USUALLY called Palsworth, is the next parish
southward from Acrise. The manors of Liminge and
Eleham both claim within this parish.
Padlesworth is a lonely and unfrequented parish, situated very high, among the hills; the saying in
this country being, that Padlesworth is the highest
ground and the lowest church in the whole county. It is
very small, the church standing in the middle of it,
near three or four mean cottages, which make the village, the inhabitants of which are poor indeed. The
soil is much like that of the last described parish of
Acrise, only still more barren, with a great deal of
health or common throughout it, a wretched and miserable country.
The manor or Padlesworth was antiently
part of the estate of the great family of Criol, one of
whom, Bertram de Criol, died possessed of it in the
23d year of king Edward I. whose two sons dying
without issue, Joane their sister became possessed of
this manor, with the rest of her brother's inheritance,
which she carried in marriage to Sir Richard de Rokesle, who left his two daughters his coheirs, of whom
Agnes, the eldest, married Thomas de Poynings, and
entitled her husband to the possession of this manor.
He died anno 13 Edward III. and in his descendants
it continued down to Robert de Poynings, who lived
in king Edward IV.'s reign, and was, as his several
ancestors were, summoned to parliament among the
barons of this realm, and he passed it away by sale to
Sir Thomas Fogge, of Repton, in whose descendants
it remained till king James I's reign, when it was
alienated to Dingley, whose heirs conveyed it to Thomas Talbot, esq. and he sold it to Mr. Ralph Harwood, from which name it passed by sale, in 1748, to
Mr. James Hammond, of Dover, since whose death
in 1790, it has been sold by his heirs to Thomas
Papillon, esq. of Acrise, the present proprietor of it.
A court baron is held for this manor, which extends
into the parishes of Liminge, Swingfield, Capel, and
There are no charitable donations to this parish.
The poor constantly or casually relieved are not more
than one or two.
Padlesworth is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the dioceseof Canterbury, and deanry
The church, which is dedicated to St. Oswald, is,
I believe the lowest and the least in the county. It is
very antient indeed, being built of large slint stones,
and consists of one very small isle, and still smaller
chancel; the roof of both is unceiled, and the east
and only window of the chancel being boarded up,
it is quite dark at noon-day. Between the isle and
chancel is a circular arch, with Saxon ornaments.
At the west end of the isle is part of a large circular
pillar, about two feet high, very antient, seemingly the
basis of the font, which there is none now. There is
no steeple or turret, but at the west end of the roof
hangs one bell. There are no memorials in it. On
each side of the isle is a very small circular door; on
each side of the southern one are two remarkably small
pillars, of Saxon architecture, different in their ornaments from each other.
This church has always been esteemed as a chapel
to the church of Liminge, in the value of which it
is included in the king's books; the rector of Liminge being instituted and inducted to that rectory,
with the chapels of Stanford and Padlesworth annexed. In 1588 here were communicants eighty-six,
and in 1640 the same.