Towns, Villages and Churches in East Kent - "B"

Badlesmere.

Location: About 4 miles South of Faversham just off the A251.

See: The Church of St. Leonard, Badlesmere

Barfrestone.

Location: About 5 miles Northwest of Dover along the A2 Canterbury Road and then turn onto the West Court Downs Road opposite the Lydden Race track for about another 2 miles.

See:
The Church of St. Nicholas, Barfrestone (exterior)
The Church of St. Nicholas, Barfrestone (interior)

Barham.

Location: Barham lies about four miles to the South East of Canterbury. Turn off the present A2(M) just South of Bridge and take the Elham Valley Road to Folkestone.

See:
Barham - The Village
The Church of St. John the Baptist

Bethersden.

Location: Bethersden is on the main A28 about eight miles South West of Ashford on the road to Tenterden.

St. Margaret's Church
Click on this picture
for a larger version.

The page with the larger picture of the Church interior contains a small piece of information about this village.



Betteshanger.

Location: About 2½ miles directly West of Deal and just to the East of the A256 - Ramsgate to Dover road.

See: The Church of St. Mary's, Betteshanger

Biddenden.

Location: About 18 miles West of Ashford on the A262.

See: "Castleton's Oak" Public House

Bilsington.

Location: About 5 miles South of Ashford on the B2067.

See:
The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Bilsington (exterior)
The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Bilsington (interior)

Birchington-on-Sea.

Location: About 10 miles East of Canterbury on the A28, Canterbury to Margate Road.

See:
The Church of All Saints, Birchington (exterior)
The Church of All Saints, Birchington (interior)
  The Quex Chapel, All Saints Church, Birchington

Blean.

Location: Blean lies about two miles to the North West of Canterbury on the A290 main Whitstable road.

Blean is another small village consisting of not much more than a few houses scattered along the main Canterbury to Whitstable Road. The Blean County Primary School stands at the top of hill where the Village begins and the pub, "The Hare and Hounds", lies in the valley below. From the valley the road climbs a hill again where there are a number of post-war houses which have considerably enlarged the small village population.

It's a little strange that the Registration District of Blean covers such a large area but I think this is a "throw-back" to when "Blean Forest" existed in all it's glory. The part of these woods which is actually called Blean Woods is some three miles West of the village while West Blean Woods are three miles to the North East of the village with East Blean Woods a further mile again to the East near Hoath. There are several Woods that also make up this area which was, as far as I can make out, about fifty square miles. There is still quite a lot of woodland between Canterbury and Whitstable but a lot has been destroyed over the years to accomodate farm land. Parts that still remain are: Blean Wood, North Bishopden Wood, Church Wood, Homestall Wood, Honey Wood, Clowes Wood, Thornden Wood, West Blean Wood and East Blean Wood. The most recent destruction of a large part of these woods occurred to acccomodate The University of Kent at Canterbury. I used to play and explore through these woods as a child and you could walk for hours and not meet another person. Probably because the Woods covered such a large acreage resulting in a sparse population caused the registration district to be so large.
Something I was told when I was younger was that the last boar in England was killed (not in the House of Commons as you might think) in Blean Woods in the mid 1800's. There are other rarer creatures still in this area such as a blue spotted slow-worm I used to find as a child.

See also: The Church of SS. Cosmus & Damian in the Blean


Bonnington.

Location: About 7 miles West of Hythe and half a mile of the B2067 to Tenderden.

St. Rumwold's Church
Click on this picture
for a larger version.

The Village of Bonnington is not large, a few cottages, a few houses and a few farms. Perched at the Northern edge of the Romney Marsh, this is an area which has been closely associated with smugglers and smuggling over the years. Originally entered in the Domesday Survey as Bonintone or Buningtun, the Manor of Bonnington eventually came to be owned by the Knights Templar until the Order was suppressed by Edward II in 1308 when it passed to the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Eventually the lands passed into the hands of Sir James Hales, from a particularly well-known Kent family, who was the only judge who refused to sign the instrument for the crowning of the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey.

Brabourne.

Location: About three miles South East of Ashford, to the North side of the A20.

As the comments for this village became rather large, I placed it on its own page.

Brasted.

Location: About three miles West of Sevenoaks on the A25.

See: The Church of St. Martin's, Brasted

Brenzett.

Location: About twelve miles directly South of Ashford just to the East of the A2070.

See: The Church of St. Eanswith, Brenzett
  The Church of St. Eanswith, Brenzett - Interior Memorials

Bridge.

Location: On the old A2, about two miles South East of Canterbury.

This Village had a terrible time coping with the growth of "cross Channel" traffic in the 1960's and 70's. It took at least two deaths and many near misses before the approval was finally granted for a by-pass which has finally allowed this Village to return to it's quiet, mundane way of life as a place where a bridge on the Roman Watling Street once crossed the Little Stour. One of the problems that Bridge always had was the narrow road on the steep hill leading down into the Village from the South. The accidents on this hill were sometimes compounded by the appearance of the ghost of an Ancient Briton in a chariot crossing the road as if from nowhere. Not only would this sight in the headlights be enough to startle the most experienced driver but the spectre is said to still comply with the ground level in Roman times which means that only about the top half of the horse, chariot and rider is ever seen.

It is not surprising that the charioteer is seen near Bridge because it was on the land which is now nearby Bourne Park that Julius Caesar first defeated the British at a location still known as "Old England's Hole". Caesar then established a base up on Barham Downs at a place still known as "The Camp".

St. Peter's Church
Click on this picture
for a larger version.

See also: Bridge Workhouse

 

Broadstairs.

Location: On the extreme East coast of the Isle of Thanet off the A255 Margate to Ramsgate road.

Bleak House
"Bleak House", Broadstairs.
Click on the picture for a larger version
and more detail about the Town.

You will also find more information about Bleak House HERE.

Brookland.

Location: On the A259, Hythe to Rye Road at the edge of the Walland Marsh.

St. Augustine's Church, Brookland
The Church of St. Augustine.
Click on the picture for a larger version.

The most obvious site for investigation in this village is the church of St. Augustine and I have placed some information on its own page with the larger picture. Other than this the village is most famous for The Battle of Brookland in 1821, when up to 200 smugglers had a running battle with the blockade which led to the capture of the gang's leader, Cephas Quested. More of the full story of this action is detailed on the page about the Aldington Gang or, The Blues, as they were known.

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