Newenden

My three greats grandparents married at Newenden Church which is just in Kent. It is sited alongside the River Rother which is still navigable for quite large boats. I have visited it several times most recently, earlier this month.

But first, let’s mention those ancestors with a Newenden connection. John Mallion was born in Sandhurst, a few miles from Newenden back in 1815. The little village of Sandhurst in Kent was where the Mallions lived, en masse. There would have been a time when loads of my relatives lived there.  John’s mother was Mary Mallion, also born in Sandhurst in 1792. His father, named on his marriage certificate, was John Brissenden. I have never been able to trace him with any certainty.

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In 1841 John married Jane Huggett who was born just over the border in Sussex, at Peasmarsh. She was born in 1813 to Henry and Hannah. The Huggetts had a long association with Peasmarsh and Rye.

Judging by the birth places of their children, John and Jane were in Newenden for 5 years or so.

So let’s take a look at the little place.

You can get a kind of overview of the little village whilst riding on the Kent and East Sussex Railway.

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And very pretty it all looks in its setting – with the church where the couple married in view. We do not know where they lived, but it may well have been away from their village centre for John, like many of my ancestors, was a farm labourer.

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There’s the elegant little church which once had a more solid tower.

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I’d have preferred that. That little spire doesn’t look quite right to me.

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The pub is set more or less opposite the church.

And here’s the river.

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It was being dredged and was just a bit of a mess whilst we visited.

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I’d feel very happy to watch a cricket match on the field at Newenden, under the delightful wind vane.

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John and Jane would not have known cricket, but they had their first three children christened in this font.

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I do like visiting the places where the ancestors lived. They may have changed, but it still makes me feel closer to the old folks.

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