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Shipbourne (Kent)

Shipbourne shown within Kent
OS grid reference TQ595525
District Tonbridge and Malling
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Tonbridge
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
European Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Tonbridge and Malling
List of places: UKEnglandKent

Coordinates: 51°14'58?N 0°17'03?E? / ?51.24937, 0.28402

Shipbourne (pronounced 'Shibbun') lies in the county of Kent, in an undulating landscape traversed by the small streams of the River Bourne, set in a clay vale at the foot of the wooded Sevenoaks Greensand Ridge.

Situated between the towns of Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, in the borough of Tonbridge & Malling. The landscape is agricultural with dispersed groups of buildings that are almost entirely residential or used for farming purposes.

The dominant characteristics of the historical landscape are thick woodland with smaller, broadleaf coppices with small to medium sized fields enclosed by traditional boundaries of hedges or chestnut fencing. Earlier removal of some hedgerows has resulted in some larger arable fields; these are often separated by small woodland belts or shaws. The most distinctive landscape feature is The Common, also known as The Green, which is a large, open and dominant space in the centre of the village.

To the south of the village, on each side of the A227 is Hoad Common. Before the last war Hoad Common was an attractive lightly treed open space popular with visitors but is now neglected and is rapidly deteriorating into scrubby woodland.

The parish is situated in the Metropolitan Green Belt and is an area designated as a Special Landscape Area. The central village including the pub, the church, the village school and The Common is within a Conservation Area. Much of the village lies within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

[edit] Famous residents

The Fairlawne Estate, which stretches into neighbouring Plaxtol was, in Stuart times owned by Sir Henry Vane, Secretary of State to Charles I: his son was to become a Governor of Massachusetts in 1635. One of the Vane family employee's sons wrote a 700 blank verse poem about hop-growing. Sir Henry Vaine, who was a Royalist and then became a roundhead, before again switching back to being a Royalist under Charles I, was executed in London after being reported to be too dangerous to live. His body lies in the crypt of Shipbourne church in a stone coffin that is noticeably shorter than all the others, due to his beheading. His ghost is said to wander the village.

The Vane family were followed by the Cazalets. In 1880, Edward Cazalet built the church, dedicated to St Giles, a public house named The Chaser, and several of the cottages which surround the Common. Major Peter Cazalet was the trainer of horses owned by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Many members of the Cazalet family are commemorated in the church.

[edit] External links

(Source: Wikipedia)
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