Main Births etc
Coordinates: 51°00′54″N 0°42′22″E / 51.0151, 0.706
Stocks Mill.jpg
Stocks Mill.

Wittersham is located in Kent

 Wittersham shown within Kent
Population 1,143 [1]
OS grid reference TQ899274
Parish Wittersham
District Ashford
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TN30
Dialling code 01797
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Ashford
List of places: UK • England • Kent

Wittersham is a village and civil parish, part of the Isle of Oxney, near Tenterden, south of Ashford in Kent, South East England.


The Domesday Book does not mention Wittersham, but it does assign the manor of Palstre to Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. Palstre was only one of four places in the Weald, apparently, that had a church. The Domesday Book entry reads:- In Oxenai hundred, Osbern Paisforiere holds Palestrei, from the Bishop. It is taxed at three yokes. Arable land for two plows. In demesne, nine smallholders have half a plow. There is a church, 2 servants, 10 acres (40,000 m2) of meadow, 5 fisheries at twelve pence, woodland for the pannage of 10 hogs. In the time of Edward the Confessor, it was worth forty shillings, now sixty shillings. Edwy the priest held it for King Edward

An early variation of the village name may be Wyghtresham [2]


Early in the 18th century, the manor came into the ownership of Thomas Brodnax or May of Godmersham Park, Kent. May changed his name to Knight after inheriting estates from the Knight family in 1738 and, on his death in 1781, Owley passed to his son Thomas. The younger Thomas Knight died childless in 1794, and Owley passed to his widow Catherine, later of White Friars, Canterbury. Mrs Knight was lady of the manor in 1799, when Hasted wrote. When she died in 1812, her husband's estates passed to his adopted son, Edward Austen Knight, brother of novelist Jane Austen, and owner of Chawton House in Hampshire.

Some time later, Edward Knight appears to have sold Owley to William Levett of Bodiam. When he died in 1842, Levett owned both the manors of Palstre (where he lived) and Owley. He left Paltre to his elder daughter Sabina and Owley to his younger daughter Emily. His Will devised to Emily "my freeholds, messuages, buildings, farm lands, containing altogether, by estimation, one hundred and seventy-two acres, more or less, situate lying and being in the Parish of Wittersham aforesaid, commonly called or known by the name of Owley Farm, with the apportionments thereto belonging". Emily Levett married Samuel Rutley, and the Rutley family continued to own the manor until the end of the 19th century.

At the turn of 20th century, by which time holding the manor had ceased to be equivalent with ownership of most land and property, the Body family held Wittersham, Colonel Heyworth held Palstre, and Mrs Samuel Rutley owned Owley.[3]


The village has an award winning CAMRA approved public house, The Swan, and a restored white weatherboarded post mill, Stocks Mill.

Wittersham housed a key listening post for downed pilots over the channel during the Second World War, all that is left now is a small concrete house and a few craters dotted around from attacks by the Luftwaffe and several doodlebug (V1) strikes.

There is a popular and well-attended Community market every Tuesday morning in the Village Hall specialising in organic and local fresh food as well as a variety of other products

Wittersham now has its own dedicated website run from within the village with information regarding local groups, businesses, what's on, and Lost & Found. The website is being continually improved and is currently funded by the Wittersham Parish Council.

Notable residents (past and present)[]

  • Lord Alli - media entrepreneur and politician[4]
  • Laurence Alma-Tadema - English novelist and poet
  • Gabrielle Margaret Vere Campbell - author who wrote under many pseudonyms, including Marjorie Bowen and Joseph Shearing
  • Gerald Campion - TV actor and club owner
  • George Digweed MBE - 16x World Sporting Shooter Champion[5]
  • Norman Forbes-Robertson - distinguished Victorian Shakespearean actor
  • Norman Hackforth - long-time accompanist to Sir Noël Coward[6]
  • James Harris - father of Major Sir William Cornwallis Harris, military engineer, artist and hunter
  • Paul Hutchinson MBE - Services to Royal Navy Mine Hunters [7]
  • Robert Hichens - Edwardian novelist
  • John Howlett - screenwriter and author
  • Laurence Irving - grandson & biographer of the famous Victorian actor Sir Henry Irving
  • William Jowitt - MP, lawyer and Lord Chancellor
  • William Gardner - English coin designer, engraver, calligrapher and writer
  • Alfred Lyttelton - MP, athlete, lawyer and sportsman
  • Violet Markham - Liberal politician and women's activist
  • Dave McKean - illustrator, photographer, comic book artist, graphic designer, filmmaker and musician
  • Marti Pellow - singer with group Wet Wet Wet
  • Sir Donald Sinden CBE - distinguished actor[4][8]
  • Marc Sinden - film director, actor and West End theatre producer[9]
  • Arthur Symons - Welsh-born Symbolist poet


External links[]

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Wittersham. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.