Appledore Parish


The parish of Appledore stands on the edge of the Romney Marsh twelve miles from Ashford. It was once an important port on the estuary of the River Rother which used to flow through the village. Various storms and silting of the estuary during the 13th century resulted in the Rother changing its course.

The village has seen military incursions by various bands and armies in its history. During the Anglo Saxon period, the Danes were able to use the then navigable Rother to gain access to Appledore and establish a foothold. Hasted reports that there used to be a castle in the parish built by the Danes when they landed there in the 9th century. He states that the castle was probably demolished by the French in 1380 along with the burning of the whole village. The church was constructed on the castle site later using the reclaimed materials.

Much later in the 19th century, the Royal Military Canal was built in the village between 1804 and 1809 on its route from Rye to Hythe as one of the preventative measures to stop Napoleon's army landing on the Kent coast. As Napoleon did not arrive, the Canal was later used for transporting people and goods on an established barge service. Appledore greatly benefitted from this trade in coal and timber from Rye.

The railway came to Appledore in 1851 on the South Eastern Railway's line from Ashford to Hastings. The station stands two miles from the actual village centre.

Little Appledore is a detached portion of this parish based in Newchurch.

Appledore Heath is the upper part of the parish of Appledore.


Further information on the village's history can be found at Appledore Parish Council; Here's History Kent; and Appledore Local History Society.

Surrounding Parishes

Stone in Oxney, Kenardington, Snargate, Woodchurch, Tenterden, Wittersham, Snave, Warehorne.

Appledore People

From census and trade directories it appears that Appledore was primarily engaged in agricultural occupations and trade. In 1841 we have the traditional bakers, shoemakers, grocers, carpenters, there is also a tea dealer who probably, along with other villagers, relied upon the Royal Military Canal for carriage of his goods.

It is only after the coming of the railway in 1851 that we find Appledore expanding in size and population. Children were being taught in a National School, a Surgeon and a Nurse are located in the village and to keep people in check a Police Constable and Revenue Collector are stationed there.

The opening of the more efficient railway unfortunately saw the demise of the Royal Military Canal for trade purposes. More on this and the history of the Canal can be found on The Royal Military Canal website. The fluctuation of the population of Appledore can be seen in the chart below.

This chart shows the rise and decline of Aldington's population over a 120 year period. The chart is based on census, trade directories, and Victoria County History of Kent figures.

The Popular Surnames chart below is based on Parish Register entries for Baptisms, Marriages and Burials for Appledore between 1700 -1837.


Appledore Wills totalling seventeen range from 1410 to 1558 on Kent Archaeological Society website.

Tithe Apportionments 1841 for Appledore are also found on Kent Archaeological Society website.

Hearth Tax Online has transcribed Kent's Tax of 1664. It features surnames from Appledore and Appledore Heath.


In 1847, the Bagshaw directory states that a school was a run by voluntary subscription. A document showing an earlier school at Appledore is at Kent Archives. It is dated 1805 and details the appointment of Mr Charles Morphett as Master of Appledore school.

By 1863, a National School was established for 120 children.

Church & Religion

The Church of St. Peter & St. Paul is early Norman in date. In 1086 there was a church listed, though this may have been destroyed along with the whole village by French invaders in 1380.

The chapel of Ebony was annexed to Appledore church. Hasted states in 1798, there were 150 worshippers at Appledore church and 80 at Ebony chapel.(The History & Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Vol. 7, Pages 250-261)


More information on St. Peter and St. Paul Church can be found here

  • Parish registers date from 1700, an earlier register from 1600's is lost. Registers in existence are: Baptisms 1700-1990; Marriages 1700-2001; Banns 1754-1990; Burials:1700-1990. 
  • Transcriptions of parish records by KFHS are available: Baptisms 1700-1812, Marriages 1700-1837, Banns 1754-1823 and Burials 1700-1812 on CD 21.
  • Monumental Inscriptions: Not known. Any further information would be greatfully received.

Wesleyan Methodist chapel built 1830 is listed in the Tithe Apportionment in 1841. 

The Society of Quakers owned land in the village. It was used as a burial ground in the Tithe Apportionment of 1841.

Horne's Place Chapel: Was a small chapel for use by the Horne family who lived in the adjoining manor house up until the early 17th century. It was permitted to be used for divine purposes in 1366 by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is thought to have been dedicated to St. Katherine. (Canon Scott Robinson, Arch. Cant. Vol. XIV page 363) The manor passed into the hands of Philip Chute/Choute and his descendants into the early 18th century.


  • Lathe of Shepway part of (1903 Kelly's Directory) or Lathe of Scray part of (Kelly's Directory 1903)
  • In the Hundred of Blackborne or Blackburn (Domesday 1086) and Aloesbridge (1903 Kelly's Directory)
  • Liberty of Romney Marsh, Cinque Port Liberty of New Romney (1903 Kelly's Directory)
  • Tenterden Poor Law Union. Workhouse constructed 1847 in Tenterden (1847 Gazetteer
  • Ashford Petty Sessional Division (1903 Kelly's Directory)
  • Tenterden County Court district (1903 Kelly's Directory)
  • Benefice of Appledore with Brookland, Fairfield, Brenzett with Snargate (Present) 
  • Rural deanery of South Lympne (1903 Kelly's Directory) or Romney (Present)
  • Archdeaconry of Canterbury (1903 Kelly's Directory) or Archdeaconry of Maidstone (Present)
Ashford Villages

Bethersden Biddenden Bilsington

Bircholt Bonnington Boughton Aluph

Brabourne Brook Challock

Charing Chilham Crundale

Egerton Godmersham

Great Chart Orlestone/Hamstreet

Hastingleigh High Halden Hinxhill

Hothfield Hurst nr. Aldington

Parish Records

Kenardington Kennington Kingsnorth

Little Chart Mersham Molash

Newenden Pevington nr. Pluckley

Pluckley Rolvenden Ruckinge

Sevington Shadoxhurst Smarden

Smeeth Stone cum Ebony Tenterden

Warehorne Westwell Willesborough

Wittersham Woodchurch Wye

Ashford Branch