Home Kent News The ancient Kent village that used to be a massive vineyard run...

The ancient Kent village that used to be a massive vineyard run by monks

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Original article from Kent Live

Walking around the village of Littlebourne today feels like a mix of old and new.

If you enter via Bekesbourne Lane, it looks a bit like a private road exclusive to Premier League footballers, or successful architects.

Dotted around are customised new build properties that would not look completely out of place on an episode of Grand Designs.

Further down the lane, a converted triple oast house gives more of a nod to Littlebourne's historic past.

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According to the parish council the village goes back to palaeolithic times, when hunter gatherers first crossed the land bridge connecting England to the continent.

Flint tools can apparently be found all along the Little Stour valley.

The triple oasthouse in Littlebourne

The name Littlebourne itself is said to have been in use since at least the year 690, when a Jutish king called Withred gave five ploughlands called Littlebourne to Canterbury's St Augustine's Abbey.

According to Canterbury's Member of Parliament in the 16th century John Twyne, who wrote a number of books about the local area, the abbot maintained a vineyard in Littlebourne.

This is backed up by the fact the village's church is called St Vincent of Sargossa, who is the patron saint of winemakers.

Customised new builds are popping up in Littlebourne these days

Experts from the National Churches Trust also believe the monks of St Augustines' Abbey in Canterbury "may have used Littlebourne as a vineyard".

The next to arrive were the Hugenots or Flemings, skilled artists and craftsmen-silversmiths, weavers, brickmakers, tanners and leather workers. said to have left their mark in the brick buildings still surviving, especially the flemish gables as on The Anchor, Cottages on the Green, Higham, and the Old Vicarage.

It is probably the traditional architecture that makes it so popular today.

The village today

Despite no longer being an agricultural village, it still has plenty of new housing, a post office, a community store and a well-used hall and recreation ground.

It's also got a lovely pub called the Evenhill.

In fact Littlebourne sits within a pocket of Kent – close to the likes of Wingham, Ickham, Wickhambreaux – that is swimming in gastropubs.

The well-used village hall

Like the growing number of high-end customised new builds, it's a sign of the wealth the area continues to attract.

It all suggests this beautiful, ancient village will remain on the map for some time to come yet.

Original Article