Bilsington in Kent

Google map showing area surrounding Bilsington
(The Priory and Obelisk)
Location: 51.073804,0.910464
General Details
Bilsington Kent - The obeliskBilsington in Kent lies on the B2067 Tenterden to Hythe road, just north of the Romney Marsh .

It was a Saxon village first recorded as Bilsvitone in the Domesday Book 1086 .

In 1253 a priory of Austin Canons was built next to the church, it was founded by Sir John Mansell a priests son who councelled Henry III. The barons in 1272 evicted Sir John and gave the lands to the son of Simon de Montfort . It was abandoned at Henry VIII's dissolution of the monastries in 1538 . The old building had a moat all round, and this can still be seen with the ancient farmhouse that replaced the monastry still in place. This farmhouse was reputed to be one of the hiding places for the local Aldington Gang in the 1820's.

In 1804 Napoleon was getting ready to invade England, the government decided to try to stop a French invasion via the Romney Marshes and they built the Royal Military Canal as part of the nations defenses.

It was re-fortified in the 1940's by installing gun emplacements and pill boxes to try to delay a German invasion via the Marshes, the canal runs alongside Bislington .

In 1825 Sir William Cosway purchased the priory estate. He was a politician who was very interested in the plight of the farm labourers (see also Swing Riots ), and in 1830 paid the sum of 150 to help 4 Bilsington families to emigrate to America , he also built the school. On 10th June 1834 her was on the London to Brighton coach when it turned over and he was killed, as a memorial, his family built an obelisk 52 ft high. The obelisk was struck by lightning in 1967 and has recently been restored to its former glory.

The church shows a fine example of a hatchment of Lord Luxmoor dating from 1945.
Bilsington Kent - St Peter and St Paul churchBilsington in Kent is just above the level of the Romney Marsh , and has fine views across the vast landscape, it is peaceful and beautiful during hot summer days.

The Royal Military Canal runs along the southern edge of the village and is popular with walkers and fishermen.
Bilsington Kent - Towards the Romney MarshBilsington in Kent is a small village with a public house and church, the nearest shops are at Ham Street about 3 miles west.

Trains can be caught at Hamstreet about 2 miles east, and the major shopping in the area is to be found at Ashford about 6 miles north, where the main London trains can be found.
Bilsington is shown as the red symbol on the map.

Nearby Villages

(click on symbol to see the village page)
Village= Town= Recorded in Domesday=
Aldington (The Aldington Gang)
1.94 miles
Appledore (Danes invade England)
6.07 miles
Bonnington (Saint Rumwold the child saint)
0.99 miles
Burmarsh (The fortress in the Marsh?)
4.37 miles
Dymchurch (The Romans and the sea wall)4.96 miles
Hamstreet and Orlestone (The Start of the Ordnance Survey)2.77 miles
Kenardington (Danes destroy Saxon Fort)4.42 miles
Lympne (From Roman Castle to Tigers)
5.03 miles
Mersham (Founder of Ashford Grammar School)
3.31 miles
Newchurch (The Church Tower with a kink)2.19 miles
Ruckinge (Smuggling and Traction Engines)
1.12 miles
Sellindge (Oliver Cromwells Horse)
4.77 miles
Sevington (Saxons and Dual Carriageway)
3.77 miles
Smeeth (The Scott Family)3.84 miles
Snargate (Sluice Gates made by Royal Order)4.76 miles
Snave (the Remote church)3.28 miles
Stone in Oxney (Roman stone altar)7.52 miles
Warehorne (A good place to explore the Marshes)
3.33 miles
Woodchurch (Dragoons capture Smugglers)5.86 miles
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Local Interest
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The Bald Explorer for local documentaries
Roman, Saxon and Norman History of the South East
World War 2 Vehicle database
Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group
Battle Museum of Local History
(Hard to find but worth the Visit)
For all things mosaic, commissions workshops etc please contact Hannah
Wadhurst History Society
The Rudes as lots of people call us, are an outdoor touring theatre company specialising in taking new & original theatre to mainly small rural communities and a few towns across the South of England. We were founded in 1998 & first toured in the Summer of 1999. Currently we tour only in the summer performing 50+ times nightly during June, July & August.
Talk in Code fabulous new Album
Hastings Rock the place to listen to
Battle and District Historical Society