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St. Leonard's church
Badlesmere shown within Kent
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It was once called Basmere. There has been a recorded settlement (under the name 'Badelesmere') as far back as the Domesday Book. Which also mentioned that in the time of King Edward the Confessor, the parish was worth sixty shillings. The manor was previously owned by Odo, Earl of Kent (as the Bishop of Bayeux), but following his trial (for fraud) in 1076 his assets were re-apportioned, including Badlesmere. The abbot of St. Augustine's then claimed this manor.
During the reign of King Richard I (1157–1199), the manor was held by 'Guncelin de Badlesmere', who had accompanied the king during his Siege of Acon in Palestine. The manor passed through several generations of the Badlesmere family, including, Gunselm de Badlesmere (Justice of Chester and Cheshire 1232 – 1301) and 'Bartholomew de Badlesmere' (governor of Leeds Castle) after November 1317). He then obtained the king's license to found a Priory on his lands. But nothing came to this license.
The church, dedicated to St Leonard, is a grade II* listed Anglican church, described as "interesting as a small, quite unremarkable church" which was not 'restored' in the Victorian era. Its interior is 13th century and 18th century. It has a complete set of Georgian box pews. In 1887, J.C.L. Stahlschmidt reported that the bell hanging in the church was one of those made in 1635 by Joseph Hatch for St Mary's Church, Reculver; the church at Reculver was demolished in 1809.
The parish has been linked for many years with that of Leaveland, whose mediaeval church, which is very different from Badlesmere. It has a crown-post roof and a 16th-century monument to a local family survived the Victorian restoration.
- Hasted, Edward (1800). "Parishes". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent (Institute of Historical Research) 6: 467–481. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- British listed buildings 21 July 2013
- John Newman, North East and East Kent, (The Buildings of England series), Penguin Books, 1991, p. 131.
- Stahlschmidt 1887, p. 143; Harris 2001, p. 36.
- Lloyd, John (10 August 2013). "SIGNS OF THE TIMES; John Lloyd introduces our exclusive extract from 'Afterliff', his new "dictionary of things there should be words for' – successor to 'The Meaning of Liff', one of the most popular books ever written". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 8 February 2014.
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