Boughton Monchelsea shown within Kent
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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|UK Parliament||Faversham and Mid Kent|
The village and civil parish of Boughton Monchelsea is in the Maidstone District of Kent, England. The civil parish lies on a ragstone ridge situated between the North Downs and the Weald of Kent and has commonly been called Quarry Hills. The village itself is located 3 miles (5 km) south of Maidstone.
The village name comes from a corruption of the name of the Norman family given the manor after the Conquest: Montchensie who held the manor until 1287 and the Anglo Saxon Boc Tun (Beech Tree settlement). The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Boltone, then Bouton, Bocton, and probably via Bocton de Montchensie to the current Boughton Monchelsea. The suffix using the family name seems to have been added in this area of Kent, possibly to differentiate multiple Boctun's.
Some of the earliest history of Boughton Monchelsea is in the Iron Age settlement at Quarry Wood Camp (Camp Field). There are traces of an outer rampart on Parsonage Farm (on the edge of Park Wood) constructed by the Belgae about 40 AD possibly as a defence against the Roman invasion in 43 AD.
The foundations of a Roman bathhouse were discovered in 1841 near Brishing Court, also a Roman villa at Brishing and a cemetery at Lockham. The Quarries were worked extensively in Romans times and the villa and bathhouse could well have belonged to the quarry owner. Ragstone (a type of sandstone) was worked here; stone for building of Westminster Abbey, the present-day Houses of Parliament and the repair of Rochester Castle came from here. The last quarry closed in 1960.
The village church, dedicated to St Peter, was built around 1100.
The 16th-century Elizabethan stone-built former manor house, Boughton Monchelsea Place, is situated in a private deer park and remains a private dwelling although it is occasionally opened for commercial use as a venue for weddings and business conferences.
A similar property at nearby Wierton Place has in recent years operated as a polo and country club as well as an exclusive out-of-town nightclub. Prior to that it was the official residence of judges when on circuit at Maidstone Crown Court.
Other historic houses include the Grade II listed Tanyard, Brishing Court and Lewis Court.
The Cock Inn, dating back to 1568, is situated at the junction of Heath Road and Brishing Lane. Featured in the film Kind Hearts and Coronets starring Sir Alec Guinness and Dennis Price, The Cock is a typical old English pub featuring inglenooks, exposed beams and low ceilings.
- Graham Clarke, author, illustrator and humorist, lives in the village.
- Sir Anthony St Leger, Master of the Rolls in Ireland, of Wyerton House, Boughton Monchelsea (bought from the Norton family), lived here in c. 1610-13.
- Thomas Musgrave Joy, painter, was born here in 1812.
- Westminster Abbey and the present-day Houses of Parliament are built from ragstone quarried in Boughton Monchelsea.
- Certain scenes for the first and second series of the television sketch comedy Tittybangbang were filmed at the house.
- Iden Farm Cottage in the parish, won the Housebuilding category in the 2005/2006 Kent Design Awards.
- Parish council website
- The Kent Village Book Alan Bignell 1986 ISBN 1-85306-571-4
- Village name origination
- Boughton Monchelsea Place
- "Tanyard". British Listed Buildings.
- Graham Clarke's website
- Suzanne Fagence Cooper, ‘Joy, Thomas Musgrave (1812–1866)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 5 Oct 2013
- "Top design award for converted rail shed". www.kentonline.co.uk. 2 December 2005. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
Media related to Boughton Monchelsea at Wikimedia Commons