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Mersham

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Mersham is a mostly agricultural large village and civil parish, three miles east of Willesborough and Ashford in Kent. England. The village stands adjacent to the Tunbridge and Dover railway, 1½ mile NNW of Smeeth r. station, and 3½ SE of Ashford; is a pleasant place; and has a post office under Ashford and a fair on WhitFriday. The parish comprises 2,675 acres. Real property, £5,154. Pop., 752. Houses, 143. The property is much subdivided. Mersham Hatch is the seat of Sir N. J. Knatchbull, Bart.; has belonged to his family since the time of Henry VIII.; and is a red brick mansion, rebuilt in the last century. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £632.* Patron, Oriel College, Oxford. The church is ancient but good; comprises nave, aisles, and two chancels; and contains monuments of the Hatch family. There are an endowed school with £10 a year, and charities £61.HistoryUntil the early 20th century Mersham was for its majority a farming and orchard-tending community with close ties to the local market town of Ashford. The small village dates back to Saxon times and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The village was owned by the Archbishops of Canterbury for over 500 years. The Anglican church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and is in the highest category of listed building, at Grade I. It stands on the site of a Saxon church, and is part Norman. It is thought that the village gives rise to the surname Marshman.
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