West Kent Parish Gazetteer

This on-line West Kent Parish Gazetteer is based on the much more comprehensive version to be found in the Society's publication West Kent Sources, a Guide to Family and Local History Research in the Diocese of Rochester (3rd edition, 1998), see also the Publications List).

Coverage is limited to churches built before c1910 or parishes created before that date; further details on gazetteer coverage are given below.

This on-line version includes a photograph of each ancient parish church, as well as of many Victorian churches. There are currently 268 church photos.

To see information on a place, click on its name in the table below. The main alphabetical arrangement is by ancient parish, i.e. respecting the boundaries as they existed c1832, the same as in Phillimores "Atlas & Index of Parish Registers". The ancient parishes are the entries with a star preceding them in the table below. Some places which are now quite sizeable towns were not ancient parishes, such as Sidcup, Swanley and Tunbridge Wells. These have their own gazetteer pages, with a list of their own churches and a reference back to the parish(es) from which they were originally split.

You can also access the gazetteer by searching on church dedication (C of E only), see the Church Index. There's also a separate list of Roman Catholic Churches.

All of the Parish Register data has been reconfigured by the NWKFHS 'Web Team' in 2017.

 

The geographical coverage includes all the parishes found within the original boundaries of the diocese of Rochester, i.e. those prevailing up to 1845. Until this date the diocese extended from the River Thames in the north and the Surrey border in the west to Sussex in the south and to a boundary in the east approximating to the River Medway.

The following is a guide to the headings used on each Parish page:

  • Map Reference This is the Ordnance Survey national grid reference.
  • 1841 Population This has been taken from the published census reports, and gives some idea of the likely size of parish registers, census returns etc.
  • Hundred Gives the name of hundred to which the parish belonged in the early 19th century.
  • Poor Law Union / Registration District The Registration District shown for each parish in the Gazetteer relates to the 19th century; some of the boundaries changed after the 1930s
  • Probate Jurisdiction The Gazetteer shows for each parish the church court(s) where wills were normally proved prior to 1858.
  • Churches and Chapels Only those churches established before c1910 are listed in the Gazetteer, and all 19th century foundations are shown under the ancient parish from which they were originally split. The start date is given of original surviving registers, and an indication of where they are held.

For many of the non-conformist chapels we have been unable to establish whether registers have survived, or if so, where they are now held. These chapels have been included for the sake of completeness, with the words No Information. For the sources used in compiling the Gazetteer pages, see Sources.