West Malling  Kent


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described West Malling like this:

MALLING (WEST), a village and a parish in Malling district, Kent. The village stands adjacent to the Otford and Maidstone branch of the Southeastern railway, 2½ miles W by S of Aylesford r. station, and 5½ NW by W of Maidstone; occupies the site of the Saxon mark of the Mallingas; was itself anciently called Mealinges; is now sometimes called Town-Malling; is a seat of petty sessions; and has a post office‡ under Maidstone, a police station, three inns, a weekly corn-market on Monday, and fairs on 12 Aug., 2 Oct., and 17 Nov. ...

The parish comprises 1,366 acres. Real property, £8,599; of which £152 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851,2,021; in 1861, 2,086. Houses, 357. The property is subdivided. The manor was given by Edward the Confessor to the bishops of Rochester; and, by Bishop Gundulph, to Malling abbey. Malling House is the residence of the Hon. R. P. Nevill; St. Leonard's House, of John Savage, Esq. Broughton House and Brook House likewise are chief residences. A Benedictine nunnery, known as Malling abbey, was founded here in 1090 by Bishop Gundulph; went, at the dissolution, to Archbishop Cranmer; passed to the Honeywoods and the Akerses; and is now represented by interesting remains, of dates from Norman to late perpendicular. The great gateway has a facing of later English, evidently over older work; a chapel, attached to the gateway, has decorated English windows and later English S door, and was recently restored; the W front of the church is Norman, with ornamented pilasters and slender turrets similar to those of the W front of Rochester cathedral; and the cloisters, now included in a modern mansion, are late early English, ninth very fine broad trefoiled arches. A cell of the abbey, with a chapel, stood at St. Leonard's, but has disappeared.. A large, square, ancient tower also stood there; and has left some remains, which have been doubtfully pronounced to be Norman. A belt of woods and heaths, called Malling woods, conjoined with others called Mereworth and Great Comp woods, lies along the S of both West Malling and East Malling parishes. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, 320. * Patron, W. Lawson, Esq. The church has a modern nave, an early English chancel, and a Norman tower; was extensively restored in 1866; and contains brasses of 1497 and 1532. There are a national school, a private lunatic asylnm, the Malling district workhouse, and charities £63.

West Malling through time

West Malling is now part of Tonbridge and Malling district. Click here for graphs and data of how Tonbridge and Malling has changed over two centuries. For statistics about West Malling itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of West Malling, in Tonbridge and Malling and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 19th September 2019

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