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 (as far as we know it)


 In feudal times, areas of land (called manors) were given by the Crown or the 

church as rewards to those in favour! Each manor would have a “manor house,” where the lord of the manor lived and from which he administered the affairs of the villagers or serfs, and ensured that his tithes or taxes were paid by them in exchange for the use of land for growing food and grazing livestock. The villagers and serfs living away from the manor house in the nearby village.


The manor of Tutsham gets its name from John de Totesham ( one of the judges at the "Great assize" in the reign of King John. It decended in a direct line to Anthony Totesham. 



At the latter end of Henry VIII reign, Anthony Totesham alienated (gave away) the manor, to Thomas Chapman, one of the grooms of the Kings chamber. It was then sold to, during Queen Elizabeth I reign to John Laurence, Captain of Tilbury Fort. His son died in 1605 and his heirs sold the manor to Augustine Skynner from Devon, who came to live in the Hall. His eldest son, also Augustine, lived in the hall and on his death, his heirs gave Tutsham Manor AND Ewell Manor to Edward Goulston. Edward Goulston was the MP for Maidstone. Edward died in 1720, leaving the Manor to his wife and on her death to his nephew Francis Goulston. In 1726 it was sold to Sir Philip Botolier and on his death, it was bequeathed to Elizabeth Bouverie of Teston House, formerly called Barham Court. What is now Barham Court was formerly Court Lodge.

(But that’s another story!) 

Teston House was a more modern House (It is still there divided into apartments), with fantastic views across the river to Tutsham.

Elizabeth had Tutsham partly demolished, to leave romantic ruins in her vista. The cascades were also left as they also enhanced her view.


(This was also done at Scotney as well. The original house there, down by the lake was turned into attractive ruins when the new house was built, by the Hussey family.)


From the drawing below, it looks as if the house might have been built in the Tudor period. However, this is only a drawing not an architect’s plan or a map.



If the Hall dated back further, which it may well have done, the grounds were definitely to a Tudor design, with elegant formal gardens.


The pool cascades were formed by taming the river Ewell, which flowed into the Medway. (The river Ewell in the late 1800s was used to power a mill, the ruins of which are still visible from Teston Lock.)


From the drawing you can clearly see the line of Mill Lane and the track up to the present day Tutsham Hall. It looks as if the cascades came down to the west of where Mill Cottages are now. Or is the map not to scale and the cascades came down through where the mill pond and the mill race are today?


Comparing the drawing with a current photo taken from a microlite, it appears that the original Hall was built on the site of the American Oast and Barns etc .



To the west of the Hall two building can be seen on the old drawing. 

One of these may have been incorporated into the present Tutsham Hall (see above) which was built in the 1800s. The present Tutsham Hall has a grade 2 listing and it states that, it might incorporate an older building!


Historical information from “British History on line." 



From the Census return.


There were 58 Agricultural workers, most of them with families, of up to 8 children. 5 being  the average number of children.


Tutsham had 95 people living on the estate, 13 families with 38  children between them.

There is no indication of where they were housed the address for all of them is just Tutsham.


The Alms houses were occupied with families with a working head of the family.

The original almshouses were on the site of the present Oliver North Flats.


Farleigh Green was rather different, as it had tradesman living there. A Shoe Maker, Dressmaker,  Bricklayer, Blacksmith, Baker and two gardeners, as well as some Agricultural labourers.


There was a School Mistress with two servants living at Spittle Crouch. (This was before the school was built) It was probably a Dame School for those who could afford to pay. Does any one know where Spittle Crouch was or is?


Some properties were occupied with families of Independent Means. All of whom had servants. Smiths Hall had 16 servants!


By 1911 Tutsham looked a little different.


There were 44 adults and 34 children living on Tutsham. With an average of 2.4 children per family. There was one family of 5.


By this time not everyone living on Tutsham were farm Labourers. For example in Mill Cottages, there was family of Blacksmiths, a lock keeper, a railway flagman and several people working at the cricket Ball factory in Teston.


What was surprising and upsetting, there was a family of mother, father and 4 month old baby, recorded as living in a shed on Court Lodge Farm. A Widower living in the Lodge, ( this would have been a log or storage shed) at the Good Intent and a single man living in the Chequers Stables (Tickled Trout). Let’s hope this was not a grim as it sounds.



Village History


Listed in 1085 in the Domesday book as Ferlaga, the website "British History Online" suggests the name Farleigh is from Saxon times when it took its name from the passage across the River Medway since 'Fare' signified a journey or place and 'Lega' a place, i.e. the place of the way or passage.


The entry in the Domeday book notes that Ferlaga was given by Wlliam the Conqueror to his half-brother, Odo, Bishop of Baieux soon after 1066. The Bishop became "disgraced" in 1084 and Ferlaga was confiscated back to the crown prior to being given to Robert, son of Hamon de Crevequer who took part with the rebellious barons against the King at which point Ferlaga was again seized by the crown.


It appears to have remained in the hands of the crown until Edward l gave it to his queen, Eleanor, who in 1290 gave it to the priory of Christ Church in Canterbury in exchange for the port of Sandwich. 


The parish continued as part of the possessions of the priory of Christ Church until the dissolution under King Henry Vlll in 1540 when it was again surrendered into the King's hands and he granted it to Sir Thomas Wyatt. However, Sir Thomas' son raised a rebellion in 1553 against Queen Mary and the parish once again was seized and the ownership was passed to her attorney general, Sir John Baker, in 1554. 


The parish continued to be owned by their family until 1649/1650 when it passed into the ownership of Robert Newton, described as "grocer of London" who conveyed it to Augustine Hodges, described as "gentleman" who sold the parish to John  Amhurst. "esq of East Farleigh Court Lodge" who by his will in 1711 devised it to his brother, Nicholas Amhurst, "gentleman of West Barming." 


Currently the name change to West Farleigh has been difficult to date. A comment in British History Online states "West Farleigh, so called to distinguish it from the adjoining one of East Farleigh." Additionally the phraseology in older records alternates between 'manor' and 'parish' and it is therefore somewhat diffcult to determine whether more recent comments are about the village generally or a particular property.


The primary school which had one classroom was located on Lower Road and closed in 1976. One of its two teachers at the time was Miss Whittle, the daughter of Sir Frank Whittle, co-inventor of the jet engine. The village's post office and only stores at the top of Charlton Lane closed in 1986.

The Doomsday Book


Both East and West Farleigh feature in the Doomsday book. Exerts can be seen here:

Teston Bridge


Teston Bridge is built of coursed rag-stone with ashlar capping stones to the parapets. The bridge is narrow, only wide enough to permit traffic to pass in one direction at a time and the parapets feature pedestrian refuges continued up from the cutwaters on each side. It carries the B2163 road, which is crossed on the level by the Medway Valley Line just west of the bridge. 



All Saints Chruch


The church was begun in the late 11th century or the 12th century with further work carried out in the 15th century. The church was restored in 1875 and is constructed of roughly coursed or uncoursed rag-stone with pebbledashed render to the nave and chancel. The roofs are plain tiled. It is a Grade I listed building.



Ewell Manor, Ewell Lane


Village manor house known to date from the mid 17th centuary. Rebuilt in 2014.



Dove Cottage, Ewell Lane


Dove Cottage was built in the early eighteenth century, it appears on a plan of Smiths Hall. It was then called Smith’s Cottage. All the buildings in that area were :”Smiths”. Smiths Hall, Smiths Croft, Smiths Oast, Smiths Farm etc. It belonged to the Estate of Smiths Hall.





Monkey's Hole, Charlton Lane


From 'Monkey's hole' to 'The Hollow'





Good Intent, The Green


This Inn known by the name and sign of the Good Intent was built in part in the 13th year of the reign of George 11 in 1740, though the original structure has been altered and added to over the years.


Read more here...

Listed Buildings & Monuments


Hisotric England has numerous listed buildings and monuments in West Farleigh, some of them might surprise you.


Read on to find out more. 

Tutsham Hall


The manor of Tutsham gets its name from John de Totesham ( one of the judges at the "Great assize" in the reign of King John. It decended in a direct line to Anthony Totesham.


Click here to read more:

Days Gone by, Image Archive


See our collection of local photos from years past. Here