarily made.
Elephant 28 x 23 in (72 lbs)
Super Royal 27 x 19 in (52 lbs)
Cartridge 26 x 21 in
Royal 24 x 19 in
Medium 22 x 17½ in
Large Post 20 x 16½ in
Copy or Draft 20 x 16 in
Demy 20 x 15½ in
Post 19 x 15¼ in
Pinched Post 18½ x 14¾ in
Foolscap 17 x 13½ in
Brief 16½ x 13¼ in
Pott 15 x 12½ in

Paper sizes - Brown Paper

Casing 46 x 36 in
Double Imperial 45 x 29 in
Elephant 34 x 24 in
Double Four-pound 31 x 21 in
Imperial Cap 29 x 22 in
Haven Cap 26 x 21 in
Bag Cap 24 x 19 in
Kent Cap 21 x 18½ in

Book sizes

Folio (Fo) Sheet folded into 2 leaves or 4 pages
Quarto (4to) Sheet folded into 4 leaves or 8 pages
Octavo (8vo) Sheet folded into 8 leaves or 16 pages
Duodecimo (12mo) Sheet folded into 12 leaves or 24 pages
Sextodecimo (16mo) Sheet folded into 16 leaves or 32 pages
Octodecimo (18mo) Sheet folded into 18 leaves or 36 pages


.... and occasionally from books!

Resources Pages