East Peckham

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East Peckham
StMichaels EastPeckham.jpg
St Michael's Church:
East Peckham is located in Kent
East Peckham
East Peckham
Location within Kent
Population3,306 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ662482
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTonbridge
Postcode districtTN12
Dialling code01622
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°13′N 0°23′E / 51.21°N 0.38°E / 51.21; 0.38Coordinates: 51°13′N 0°23′E / 51.21°N 0.38°E / 51.21; 0.38

East Peckham is a small town in Kent, England, made up of nine hamlets and situated about 5 miles (8 km) east of Tonbridge on the River Medway. It was the centre for the hop growing industry in Kent and is still home to the Hop Farm which has the world's largest collection of Oast Houses.


The Domesday entry for East and West Peckham reads:-

The Archbishop himself holds Pecheham, In the time of King Edward the Confessor it was taxed at six sulungs, and now six sulungs and one yoke. The arable land is ten carucates. In demesne there are two, and sixteen villeins, with fourteen borderers, having four carucates and a half. There is a church, and ten servants, and one mill, and six acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of six hogs.[2]
Of the land of this manor, one of the archbishop's tenants holds half a sulung, and was taxed with these six sulungs in the time of King Edward the Confessor, although it could not belong to the manor, except in the scotting, because it was free land.[2]
Richard de Tonebridge holds of the same favour two sulungs and one yoke, and has there twenty-seven villeins, having seven carucates, and wood for the pannage of ten hogs. The whole value being four pounds. In the time of King Edward the Confessor, the manor was worth twelve pounds, when the Archbishop received it eight pounds, and now what he has is worth eight pounds.[2]

Part of the manor of East Farleigh lay within what is now East Peckham.

Ralph Fitz Turold holds of the bishop (of Baieux) half a sulung in Estockingeberge. In the time of King Edward the Confessor, two Freemen held it, and then like now, and it is valued at twenty shillings.[3]

There is a persistent myth that the village was originally sited a few miles away towards Mereworth although there is no evidence of this. Although Sheet 80 of the First Edition One-Inch Ordnance Survey map published on 1 January 1819 does indeed show the village as being two miles north east of its present location. St Michael's church stands on high ground two miles to the north of the village, and is now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust and open daily. In the mid-nineteenth century the new parish church of the Holy Trinity was built in the village. The architects were Whichcord and Walker of Maidstone,[4] and the foundation stone was laid on 24 October 1840.[5]

The River Bourne flows through the parish, and formerly powered a watermill (Little Mill) before joining the River Medway. There was another watermill on the River Medway at Branbridges.In the past, East Peckham has been flooded many times. The East Peckham Flood Relief partnership was formed in 2003. A dam has been built on the Coult Stream[6] at Bullen Farm.[7] It is 160 metres (170 yd) long and 4 metres (13 ft) high and has the capacity to hold 80,000 cubic metres (18,000,000 imp gal) of floodwater. The scheme cost just over £1 million.[6]

In 2012, a local amateur theatre group, The Russett Players, was formed in the village.[8]

Notable persons[edit]

  • On 28 January 1896 Walter Arnold, of East Peckham, was summonsed for travelling at 8 mph (13 km/h) in a motorised vehicle, thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit for towns of 2 mph (3.2 km/h). He had been caught by a policeman who had given chase on a bicycle. He was fined 1 shilling plus costs, the first speeding fine in England, thus he achieved the sobriquet the first person to be convicted of speeding in the UK. [9][10][11]


East Peckham is twinned with Chéreng, Nord, France.[12]


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Hasted, Edward (1798). The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. V. Canterbury: W Bristow. p. 93.
  3. ^ Hasted, Edward (1798). The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. V. Canterbury: W Bristow. p. 102.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Details from image database (178784)". Images of England. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  5. ^ Rose, Hugh James; Maitland, Samuel Roffey (1840). "Kent". The British magazine and monthly register of religious and ecclesiastical information: 709. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Dam delights East Peckham residents" (PDF). Tonbridge & Malling District Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  7. ^ "East Peckham Flood Relief Partnership" (PDF). Tonbridge & Malling District Council. Retrieved 22 February 2009.[dead link]
  8. ^ http://therussettplayers.weebly.com/
  9. ^ National Motoring Museum – Motoring firsts
  10. ^ BBC Radio 4, The Eureka Years, by Adam Hart Davis
  11. ^ US History, Criminal Justice, The first speeding ticket. Archived 3 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "French exchange group battle with motorway repairs". Kent and Sussex Courier (Paddock Wood edition) (17 June 2011). p. 25.

External links[edit]