ALLINGTON


From: Hasted's History of Kent. Vol IV. Pp448. 1798

PARISH OF ALLINGTON in 1798
 
 

Small with River Medway on eastern boundary. Castle a ruin, only farm house in use. In the reign of Henry VIII was a large manor forfeited for treason in the reign of Queen Mary. Originally a Saxon stronghold against the Danes afterwards passed to Odo - Bishop of Bayeaux, under whose title it is described in Doomsday. Purchase by Sir Henry Wyatt, (a privy councillor) in reign of Henry VIII; who was descended from a family in Yorkshire. He created the castle from a collection of small buildings. His son Sir Thomas Wyatt was famous for learning and poetry, became an ambassador and Sheriff, died at Sherborne on the way to Cornwall, buried there age 38. He was a favourite of Henry VIII. Succeeded by his son, Sir Thomas Wyatt, who raised a rebellion against Mary's marriage to Philip of Spain. Defeated, he was beheaded on Tower Hill, head stolen in first year of her reign, who also owned Maidstone Palace where he resided, and who allowed Allington to fall in to decay. Property consisted of Castle, Manor House and Church. No parochial charities, church was very small.

 
Sir Thomas Wyatt. (34th year of Henry VIII) (11)
 
1. Owned the Hundred of Hoo, and Manor of Little Hoo, sold to the King in 34th year.
2. Also Abbot's Court seized by Henry VIII at dissolution of monasteries and passed to Sir T Wyatt.
3. Also manor of Coombe in St Mary's Hoo.
4. Record of Maidstone granted by Edward VI, in 4th year of his reign to hold for Knight's fee service.
5. Estate of Boxley Abbey, granted by Henry VIII.
 
Manor of Boxley and some other lands, with Upper Grange given back by the Queen to Jane Wyatt (widow of Sir Thomas and daughter of Sir William Haute of Bourne). Passed to her son George in 13th year of Elizabeth was restored in blood by Act of Parliament, died 1624 buried in chancel of church.

George Wyatt, left several sons and daughters (21)
 

1. 2nd son Haute was vicar of Boxley
2. 1st son Francis succeeded to manor of Boxley the mansion of the Abbey and other estates. Afterwards knighted and was twice Governor of Virginia, died in 1644. - Left 2 sons.
 
1.Henry, (eldest) (29) inherited manor, left only daughter Frances who carried this manor, on her marriage with Sir Thomas Selyard. A lawsuit with her uncle, (Edwin 30) followed, and manor of Boxley was returned to Edwin. Abbey of Boxley and lands remained with the Selyards.

2. Edwin (30) became Sergeant at Arms at Law 1684; Justice of the Peace; Recorder of Canterbury and Maidstone; and MP; Chief Justice of Grand Session of Carmarthen, Pembroke and Cardigan. Died in 1714, age 84. Married Frances, daughter of Thomas Crispe, who resided at Queke Park, Thanet. Left surviving son, Francis, who resided at Queke Park, and married widow of William Buller, of Cornwall; died without issue, estates went to Lord Romney.

3. Elizabeth (33) married Thomas Bosvile of Little Mote, Eynesford. Had daughter Margaret, who married Sir Robert Marsham, and their son became Lord Romney

BOXLEY ABBEY passed to Sir Thomas Wyatt, (the elder) (11) on the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was the first Abbey of the Cistercian Order in England, and became famous for its agriculture and land cultivation.

MANOR OF BOXLEY passed to Sir Thomas Wyatt (the younger) (17) by his marriage to Jane Haute, 1537, eldest daughter of William Haute, and remained with him till its confiscation by Queen Mary after the rebellion of 1554. It was restored to Jane (Haute) Wyatt by Elizabeth in 1571 with part of the Abbey Property, Abbey House and Upper Grange.
 

EXTRACTS FROM BOXLEY PARISH REGISTERS

An unusual feature of this Church Register is that the entries instead of being arranged in the ordinary manner, under separate heads of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, have been inserted promiscuously in order of time.
(f for filius, son; or filia a daughter)
(bapt for baptised; matrim solemn for married and sep for sepultus, buried)

1560 Matrimon solemn inter Williemum Bened and Marianam Wyat.

1590 Edwardus Wyat, gernerosus sep XXVI Nov. - (was younger son of the second Sir Thomas Wyatt, to whom Queen Elizabeth had granted a portion of the Abbey lands. His will was proved at the Consistory Court of Canterbury by the vicar George Case)

1603 Testibus Geo Best, Henrico Webb, Jana Wyatt, Cicilia Wyatt, Thomas Georgii Wyatt, Armigeri, f. bapt. IV Marc.

1608 Katherina Wyat, virgo sep May 10.

1610 On a later page are introduced under the date 1633, immediately after those on Hellena (Wyat) the wife of John Finch, but here inserted as referring to Anna and Katherina Wyat (who died May 10 1608)

1611 Anna, Georgii Wyatt generosi.f. sep 7 Sept - (then follows a poem, in Latin, by George Case, Vicar of Boxley)

1614 Celilia Wyat, vidua, sep July 20.

1619 Henricus Francisci Wiatt, militus.f.bapt Apr 4.

1620 Georius Francisci Wyat, militus.f.bapt Sept 8

1621 Robertus Williemi Wyatt, f.bapt July 22

1623 Hellena (Wyatt) uxor Johnnis Finch, sep Dec 7

1624 Georgius Wyatt, armiger, sep Sep 1 - (son of Sir Thomas Wyatt, beheaded 1554) Henricus Wiat, artium magister, et minis ter sep 10 die nov: anni nempe Jan 1

The following is here inserted under date Jan 1625

"In abitu lectissimi juvenis Thoma e Thomae prefate Georgii Wyat Filii junioris, qui obiit and sepultus fuit Maystonii, die S'ati Thomae Apostili memoriale"

Then follows another poem by Geo: Case.

1626 Thomas Haulti Wiatt, generosi. f.bapt Oct 15
Elizabeth Haulti Wyatt, uxor sep Oct 31

1627 Thomas Haulti Wyat, f.sep April 10

1631 Anna Haulti Wyatt. f. bapt Feb 19
Anna ejusdem Hauti Wyatt uxor sep Feb ult.

1637 Georgius Wiat, Domim Francisci Wiat, Militis and Margaretae uxor, f sep Oct 12

1638 Mr Haute Wyatt, vicarius hujus parochial, et f M'ri Georgii Wyatt, sepultus fuit Aug 1

1644 Domina Wyat sep Martii 27 - (Jane, widow of George Wyat)
Franciscus Wiat, Miles sep Aug 24

1674 Jane, d of Thomas and Frances Silyard bapt March 26 - (was the daughter of Sir Thomas Silyard who married Frances Bosville whose mother, Elizabeth was daughter of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the younger)

BURIALS

1698 Apri 29 Mrs Margaret. D of Sergeant Wiet, (sic)
1700 Aug 16 Jane Wiet, (sic) Gentlewoman
1707 June 11 Mr Edwin Wyatt, of Maidstone
1714 Dec 11 Edwin Wiatt, Esq. Sergeant-at-Law
1727 Oct 26 Mrs Frances Wyat, Relict of Edwin Wyat, Esq Sergeant-at-Law
1739 Aug 4 Francis Wiat. Esq
1748 Aug 21 Elizabeth Wiat
1753 Richard Wiat Esq.

Allington Castle


The Battlements


Penchester Steps


Solomon's Tower



Allington Castle (Memorials of Old Kent. Ditchfield & Clinch. 1907)
 

At the time of the Doomsday survey, the manor of Allington formed a part of the extensive possessions of Odo, Bishop of Baieux. After his downfall it was granted to William de Warenne, who was probably the builder of a normal type 'mount & Bailey' castle here. The position at the time must have been a strong one and of great importance being close to the river Medway, of which it commanded the passage and fords and overawe the town of Maidstone, which is about 2 miles distance. This Castle was slighted in 21 Henry II. (or 1175), when an entry in the pipe roll records a payment of 60 shillings to the Sheriff of Kent, 'in prosternendo castelli de Alintone' which can only refer to the overthrowing of the great mound of William de Warenne's castle. Towards the close of the reign of Henry III, the manor had passed into the hands of Sir Stephen de Penchester, Constable of Dover Castle and warden of the Cinque Ports. To whom, and his wife Margaret. Edward 1. In 1281 granted a licence to crenellate their 'house' of Alintone in Kent.

The Term 'licence to crenellate' is somewhat obscure. The ordinary manor house of the early Middle ages was not furnished with any means of defence. Before it could be fortified, or turned into a castle, or a new castle be erected on its site, the royal permission to do so had to be obtained, and from the expression used therein it is known as a licence to crenelate, and runs generally as follows; 'Rex omnibus balliivis, et fidelibus suis ad quos, etc., ----- Say in commitatu Salop muro de petra, et calce, Firmare et Kernellare, et illud sic firmatum et kernell atum tenere possit sibi et heredibus suis imper etuum----'. To crenelate means to crown the summit of both walls and towers with battlements having alternate solid portions (called merlons) having spaces or intervals between them called embrasures or crenelles.

Of the castle, as then reconstructed, there remain the enceinte wall of an enclosure of an irregular parallelogram form, having four D towers; a gatehouse with a segmental pointed arch, and a chase for a portcullis, opening between two solid towers of a D shape; a part of its covering barbican, a range of lodgings along the west side, and on the east side some remains of the great hall, with the triple doorways in the screens leading from the buttery, kitchen, and pantry.

The castle was surrounded by a ditch about 65 feet wide, fed with water from the adjacent river; that on the west side may be all that remains of William de Warennes' castle, the great mound of earth which was on the south side. When it was levelled the great ditches would be filled up, and the banks thrown into them, as the readiest way of disposing of the material. All that now remains of the great mound is a low grassy hummock, part of which has been levelled and converted into a croquet lawn.

From de Penchester the manor passed to the de Cobhams, Brents and Wyatts, the second of whom, the celebrated Sir Thomas, the elder who died in 1542, was the author of the famous anagram, "Wyatt of Wit", a courtier, and favourite of Henry VIII; he was a poet and a statesman.

His son, the second Sir Thomas, having headed a rebellion in 1554 against the marriage of Queen Mary with that other gloomy bigot, Philip of Spain, was after its failure tried and executed for high treason, and his estates were forfeited to the crown. In 1569 Queen Elizabeth granted them to John Astley, Master of the Jewel House, in whose family they remained until, in 1720 they were alienated to the family of Marsham, the head of which, Lord Romney, finally passed the property to the Best family.
 

ADDITIONAL NOTES BY J H WYATT Dec 1966
 
Additional information and description of the Castle will be found in the "Guide to Allington Castle" issued by the present owners.

Hasted states that the castle was originally a Saxon Stronghold against the Danes; and afterwards passed to Odo Bishop of Bayeux, half brother of William the Conqueror, at the Norman invasion in 1066, and it is under his title that it is described in Doomsday.

"The Best family neglected the castle, so that it became a miserable ruin covered with ivy" Ibid

Allington Castle was purchased by Sir Henry Wyatt in 1492 and restored it. Henry VIII and Wolsey visited him there. It remained in the family for 62 years, till 1554 when, as the property of Sir Thomas Wyatt (the younger 1503-1554) it was confiscated by the Crown for treason.

To Sir Henry Wyatt, or his son, the first Sir Thomas, are probably due the porch of the great hall, and several large windows inserted in various parts which have probably replaced small and inconvenient loopholes of the earlier period. A notable feature about the thirteenth century buildings is the original brickwork forming part of the windows and doorways; the bricks which are of a light colour, having been made to fit the jams in many places. The castle underwent further alterations towards the close of the sixteenth century, to which period may be assigned the drum tower at the outer extremity of an enclosure on the north front, between the caste and the river, of which only this tower and portions of two thin wall now remain.

Allington was one of the seven "Chief castles of Kent": these are Allington, Canterbury, Dover, Leeds, Rochester, Saltwood and Tonbridge.
Ditchfield and Clinch, 1907

In 1905 the Castle was acquired by Martin Conway, (Lord Conway), and the work of restoration was his life's work for 25 years. He spent £70,000 on its restoration. He made the castle "akind of casket" to contain works of art and objects of archaeological interest which he had collected on his many travels. "Many of these were built into the walls" (Castle Guide). Unfortunately in the process of "restoring" the castle to make room for the installation of his own possessions, practically all traces of the Wyatt family were removed.
 

The Carmelte Order of monks had its chief Friary at Aylesford, on the opposite side of the river Medway, facing Allington Castle. The Carmelite order is an order of mendicates they have no income whatsoever, and are bound to live on alms. At the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 by Henry VIII, the Carmelte Order withdrew from England.

411 years later, in 1949, they returned to England from Italy, to restore and re-occupy their original Friary at Aylesford and in 1950 on March 25th its first prior, Father Malachy purchased the castle on behalf of the Carmelite Order for £15,000 from Mr Horsfield, Lord Conways' son-in-law, husband of the late Agnes Conway.

 

The Castle now has Friar Malachy as its warden, and the building is now used as a religious retreat and holiday centre for those wishing to make a temporary retreat from the hustle of the modern world and a quiet period of restful seclusion and contemplation. To accommodate these visitors a floor has been put in the barn and the lofty roof retiled. Plans are projected for building a hostel in the grounds for additional visitors.

The money for the purchase of the Castle was subscribed from outside sources and by anonymous donors; and "Friends of Allington Castle" now maintain the building.
 

J H Wyatt Dec, 1966


Early WyattsThe Wyatt Family