Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/147

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109
NOTES TO KENT.

for the severe loss they had sustained. The chronicler adds, that the town was so utterly ruined, it was never afterwards rebuilt; only the bare spot was pointed out to passers-by as the site of a very noble city. Camden deems Newenden the scene of these occurrences, saying, that Andredecester remained thus desolate, till, temp. K. Edward I, certain Carmelite Friars erected there a monastery at the cost of Sir Tho. Albuger (at Losenham, the knight's own residence, Monast.), whence a town sprung up, which was called Newenden—that is, the New Town in the Valley.[1] However, the quotation from (D.B.) in the early part of this Note clearly proves, that Newenden, first, bore that appellation, and, secondly, was a place of consideration, at the period of the Survey, or about 160 years previous to the period, assigned by Camden for the origin of both the name and the importance of the locality; consequently his entire statement and his theory appear but "the baseless fabric of a vision."

Eastward from Losenham House, at the extremity of the upland portion of that estate, where it subsides into level meadows, is a spot called "the Castle," manifestly the site of a fortification; (which was destroyed by the Danes, A.D. 892. Kilburne.) The traces of a ditch, inclosing a high mound, which we may presume to have been the keep, together with much more space, were very distinct about twenty years ago, and are so now, I am informed. But previous to that date cultivation had altered the appearance of the remains, even within my own recollection. The extract below (from 215 of Harris's History of Kent, published about A.D. 1720) shows, that the indications of the ancient fortification were at that period very considerable:—

"Castle Toll: this is a raised piece of land, containing, I guess, about eighteen or twenty acres of land; on the east side it hath the remains of a deep ditch and bank, which seems to have gone quite round it. Near this Toll towards the north-north-east

  1. The following is the entire passage in Camden (as rendered by Gibson) relating to this subject:0151" Newenden, which, I am almost persuaded, was the haven so long sought for, called by the Notitia Anderida, by the Britons Caer Andred, and by the Saxons Andredsceaster; first, because the inhabitants affirm it to have been a town and harbour of very great antiquity; next, from its situation by the wood Andredswald, to which it gave the name; and lastly, because the Saxons seem to have called it Brittenden, i.e., 'a valley of the Britons;' from whence Selbrittenden is the name of the whole hundred adjoining." After an account of the destruction by the Saxons "as Huntingdon tells us" he states that for many ages after nothing but ruins appeared, "till under Edward the First, the Friars Carmelites had a little monastery built here, at the charge of Thomas Albuger, kn.; upon which a town presently sprung up, and, with respect to the old one that had been demolished, began to be called Newenden, i.e., 'a new town in a valley.'" (Gibson's Camden, I, 274.)