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(The Priory and Obelisk)

General Details topsmall

Bilsington Kent - The obelisk
Bilsington 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.

Services TopSmall

Bilsington Kent - St Peter and St Paul church
Bilsington 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.

Views TopSmall

Bilsington Kent - Towards the Romney Marsh
Bilsington 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.
Name Derivation TopSmall
Bil(blade) Bilith(look) Bile(beak) Byht(boundary) This village is a Saxon village one of the first to be settled by the Saxons around 470AD.

Aldington originally known as Ealdaingtun is derived from Eald(old) ingtun(fortified village on a hill) so would translate to 'The Old village on the hill' possibly because it was a possible Roman settlement .

The place names ending in ington or ingham appear to be the second Saxon settlements after the (ing,inge or ings) and appear to be fortified villages either on a hill(ington) or in river valley(ingham)

The village is named after an Anglo Saxon tun or farmstead belonging to someone called Bilswith, and it was first recorded as Bilsvitone in the Domesday Book 1086 .

Nearby Villages (within 6 miles)
Ruckinge (Smuggling and Traction Engines) 0.9 miles
Bonnington (Saint Rumwold the child saint) 1.1 miles
Aldington (The Aldington Gang) 1.9 miles
Newchurch (The Church Tower with a kink) 2.2 miles
Hamstreet & Orlestone (The Start of the Ordnance Survey) 2.7 miles
Warehorne (A good place to explore the Marshes) 3.1 miles
Snave (the Remote church) 3.3 miles
Mersham (Founder of Ashford Grammar School) 3.6 miles
Burmarsh (The fortress in the Marsh?) 4.1 miles
Sevington (Saxons and Dual Carriageway) 4.1 miles
Smeeth (The Scott Family) 4.1 miles
Ivychurch (The burial ground on the Island) 4.2 miles
Kenardington (Danes destroy Saxon Fort) 4.4 miles
St Mary in the Marsh (Ancient Celts) 4.5 miles
Snargate (Sluice Gates made by Royal Order) 4.6 miles
Appledore (Danes invade England) 4.8 miles
Sellindge (Oliver Cromwells Horse) 4.8 miles
Brenzett (St Eanswyth a saxon princess) 4.9 miles
Dymchurch (The Romans and the sea wall) 4.9 miles
St Marys Bay (Holidays and Beaches) 5.1 miles
Lympne (From Roman Castle to Tigers) 5.3 miles
Old Romney (Sheep and Wool Smuggling) 5.5 miles
Woodchurch (Dragoons capture Smugglers) 5.6 miles
Brookland (13th century wooden spire) 5.7 miles
New Romney (Cinque Port and Storm) 5.7 miles


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