Home Kent News The quiet but picturesque Kent village with a very dark past

The quiet but picturesque Kent village with a very dark past

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Original article from Kent Live

This beautiful Kent village has a dark medieval history that will come as a surprise to many.

With only one local primary school and two pubs, The Plough and The Potting Shed, Langley is home to just 1,187 residents.

The small village just off the A274 can be found between Maidstone and Headcorn, near Ashford, and is a quiet haven in the Kentish countryside.

The name translates as "long field or woodland", which is not surprising as the village is surrounded by green spaces.

The village, which has history dating all the way back to the year 814, has 17 listed buildings in the area, including the Langley Corner Farmhouse, The Plough Inn, and the Church of St Mary.

Langley, like several other Kent villages, has been an excavation site for Roman findings.

The Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery exhibits articles from a site in the village, where a walled Roman cemetery was discovered.

They found a square and a circular tomb, alongside five urn burials.

But that's not the only interesting bit of history that accompanies this Kent village.

Langley Loch

Langley Loch has a dark medieval history

It has been said that a lake behind the Church of St Mary was used for the medieval practice of trial by cold water.

This was a medieval form of trial, in addition to trial by battle, reserved for those suspected of crimes, and which had several forms, all designed to sort out the innocent from the guilty by apparently appealing to God's will.

The lake used for trial by cold water had to be close to the church, as it would then be considered holy water.

Here the nearest lake to the church is Langley Loch, meaning the stretch of water has a rather sinister past.

The ancient judicial practice was said to be able to determine if someone was innocent of guilty.

Trial by water was a dangerous ordeal for a person to experience, and was often linked to witch-hunts in the 16th and 17th century.

The person on trial would be thrown into a lake, and if that person were to sink then they would be named innocent.

But if the person were to float on the water, they were guilty as the water had rejected them.

In some cases people would drown whilst being subjected to this trial, where it was left to God to decide.

Original Article